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Wednesday, February 20, 2002
Canada pair commits to March 12 exhibition

Associated Press

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Olympic pairs co-champions Jamie Sale and David Pelletier will give their first post-Salt Lake City skating exhibition in Edmonton on March 12.

"This is huge," Northlands general manager Ken Knowles said of the Edmonton show, tentatively named "Jamie and David and Friends."

"As far as draw and appeal goes," Knowles added, "it has to equate with a Garth Brooks concert."

The timing of the exhibition might increase speculation the defending champions won't compete at worlds beginning March 18 in Nagano, Japan.

Sale and Pelletier, who won the 2001 world championship in Vancouver, have said they haven't made up their minds about Japan yet. They said they're still recovering from all the stress sparked by the Olympics' judging controversy and their ensuing whirlwind celebrity.

Names of all entrants for worlds must be confirmed with the International Skating Union and the Japanese organizing committee 21 days before the March 17 draw. Sale and Pelletier have until Sunday, the final day of the Winter Olympics, to make up their minds.

Knowles said the only thing that could make the exhibition bigger "would be if Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sukharulidze also came."

Berezhnaya and Sukharulidze are the Russians who, until the judging scandal forced the International Olympic Committee to award a second set of gold medals to Sale and Pelletier, had the pairs title to themselves.