2004 State Farm U.S. Championships Are Here

Michelle Kwan
Photo by Paul Harvath

(1/2/04) Every winter, new figure skating champions are crowned and this year marks a historic event. The 2004 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 3-11, will be even more special as U.S. Figure Skating celebrates its 90th year of hosting its national championships.

For skaters, the annual U.S. Championships are the most intense, most demanding competition of the season. It is the event where skaters make their name and make history. Skaters like Michelle Kwan, Peggy Fleming, Debi Thomas, Brian Boitano and Scott Hamilton all became stars following their performances at the U.S. Championships.

Who can forget Michelle Kwan's stunning performance in Philadelphia in 1998 when she earned eight perfect 6.0 scores in the free skate? Who can forget Rudy Galindo's amazing upset in his hometown of San Jose in 1996?

The first U.S. Figure Skating Championships were held in New Haven, Conn., in 1914. No championships were held from 1915-1917 or in 1919, but this year will mark the 90th time skaters have convened to compete for the title of national champion. This year at Philips Arena, more than 250 skaters will compete for titles in ladies, men's, pairs and ice dancing. Skaters will compete at the novice, junior and senior levels, ensuring that fans will get a chance to see not only the stars of today but also the stars of tomorrow.

Several questions will be answered in Atlanta. Will Michelle Kwan win a record seventh consecutive title? Will Michael Weiss capture his fourth men's crown? Will Tiffany Scott and Philip Dulebohn defend their pairs title? Can Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto win their first ice dancing championship? Fans will have to wait until the U.S. Championships unfold to find out.

You can catch all the action from the championships on U.S. Figure Skating Online. Check out the event details.