NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For the first time in 25 years the best figure skaters in America are descending upon Music City.
"What happens here in Nashville, especially this weekend, is setting up a historic run at an Olympic medal," said Olympic gold medalist, Scott Hamilton. "They've all been preparing for this since day one, honestly since step one."
This week, Nashville is playing host to the U.S. Figure Skating Championship. It all culminates in the selection of Team USA which will represent America at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
"Olympic sports are different than all other sports because your window is right here," said Hamilton, who is also a Nashville resident. "This is it and if you don't take advantage of your time it's going to be really hard to replicate that four years down the line." It's an experience he's all too familiar with.
"So again, there's something in all these events for an audience, and especially one that is relatively new to the sport like Nashville. This is a golden opportunity to go in and cheer these skaters on and see something spectacular," he said. "It's a sporting event like no other because it's so dramatic."
All that drama comes after three years of planning and preparations.
"You know I think economically it's going to be a great opportunity for us in January. Secondly, it's a media coverage that we're going to see around the country and around the world that can only showcase Nashville in a positive way," said President and CEO of the Nashville Sports Council, Scott Ramsey.
But Ramsey said COVID forced organizers to make last-minute adjustments. "Certainly we want all the athletes to come out of Nashville safe and ready to go for the Olympics and I think that's really predicated on the protocols for the spectators."
That's why masks and a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination will be required for those attending. For more information on protocols, click here.
Ramsey said, "we feel like the champions coming out here this weekend may be going on to gold medal next month in China and be that household name"- a household name whose road to the Olympics made a stop here in Nashville, Tennessee.