December 2005

Happy Holidays from U.S. Figure Skating

Americans Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto completed the Smart Ones Skate America hat trick, claiming their third gold medal in the last three years at the ISU Grand Prix kick-off event Oct. 20-23 in Atlantic City, N.J.

Despite suffering from bronchitis and a sinus infection, Belbin was able to fight through, getting stronger as the week progressed.

"I think that for the first Grand Prix and all the circumstances surrounding this week, we feel really, really proud of ourselves," Belbin said. "I think that we did a good job.

"We were happy to see that we had level fours on a lot of our elements. We know what we need to work on, but we're just so glad that we were able to perform it as well as we did, and we'll go home and work on speed and performance for the next six weeks before NHK."

"It feels good to have a three-peat," Agosto said. "I know this has been a hard week for Tanith, and I'm really proud of her. She's a real fighter."

Sixty-six skaters from around the globe took part in Smart Ones Skate America, presented inside historic Boardwalk Hall. New Jersey boasted unseasonably warm weather, making Boardwalk Hall, located right on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, a unique venue for a Grand Prix competition.

Read all about Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto's performance as well as a full recap of Smart Ones Skate America in the December issue of SKATING.

Also featured in this issue ...

Final Chapter
by Amy Rosewater

There are many things Timothy Goebel won't miss when he decides to leave competitive skating at the end of this season. He won't miss the grueling hours of training five days a week. He won't miss the frequent nagging injuries that pain almost every skater.

And he certainly won't miss being judged and worrying about final scores. Or any of the sport's politics, for that matter.

But there is one thing Goebel will miss: competing.

A Vacation to Remember
by Mickey Brown

When Shannon DiSalvo decided last spring she wanted to take a summer vacation to Finland, she wasn't sure what her parents would say. Being a member of Chicago Jazz, she has been on international assignments before ("I'm not exactly new at traveling overseas."). It also didn't hurt that her mother is a flight attendant ("Flying solo is the last of her worries.").

Not wanting to leave anything to chance, DiSalvo made up a proposal laying out the various qualities that made her a responsible 17-year-old girl. When the presentation was through, her parents did not have to deliberate long; they could tell how badly she wanted to go, and said yes.

That decision opened the door for one of the most memorable experiences of their daughter's life.