January 2009

Full bloom

When the skating world was formally introduced to Caroline Zhang, back at the 2007 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash., she was a giddy teen who was just excited to get close enough to Kimmie Meissner and have the U.S. champion give her an autograph.

Zhang, 13, at the time, finished runner-up at the junior level, which is not a bad considering Tara Lipinski finished second as a junior to Sydne Vogel in 1995. (We all know how Lipinski's career turned out.)

Even though Zhang and 2007 U.S. junior champion Mirai Nagasu competed early in the week, they became a hot topic of conversation. Their performances were so extraordinary that they were featured in the television broadcast, a spot usually reserved only for senior skaters.

"There's our future rivalry," U.S. Figure Skating President Ron Hershberger said back then. "They are what our future needs to be."

Zhang, now a worldly 15, has done a lot of growing up since then.

Read all about the maturation of Caroline Zhang in the January issue of SKATING.

Also featured in this issue ...

On their way
by Becca Staed, Lynn Rutherford and Kathleen Hurley

More than 300 figure skaters from around the United States ventured to Lake Placid, N.Y., Dec. 8-13 to brave the single-digit temperatures and compete at the 2009 U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships in search of a title or medal.

Act 1
by Heidi MacDonald

Theatre on Ice (TOI) is the youngest and fastest-growing discipline of U.S. Figure Skating.