May 2005

2005 World Championships

The focus during a pre-Olympic year typically rests on the next Olympic Winter Games and whether the winners of the World Figure Skating Championships will carry their success to future gold medals.

This year, however, shadows of the past loomed over the Luzhniki Sports Palace in Moscow, Russia, where the World Championships were held in the city for the first time in history, and returned to Russia for the first time in a century.

The use of the new ISU judging system reminded everyone of a history of 6.0s long gone. Although it has existed for two years on the Grand Prix circuit, the system was used at the World Championships for the first time.

As for an anticipated Russian sweep of the gold medals, it didn't quite happen, although the country did win three of the four available, along with a fourth medal (silver) in pairs. The United States was the only other country to collect at least three medals on its way to an overall successful event.

For the first time since 1984, the U.S. will send three ice dancing teams to an Olympic Winter Games in 2006, as Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, along with Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov, secured the spots with excellent performances. The U.S. was also the only country to place three men in the top 10, and two of the U.S. ladies finished in the top four.

Will this year's World Championships success transition into Olympic glory? Only time will tell.

Read all about the 2005 World Championships in the May issue of SKATING.

Also featured in this issue ...

2005 U.S. Synchronized Team Skating Championships
by Laura Fawcett, Mikel Bowman and Kelly Hodge

Legendary coach Lynn Benson went out with a bang, guiding the Haydenettes to their 15th national U.S. title in 17 years. Benson announced her retirement, effective at the end of the 2005 season, after 26 years at the helm of the Boston-based dynasty. Read about the competition and all the teams that came out on top.

Taking the Next Step
by Jenny Driscoll

Deb Gaultier dreamed of becoming a competitive gymnast, and one day a coach. After an accident in 1980 left her with a permanently injured ankle, she thought her dream was dead. But learning to skate as an adult showed Gaultier how to live her dream in a way she never expected.