Thursday, March 13, 2003

Knip's eye view


Cincinnati a favorite of skating idol Witt's

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Well, no wonder German skater Katarina Witt likes Cincinnati so much: "I gave the best performance of my life here at the 1987 Worlds. It was my favorite competition ever."

Not winning Olympic Gold in '84 and '88? "Here, 1987," she said, as she munched a Seriously Large hunk of chocolate. She was looking very LA in her pointy-toed boots with spike heels higherthanthis.

She was here promoting Smucker's Stars on Ice (7 p.m. next Thursday, U.S. Bank Arena, $35-$57, Ticketmaster) with Jamie Sale, David Pelletier, Todd Elredge, Kurt Browning and more.

Busily promoting: "It's a long haul. I'm a little beat."

So let's make it easy and just sit her down for five questions. On second thought, make it seven . . .

It's more fun 1) on these professional tours or 2) as an Olympic competitor:

Really, these tours are more fun, but it's not fair to compare them. Olympic competition is once in a lifetime - priceless. But it's so nerve-wracking. A show like this, you don't have that great high when you finish, but it's as fulfilling.

Something I really want to try but haven't: Singing. God, I'd love to sing. How amazing would that be? Like Catherine Zeta-Jones. What an incredible way to communicate. I'd get into jazz, because it's such a great way to impress yourself. I think I mean express, don't I?

The show's high point for me: I have a trio number, real bluesy, with two guys. It's fun because I get lifted and dragged around by the boys. It's very flirtatious and no jumps or anything.

My next goal: To find chocolate that doesn't add to my body fat. Then, to never run out of goals and dreams. I have a jewelry line and an anti-aging cream I want to do more with.

What I miss about competing: Nothing. The most incredible thing about competing is when you go out there and nail something perfectly. It's the highest high ever. But I don't even miss that. Been there done it.

The most daring thing I do in this show . . . Just to be out there and stand up on skates every night. It takes a lot of courage to go out and know you have to do something to give people their money's worth.

I'll quit skating when . . . I'll let you know. I hope to go as long as I want, but at some point, the body gives out. I'm just happy to have a job I like. Some people work to make a living, I live to work.

Growing: And a happy note, this from Sunday's Cammys award party: MidPoint Music Festival co-founder Sean Rhiney, waving his Cammy for Live Musical Event of the Year, promised that MidPoint will be back and bigger this year.

MidPoint is the fest that last year drew 100 out-of-town bands and 10,000 people to 12 venues. It was conceived in the spirit of Richard Florida and his "creative class" theory that you need things happening or the vibrant, young community moves elsewhere.

Rhiney and co-founder Bill Donabedian are taking that idea so seriously they're at work on MidPoint II. "We hope to expand to 150 to 200 bands," he shouted over the music. And they are negotiating with several new venues. It happens Sept. 24-27.

"Our mission is more diversity, so we'll court more R&B and hip-hop," he said. "After that, we're just going to keep on growing, because it's good for the city."

E-mail jknippenberg@enquirer.com



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