Skate Against Hate - 1998

Brian Boitano's Skate Against Hate a Success

By Wayne Leonard

 Presented by Brian's "White Canvas" production company and funded in part by America Online, this unique program was a benefit for Brian's Youth Skate. Set in the new Yerba Buena Ice Center atop the new wing of the Moscone Convention Center in downtown San Francisco, this ice show was a fresh departure from what we are used to seeing. Sure, there were the skating stars: Brian, of course, and Rudy, as well as Nancy Kerrigan, Liz Punsalen and Jerod Swallow, Surya Bonaly, Jozef Sabovcik and others. What really set this event apart, however, were the addition of Urban Angels, a dance trio performing throughout the show, and graffiti artist Chris St. John, who painted a beautiful portrait, start to finish, during the show! No one could tell me what would happen to the painting after the show.

Rudy, Liz and Jerod had flown in from Omaha that very day and were thus not able to rehearse. Jozef also arrived the same day, from Salt Lake City, and missed rehearsals. Nonetheless, all gave excellent performances. Rudy first did his "Sounds of Silence" routine, and then, after intermission, brought down the house with "Send in the Clowns." Jozef did two Bruce Springsteen numbers, Nancy looked beautiful skating to Selena's version of "A Boy Like That", and Brian was, well, Brian. Simply amazing.

My favorite part was afterward, when Reuben & I managed to get invited (read: crashed) Brian's post-performance party. Poor Rudy was exhausted - he had gotten up at 4:30 AM that morning, Omaha time, and was barely able to keep his eyes open. Jerod and Liz were their normal charming selves, sharing stories of competitions and touring. This was my first opportunity to talk with Jozef, and I was impressed. Jozef now resides in Salt Lake City. His son Blade, six, is more interested in soccer than skating, and that's fine with Jozef.

All in all, it was a memorable evening. Kudos to Brian and White Canvas for a job well done. The kids of Youth Skate have a lot to be thankful for.

Wayne Leonard is President of the Rudy Galindo Fan Club and has been instrumental in making this web site a reality. Those of you who have read Icebreaker will remember that Wayne and Reuben Jenkins are very important to Rudy and have shared his worst and best times.

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Last updated September 7, 2001