Skaters O'Reilly and Kerrigan to help promote Foxwoods rink

Mashantucket - A former Olympic figure skater and a professional hockey great are scheduled to appear today at an event marking the official re-opening of Foxwoods Resort Casino's outdoor ice skating rink.

First unveiled in the winter of 2010-11, the rink re-opened Friday after a one-year hiatus. Editor's note: This corrects an earlier version of this paragraph.

Foxwoods announced this week that following a 5 p.m. reception, Nancy Kerrigan, a two-time Olympic medal-winner in the 1990s, will perform a skating routine before joining Terry O'Reilly, who starred with the NHL's Boston Bruins from 1972 to 1985, at a "meet-and-greet" with the public.

Members of the Mystic Ballet Company are also scheduled to perform, and Gregory Shimoda, chef garde manger of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, will unveil an ice sculpture.

Monique Sebastian, Foxwoods' executive director of entertainment, said the rink area has been upgraded.

Located behind MGM Grand at Foxwoods and accessible via the lobby outside MGM's Premier Ballroom, the area now features a patio with four fire pits surrounded by Adirondack chairs, and a 30-foot Christmas tree that will be lit today. Trees and thousands of light bulbs ring the area.

"The idea was to provide something that no other venue or facility in the area can provide," Sebastian said. "For locals and our guests coming in, we wanted to create a Rockefeller Center atmosphere in the Connecticut woods. ? We're ready to rock 'n' roll."

Kerrigan and O'Reilly both have strong ties to New England.

A Massachusetts native, Kerrigan was a bronze medalist at the 1992 Olympics and won a silver medal at the 1994 Olympics. In a much-covered saga that began at the U.S. Championships before the 1994 Games, she was attacked by an assailant who clubbed her knee during a practice. Her attacker was later linked to a Kerrigan rival, Tonya Harding.

O'Reilly appeared in three Stanley Cup finals for the Bruins and later coached the team.

Foxwoods' rink will operate daily through Feb. 23. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, 2 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2 to 10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. The charge to skate is $10 for adults and $6 for children under 12, plus a $5 skate rental fee.

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