January 2004

80 Years of SKATING

The year was 1923. The Charleston was the hot dance. The Jazz Age was getting underway. Flapper fashion, with shorter skirts and bobbed hair, was becoming fashionable. The U.S. Figure Skating Association was 2 years old, and by December of that year the organization would have its own official publication called SKATING magazine. The world, the sport of figure skating and SKATING magazine have changed in the past 80 years. Here we'll recount SKATING's journey from 1923 to present day.

How it all started
With women experiencing more freedom in the early 1920s than they had before, it should come as no surprise that one of the forces behind SKATING was a woman. In October 1923 Theresa Weld Blanchard, U.S. Figure Skating's first ladies champion, wrote letters seeking support for the new magazine venture.

"I have been appointed Chairman of a Publication Committee to publish a magazine or leaflet for the U.S. Figure Skating Assoc.," Blanchard wrote in one letter.

The letter was to a representative of the Chicago Figure Skating Club, and Blanchard was seeking articles for the magazine.

"I am afraid we feel there is no Figure Skating except on the Eastern Coast," she wrote. "Could you give us an article on skating around Chicago? Do write anything up to 1,000 words and send pictures. Let me have it by December first if possible."

Blanchard was one of four U.S. Figure Skating members working to start SKATING. Working with her were her pairs skating partner Nathaniel Niles, as well as Edith Rotch and Paul Armitage. The four of them thought the organization needed a means of official communication and were thus appointed as the first Publications Committee to accomplish the task.

Story by Amy G. Partain. Read more about SKATING magazine's 80th anniversary in the January issue.

Also featured in this issue ...

ISU Grand Prix Series
by Tatiana Flade and Jean-Christophe Berlot

U.S. skaters brought home medals from the Cup of China, Trophee Lalique, Cup of Russia and the NHK Trophy. Timothy Goebel picked up the gold at Cup of China as well as the silver at NHK Trophy, while Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto won the bronze medal at Cup of Russia. Tiffany Scott and Philip Dulebohn were "extremely pleased" to win the bronze medal at Trophee Lalique.

A Balanced Life
by Marla Mangeot Brown

Winning a Nobel Prize is a huge accomplishment that involves a lot of work. You might think that someone who wins has no time for outside interests or hobbies. But in the case of Dr. Robert Engle III you would be wrong.

National Dreams on Adult Ice
by Alexis Foy

Imagine skating on Olympic ice but without the Olympic pressure. Adult skaters will have that opportunity since the upcoming U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships will be held in Lake Placid, N.Y. At the event adult skating will celebrate a milestone - its 10th championships.

Synchronized Skating Essay Contest

In September 2003 SKATING magazine set out to find an essay from a skater that depicted what synchronized skating was all about by having a contest. We received more than 30 essays and without a doubt found the answer to our question! With so many wonderful stories, we decided to pull the best parts from many of the essays instead of narrowing it down to two.