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Review of the Figure Skating Movie RISE

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


RISE Remembers the 1961 US World Figure Skating Team

RISE Remembers the 1961 US World Figure Skating Team

Courtesy of US Figure Skating

The Bottom Line

RISE is a figure skating movie that honors and remembers the tragic plane crash that killed all the members of the 1961 U.S. Figure Skating Team. "Can the end of one dream give rise to another?" is RISE's message.

The movie is a great tribute to those who lost their lives, but also shows that figure skaters are connected and united forever.


  • RISE is inspiring, emotional, informative, educational, and touching.
  • The movie shows that figure skaters are connected and are really one huge family.


  • Viewers who see RISE will shed some tears.
  • Only some of the stories about the people who died are told in the movie.


Guide Review - Review of the Figure Skating Movie RISE

On February 15, 1961, a tragic plane crash killed all the members of the U.S. Figure Skating Team. Also, friends, family, judges, officials, and coaches were killed. The skaters were traveling to the World Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of that terrible tragedy, on February 17, 2011, the figure skating movie, RISE, premiered in theaters all over the United States. The movie was supposed to be shown only one time, and was a nationwide special event. Due to popular demand, an encore performance was scheduled for March 7, 2011.

The stories of some of the people killed in the crash are highlighted in the film. Much attention is given to the Owen family. Maribel Vinson Owen was a nine-time national figure skating champion and the coach of champions. She and her two daughters, Laurence and "Little Maribel," were on the plane. Laurence had just won the U.S. Ladies title and her older sister, Maribel, had won the pairs event with partner Dudley Richards.

Olympic Champions Peggy Fleming, Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, and Dorothy Hamill, and also, U.S. figure skating legend, Michelle Kwan, are RISE's storytellers and narrators. Comments are made by figure skating coaching legends Frank Caroll and Ron Ludington. Friends, family, and skaters who knew those who died also make comments.

Much of figure skating coach Danny Ryan's story is told. By 1961, Ryan was considered one of the top ice dance coaches in the United States. He was based at the Winter Club of Indianapolis. Diane Sherbloom was from the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club. She was without a partner in 1961, and did not plan to take part in the 1961 U.S. Championships. At the last minute, Danny Ryan asked her to skate with his student Larry Pierce since his partner, Marilyn Meeker, broke her ankle. Five weeks later, Sherbloom and Pierce won the 1961 U.S. Ice Dance title.

Danny Ryan was married to Canadian figure skater RoseAnne Paquette Ryan. At the time of the 1961 plane crash, the couple had five young children. Paquette Ryan was also an active figure skating coach, but she did not travel on the plane since she had just given birth to her last child only two weeks before. Ryan's wife, daughter, and grandson make statements in RISE. Marilyn Meeker also shares her memories and thoughts.

The Broadmoor Skating Club's legacy and impact on the figure skating world is shown. It is made clear that the club itself had (and still has had) an impact on figure skating worldwide. Those who died in the crash were like family to not only those at the Broadmoor, but to figure skaters everywhere.

Most people who have seen the movie wish that the stories of every person who died could have been told, but the producers and directors did an excellent job of showing how the story of the 1961 US World Figure Skating Team inspired those who followed them in the sport. RISE should be a required "must see" for every figure skater, ice skating fan, figure skating parent and coach.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
RISE, Member Carolg13619

What a wonderfully done tribute. My sister & I are sisters-in law with Patrick Ryan, Dan & RoseAnn's second son. This is a very moving, emotional tribute to the victims & family members left behind. We cannot wait for the dvd to come out-with more in depth interviews. I give this tribute two thumbs up. It is worth seeing again. Or if you haven't seen it-go to the March showing. It's worth the tears shed in the theater.

5 out of 5 people found this helpful.

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