U.S. Figure Skating remembers fatal 1961 crash on 51st anniversary

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - U.S. Figure Skating is recognizing the memory of the 1961 U.S. World Figure Skating Team that died on February 15, 1961, in the crash of Sabena Airlines Flight 548 near Brussels, Belgium. All 73 passengers onboard, including 34 members of the U.S. World Figure Skating Team died in the crash.

Last year, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this tragedy, U.S. Figure Skating commissioned the film RISE which was presented in theaters nationwide in February of 2011. RISE was designed to be an inspirational story about the power of the human spirit and a celebration of American figure skating. The film honors a group of individuals who through their loss have inspired the hopes, dreams and successes of some of the most iconic names in Olympic sports history.

Within days of the crash, U.S. Figure Skating established the Memorial Fund as a living tribute to the 18 athletes, six coaches, four judges and officials and six family members that made up the 1961 World Team. Since its inception, the U.S. Figure Skating Memorial Fund has awarded millions of dollars in financial support to thousands of skaters to assist with skating- and academic-related expenses.

This year, throughout the month of February, RISE is available for rental on www.icenetwork.com . The film will also be featured on Universal Sports starting Thursday February 15, 2012, at 8 p.m. and is available on DVD and Blu-ray by visiting www.rise1961dvd.com .

To learn more or make a contribution to the U.S. Figure Skating Memorial Fund in memory of the 1961 World Team visit www.1961memorialfund.com .

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