December 2003

Season's Greetings from U.S. Figure Skating!

American Dominance - 2003 Smart Ones Skate America

In October, 2003 Smart Ones Skate America in Reading, Pa., lived up to its name - U.S. skaters brought home four medals, including three golds. The event was also the start of a major test of the ISU's new judging system, which will be used in all events of the 2003 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series.

The last time the U.S. won three gold medals at Skate America was 1997 when Todd Eldredge won the men's title, Michelle Kwan won the ladies title, and Elizabeth Punsalan and Jerod Swallow captured the gold in ice dancing.

It was a night of twos for the U.S. in the ladies free skate. It was Sasha Cohen's second competition of the season ... and her second win. There were also two medals for the United States - Cohen's gold and a silver for Jennifer Kirk.

The only significant flaw in Cohen's Swan Lake free skate was a two-footed landing on her triple flip - the same mistake that plagued her program at the Campbell's International Figure Skating Classic in New York in early October.

"It's great to start with two titles this season," Cohen said. "But I'm more proud of the improvement I've made when I compete and [that I] enjoy the performance."

Read more about 2003 Smart Ones Skate America in the December issue of SKATING.

Also featured in this issue ...

Those Dancing (and Skating) Feet
by Lynn Rutherford and Alexandra Stevenson

Back in the days when Larry Frenock was tap dancing his heart out during a nationwide tour of the musical 42nd Street, he never dreamed that one day he'd be skating before a panel of judges to the same music, much less winning a gold medal for his efforts.

Cohen Wins Again - Skate Canada
by Laurie Nealin

The six eventual MasterCard Skate Canada International champions arrived in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, with distinctly different mindsets. Sasha Cohen was ready and rarin' to go. Evgeny Plushenko was injured and ill-prepared. Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin were devoted and determined. And Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov were watchful and willing to "watusi."

Final Standings for Future Champions Series

The 2003 Jackson Ultima Skates Future Champions Series wrapped up in September, and the final standings are in! This list shows the names of those who medaled in the Future Champions Series. Points in the series were based on initial round free skate results.Short program/overall placement or final round free skate placements are not included.

A Synchronized Tradition
by Brenna Walsh

Synchronized skating has a rich history that began nearly 50 years ago with the first group of team skaters in Ann Arbor, Mich. Twenty-four years after that first group came together, 2-year-old Lori Guolla watched her mother, Peggy MacDonald, start the first senior-level synchronized team. Just five years after that, Guolla herself skated on one of the first novice-level teams under her mother's guidance.