Michelle Kwan Will Not Compete in Grand Prix Series

Michelle Kwan
Photo by Paul Harvath

(10/11/04) - Just as she has done for the past two seasons, Michelle Kwan has decided not to compete in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series this year. Instead, the five-time World and eight-time U.S. champion will continue to train and prepare for the 2005 State Farm U.S. Championships, Jan. 9-16, 2005, in Portland, Ore., where she will seek to defend her title and go for a record-tying ninth U.S. crown.

"I chose not to compete in the Grand Prix Series the past two years, and I feel that my overall skating benefited from the reduced competition schedule," said Kwan, who won both the U.S. and World titles in 2003 and the U.S. title and the World bronze medal last season. "I have decided to take the same approach this year, so I respectfully decline the invitation to participate in the Grand Prix Series and will focus on getting ready for the U.S. Championships."

Kwan plans to skate in one competition prior to the U.S. Championships - the Marshalls World Cup of Figure Skating, Dec. 3, at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Kwan opened this season by defeating reigning World champion Shizuka Arakawa of Japan, World silver medalist Sasha Cohen, and 2004 European champion Julia Sebestyen of Hungary to win the Campbell's International Figure Skating Classic on Oct. 1 in St. Paul, Minn.

In June the ISU assigned Kwan to compete in two Grand Prix Series competitions for the 2004-05 season - Smart Ones Skate America (Oct. 21-24, Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Skate Canada (Oct. 28-31, Halifax, Nova Scotia). At that time Kwan indicated she would decide whether to accept the assignments this fall, and she decided to decline over the weekend.