Weiss Feels Confident About U.S. Championships

Two-time World bronze medalist Michael Weiss is ready to fight for his third U.S. title.

Solid programs are what Michael Weiss is looking for when he competes at the 2003 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Dallas. And if he has solid programs he thinks there is a good chance he could again be U.S. champion and earn a spot on his sixth World team. Weiss says he has built confidence with every competition this season.

"I've beaten [Olympic champion Alexei] Yagudin a few times this year and I've beaten Tim [Goebel] a couple of times this year as well, so technically my programs feel solid," he said.

Weiss feels that the U.S. Championships will keep that ball rolling.

"The U.S. Championships is a very coveted competition to win," he said. "Being the national champion will give you a big advantage going into Worlds."

Weiss was the U.S. men's champion in 1999 and 2000. He finished third last year. He feels his varied U.S. Championship experience helps him be competitive no matter what position he is in coming into a competition.

"I've been the up-and-coming kid chasing after the national champion," he said. "I've been the champion myself. I've come back from injuries. I've been pretty much in every situation you can be in."

Upon hearing that Timothy Goebel is planning four quadruple jumps in his free skate, Weiss said it is evident that Goebel is trying to push the sport technically. He said competition history has shown that quadruples are important and will be necessary to win major events in the future.

"Two quads are very important because that's what won the Olympics and has won World Championships in the past," Weiss said. "I don't know that four will. It's based on the whole package, but the quads have to be there now."

While he has been focusing on the U.S. Championships, Weiss said he is looking forward to the World Championships since they will be in his hometown of Washington, D.C.

"I haven't really been focusing on the World Championships other than the fact that they're in Washington, D.C., and I'm looking forward to that," he said. "I've always enjoyed having friends and family in the arena when I compete. That'll certainly be the case in Washington."

Weiss will begin competition on Thursday. The men's short program begins 4:40 p.m. at the main arena in Dallas.