Shelley Osterloh ReportingFor a week now nearly 400 young athletes have competed in Moscow-Utah Winter Games. Things are winding up, but not before a big celebration tomorrow night.
It was just one week ago today that the games began. Tonight there's a volleyball game and exhibition figure skating, tomorrow ski jumping. Then tomorrow night--closing ceremony. The end a great experience for kids from Utah and Moscow.
It is the first international competition for most of the Utah athletes, kids like Rachel Pack and Scott Bahrke. Both have older siblings who competed in the 2002 Olympic Games and won silver medals. Scott Bahrke took the gold in the Moscow Utah games.
Russia's star skater Natalia Mityshina skated along side Salt Lake's Stephanie Rosenthal who just returned from the US Figure Skating Nationals. The kids say its been the opportunity of a lifetime.
Natalia Mityushina, Russian Figure Skater: "I think I enjoyed most speaking with your people. I like them very very nice."
Stephanie Rosenthal, Utah Figure Skater: "It’s kind of fun because there is sort of language barrier, but it’s neat to try and work around it. And I’ve learned a little bit of Russian."
Daniel Gleykhengauz Russian Figure Skater: "We want to talk with American because we want a friend in this country."
The Russian hockey team won every game, but Utah kids say the learned a lot from their competition.
Colter Knapton, Olympus High: "I enjoyed playing against them. I mean they are really good. Their passing was just amazing."
Corey Bise, Lake Placid, New York: "They are precision they do everything the way you are supposed to, they pick apart the teams, their weaknesses and stuff. They are a good hockey team and it was a lot of fun to come out and skate with them."
Organizers of the Moscow-Utah Games hope someday other Olympic cities will join the competition. Many athletes like the idea.
Catherine Riley, Utah Figure Skater: "Like turn it into a mini Olympics. I think that would be cool, it would motivate us."
Stephanie Rosenthal, Utah Figure Skater: "I think it’s great to connect so many cultures."
The closing ceremony costs ten dollars and begins at 7:30 tomorrow night at Cauldron Park. But come early, groups of Russian performers will begin at 6:45. They will douse the Olympic flame, but it will be re-lit for a while on Feb 8th to mark the two-year anniversary of the Olympic Games.