All in the family: Nationally-televised ice show set for Penn State arena

Though Paul Wylie, 1992 Olympic silver medalist, is the son of two Penn State alumni, he has never been to Happy Valley. When he performs in the Musselman’s Applesauce Family Skating Tribute on Nov. 3 at Penn State’s new state-of-the-art Pegula Ice Arena, not only will he reunite with his skating family, he will be joined by his parents to visit the campus for the first time.

Wylie, a U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame member, has memories of growing up in a Penn State household.

“My parents were really rabid Penn State football fans when we lived in Dallas and Penn State competed in the Cotton Bowl (1972 & 1975),” said Wylie, who was born in Dallas and lived there until 1975.

Wylie’s parents, Robert W. Wylie, class of 1954, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and Betty Lou Bemus Wylie, class of 1956, College of Health and Human Development, are both natives of Pennsylvania, from Pittsburgh and the Philadelphia area, respectively.

“I’m sure we’re going to have lots of nostalgic meanderings,” Wylie said of his family’s visit to Penn State. “I’m sure my parents will keep us quite busy!”

Wylie’s two sisters, Dawn and Clare, as well as his wife, Kate, a former Division 1 hockey player at Brown University, and his three children, Hannah, 9, Emma,7, and Caleb, 5, will also be on hand for the family’s first Penn State trip.

Wylie’s children will be performing with him in the show.

The Family Skating Tribute features world-class skaters and their children, who are incorporated into at least one of their mom and dad’s numbers. Three-time U.S. champion Michael Weiss and 1992 Olympic champion, Kristi Yamaguchi will be hosting the show.

Performers include two-time Olympic champion Ekaterina Gordeeva, 1998 Olympic champion Ilia Kulik, four-time World champion Kurt Browning, and six-time U.S. champion, Todd Eldredge. The featured musician is country music star Sara Evans. Evans is known for songs such as her No. 1 single, “Suds in the Bucket.”

The show will be taped and is set to air from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 24 on NBC.

Wylie and his family also skated in the Family Tribute show last year in Arizona.

“We had a lot of fun doing it. My kids are not serious skaters, but that’s not really the point of the show. The point of the show is that they are all on the ice with me and we’re doing something together,” he said.

Wylie said his family’s skating program – and his own – are still under construction. “I am thinking about different pieces. I’d like to do something meaningful and not something old,” he said.

Known throughout his career for his classic lines, fast footwork and masterful artistic interpretation, Wylie, 48, doesn’t skate much anymore. He’s still on the ice, but as a coach to 10 students in the Charlotte, N.C. area, where he and his family live. He’s happy to have the opportunity to get back on the ice for shows such as the Family Skating Tribute.

“The show is a fun opportunity for skating fans to see skaters, who they might have enjoyed watching over the years, as parents. The interaction between parents and children comes through in the performances,” Wylie said. “It’s a really sweet show and all the skaters are still great.”