JILL KURMAN began taking ice skating lessons four years ago -- ever since she saw the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
And during the last two weeks, she has been practicing harder than ever, she says, striving to imitate her favorite, gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi. "She's very graceful and pretty," said the 10-year-old from Pikesville. "Everything she does triple, I do single."
It happens every four years, said Lisa Lalor, a figure-skating coach at Northwest Family Sport Center in Baltimore. Every time the Olympic torch travels to a different winter resort, area ice rinks see a surge in skating interest and class enrollment. Crowds of hopefuls take to the ice, eager to match the triple axels and spins of the athletes at the games.