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 ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 100 SnowRunner(R) snow skates rushing down the ski jump hill will be one of the first images of the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
 SnowRunner has developed the world's first patented snow skate which integrates a comfortable, supportive boot and a totally unique replaceable base allowing the skate to glide over the snow. America's newest winter sport, snow skating, is the only sport that combines the freedom and movements of in-line and ice skating with the challenge and diversity of skiing and snowboarding.
 The Olympic Opening Ceremonies will be comprised of traditional "ceremonial" addresses from Olympic Committee executives and Norwegian royalty, the procession of athletes, the torch lighting and a 30-minute artistic segment. The artistic segment will combine 2,000 dancers, athletes and volunteers to communicate a narrated folk story that reflects Norwegian traditions and culture.
 SnowRunner snow skates will be included in the artistic segment of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The snow skates will be worn by more than 110 military officers who will skate down the ski jump hill at speeds up to 60 kilometers per hour into the arena, and blend with dancers and performers in the arena.
 "The first time I heard about SnowRunners was in Newsweek. After seeing the photo, I thought this is what we need for the Olympic Ceremonies," said Ceremonies Artistic Director Benthein Baardson. "It will fit within our artistic concept of two fairy tales which we tell -- one in the Opening Ceremonies, and one in the Closing Ceremonies. I thought this is the perfect way our fairy tale figures could move -- with the help of SnowRunners."
 SnowRunner's Vice President of Marketing Mary Horwath explained the company's excitement to be involved. "We are thrilled and honored to be part of the two most important weeks in winter sports in the world! It is a natural fit to be premiered in Norway, where active snow sports such as skiing were born and where playing in the snow is a way of life. Seeing the athletes snow skating in the arena and down the nordic jump will demonstrate the sheer excitement and challenge that this new winter sport can provide to all."
 According to Ceremonies' Press and Information Officer, Arvid Espero, "When people see these SnowRunners for the first time, I think they will wonder what is happening. They will suddenly see that people are skating around the arena, and then they will understand that these are snow skates."
 A group of 40,000 spectators will fill the arena for both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, in addition to the more than 2.5 billion people watching television broadcasts throughout the world. The Opening Ceremonies will air February 12, and the Closing Ceremonies will air February 28.
 SnowRunner snow skates are distributed through general and specialty sporting goods stores for approximately $200 retail. Snow skates are available for rental at most major ski resorts with an average daily rental cost of $12.
 Snow skating is being enjoyed at more than 170 ski resorts across the United States including Aspen, Colo.; Mammoth Mountain, Calif.; Sun Valley, Idaho; and Stowe, Vt.
 -0- 01/14/94
 /CONTACT: Lisa Svac or Mary Horwath, 612-649-1727; or David Peri, 303-652-3258, all for SnowRunner/

CO: SnowRunner ST: Minnesota IN: LEI SU:

CP-DB -- MN011 -- 2153 01/14/94 16:19 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 14, 1994

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