May 2003

All Eyes on Washington
2003 World Championships


Before the 2003 World Figure Skating Championships began there was speculation that the U.S. war with Iraq would affect, or perhaps even cancel, the event. But the reality was far from the speculation. The championships went off as planned, and the world focused its eyes on Washington, D.C., as the top skaters battled for the title of World champion.

A sold-out crowd watched as Michelle Kwan won her fifth World title with a powerful and solid performance. And U.S. fans were thrilled to see Timothy Goebel finish an injury-filled season with his second World silver medal.

But the fans cheered just as hard when the Chinese pair of Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao fought through an injury to skate a flawless program and win the gold; and when Canadian ice dancers Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz finished their eligible skating career with a World title.

Ladies

Amazing. Unbelievable. That is how Kwan described winning her fifth World title. Kwan is the first ladies competitor to win five World titles since Carol Heiss won her fifth in 1960.

"It's pretty amazing," she said. "I have no words. I don't know what to think."

Read more about the 2003 World Figure Skating Championships and see some of the best photos from the event in the May issue of SKATING.

Also featured in this issue ...

U.S. Synchronized Team Skating Championships
by Laura Fawcett

The Haydenettes came away from the U.S. Synchronized Team Skating Championships with their 13th team title, but it wasn't an easy win as a number of teams fought to keep them from taking the title. Team Elan moved up one spot from last year to take the 2003 U.S. bronze medal.

Starting Over
by Michele Cooper

It had been almost two years since a car accident claimed the life of Sue Lapin's husband, David, and almost claimed her life. The accident, which happened on Aug. 21, 2001, left the 56-year-old ice dancer with permanent injuries and many physical limitations. Starting over hasn't been easy, but three things have remained constant in her life: family, friends and figure skating.

Is Skating Still Popular?
by John LeFevre, USFSA Executive Director

Recently, I read in a number of newspapers that the popularity of figure skating is declining. The reasons given are generally linked to decreasing attendance at our events and steady or declining television ratings. On the other hand ... a recently published "ESPN Sports Poll" shows otherwise. In fact, it shows that the popularity of figure skating has remained relatively high and has not changed in the recent past, compared to other sports in the survey.