A Grand Opening at a Grand Venue

Nov. 18, 2009, 10:04 a.m. (ET)

The 2009 Senior Figure World Championships are officially started at the Messe Freiburg Convention Center in Freiburg, Germany. The opening ceremony followed the men's figure awards presentation and was played to an almost full house. The presentation took us through a brief demonstration of the disciplines, a tour of skating around the world and the official opening remarks by CIPA, FIRS and Freiburg city officials. There were tons of little boys and girls skating in the performances - a sign that roller sports have a solid future in this country.

The Messe Freiburg venue is wonderful. The ready areas for the athletes are excellent and include hollywood style makeup stations and even a little area to roll. The vendor area is like a mall, and each vendor has made an effort to offer a memorable shopping experience. The venue food is excellent with many kiosks full of goodies and a cafeteria the serves food that could rival many fine restaurants. Seating is comfortable with a special area for handicapped spectators.

Transportation and services are well organized and include a fleet of cars and vans to escort skaters and coaches to and from events and practices. All team members and representatives with event identification can use public transportation free, too. As you travel around the city, there are World Championship posters and small billboards everywhere.

The Junior event finals were well attended at the Schauenberghalle and now the Friday and Saturday night Senior events at the Messe Freiburg Convention Center are sold out.