May 2002

World Triumphs
2002 World Championships

It wasn't the Olympics.

Some cynics would even say it wasn't a real World Championships either. Perhaps this year's event was doubly-doomed for cynicism. Not only was it a month after the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, it also took place in Nagano, site of the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.

... The World Championships were held in the huge M-wave arena, which was the site of speed skating at the 1998 Olympics, but it certainly wasn't the site of Olympic figure skating following this year's Olympics.

Some of the names were the same - Alexei Yagudin, Michelle Kwan, Irina Slutskaya, Timothy Goebel. Kwan is the only one to medal at both Olympics, and she put herself into the American record books by winning a seventh straight World medal. Unfortunately, that wasn't gold, as Slutskaya finally overcame her own World jinx by beating Kwan after Kwan broke her odd-year jinx last year.

... About the only Olympian moments were provided by Yagudin, who was the only Salt Lake gold medalist at Worlds. Yagudin didn't just win - he dominated the three rounds as if to say "I am the Olympic champion." He was rewarded with not only his fourth World title but also his fourth major title of the season - a clean sweep of the Grand Prix Final, Europeans, Olympics and Worlds. No wonder he held up four fingers at the end of his free skate performance. ...

Read more about the 2002 World Championships and see some of the best photos from the event in SKATING magazine.

Also featured in this issue ...

2002 World Junior Championships
by Tatjana Flade

The U.S. collected two gold medals this year at the World Junior Championships in Hamar, Norway. Ann Patrice McDonough won the silver medal last year and came back determined to take the gold - she took the lead in the qualifying round and never relinquished it. Meanwhile, after winning the bronze medal in 2000 and the silver in 2001, Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto completed the set by winning the ice dancing gold in their last year of eligibility in this event.

The Haydenettes - 2002 U.S. Synchronized Team Skating Championships
by Kelly Hodge

The 2002 U.S. Synchronized Team Skating Championships pushed the limits of the sport in all divisions. With over 2,220 athletes on 103 teams, the quality of the skating was impressive. While the Haydenettes and Miami earned the right to represent the U.S. at the World Synchronized Skating Championships, junior teams also competed for the right to represent the U.S. at the World Challenge Cup for Juniors.

Sports Medicine: Relaxation & Stress Management for Success

Between school, homework, practice and competitions, all skaters deal with stress at one time or another. This month, you can learn how to recognize that you are anxious, stressed or overwhelmed and find out how to manage stress and use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, visualization and music.