A couple weeks before the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Jefferson City community members will have a chance to meet figure skater Sasha Cohen, a silver medalist at the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Cohen will sign autographs Saturday from 5-8 p.m. at the Miller Performing Arts Center. The event is free to the public and also includes refreshments, entertainment and prizes.
The event is hosted by Jefferson City's Edge Wise Skate & Dance and Kansas City's Edge Wise Sport Supply. Sponsors include Central Bank and Jefferson City Parks and Recreation.
Edge Wise owner Stephanie Burkett Brizendine said this is the first event like this in Jefferson City.
"I grew up in Jefferson City as a skater," she said. "It seemed like any big news in the skating world was happening in Kansas City and St. Louis. This is an opportunity to brush shoulders with an Olympian in Jefferson City."
The event stems from a Parks and Recreation learn to skate program. In September, kids were given the opportunity to lease Sasha Cohen Liberty Skates for $10 from Edge Wise. At the end of the lessons, they were given the option to return or purchase the skates.
"It's a good way to try ice skating for the first time," Brizendine said. "Sasha Cohen is really passionate about getting kids off the couch, up and moving."
She said young skaters can learn a lot from Cohen.
"She is such a class act," Brizendine said. "She's not the typical athlete diva."
Cohen will also offer a 30-minute ice skating clinic Saturday for those who participated in the program and purchased her skates. She will also host a similar clinic for older, more elite skaters at Washington Park Ice Arena.