100 Years of U.S. Figure Skating

01 / 05

Boitano has demonstrated the same grit and determination in his life that led him to Olympic glory, perhaps because the memory of his victory remains fresh in his mind all these years later.

02 / 05

To celebrate U.S. Figure Skating’s centennial anniversary, we asked fans to share their favorite figure skating memories. This month, we wanted to know: What is your favorite skating trick or mov...

03 / 05

American men have been a staple at the top of the leaderboard in international competitions for nearly three-quarters of a century.

04 / 05

Ice dancers Molly Cesanek and Yehor Yehorov forge an intercontinental connection.

05 / 05

Synchronized skating evolved from a halftime hobby into a World-class sport for high-caliber athletes. 

Centennial Celebration

Massachusetts school honors Vinson Owen's memory

A school in Maribel Vinson Owen's hometown honors her legacy. READ MORE
Image
The Vinson-Owen School sign is blue and features a pair of ice skates.

Skating Vault Podcast Launched

Listen

May's SKATING looks back at the 1960s

More

Gale Tanger: Judge, Innovator and Hall of Fame Member

For 51 years, Gale H. Tanger has been an eyewitness to U.S. Figure Skating history. She has served… READ MORE
Gale Tanger- Judge, Innovator and Hall of Fame Member.png

Still crazy for figure skating after 100 years

Read

 

 

U.S. Figure Skating: Through the Years

1920-1929

The Twenties

The decade marked the beginning of the United States Figure Skating Association, known today as U.S. Figure Skating. Though American skating organizations existed informally in decades earlier, USFSA and its seven charter clubs were officially recognized on April 4, 1921, in New York City. The association soon after became part of the International Skating Union, and the first edition of SKATING, the association’s publication of record, was published. 

 

Notable accomplishments this decade

Think we missed something? Let us know!

March 20, 1914

U.S. Crowns First Champion

Theresa Weld became the first U.S. ladies champion at the competition in New Haven, Connecticut.  She went on to win the first U.S. Olympic medal (bronze) in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium (This occurred at the Olympic Summer Games).

April 4, 1921

United States Figure Skating Association Forms

There were seven charter member clubs: Philadelphia SC and Humane Society, New York SC, The SC of Boston, Beaver Dam Winter Sports Club, Chicago FSC, Twin City FSC and Sno Birds of Lake Placid.

Dec. 3, 1921

A. Winsor Weld Becomes President

A. Winsor Weld served as the first president of the United States Figure Skating Association from 1921 to 1925.

April 1, 1923

United States Joins ISU

The United States Figure Skating Association became a member of the International Skating Union.

Dec. 1, 1923

SKATING Publishes First Edition

First issue of SKATING magazine was published. Theresa Weld Blanchard and Nathaniel Niles served as co-editors. It was originally published three times annually.

Jan. 31, 1924

U.S. Wins Medal at First Olympic Winter Games

Beatrix Loughran won the first Olympic Winter Games figure skating medal (silver) for the U.S. in Chamonix, France. She also won the country’s first World medal that year (bronze) in Oslo, Norway. The team sailed to Paris

March 27, 1928

Vinson and Turner Begin Record Streaks

Maribel Vinson won the first of nine U.S. ladies titles. She shares that record with Michelle Kwan. Roger Turner secured the first of seven consecutive U.S. men’s titles. He shares that record with Dick Button.

  • 1914
  • 1921
  • 1923
  • 1924
  • 1928
1930-1939

The Thirties

In a decade defined by the Great Depression, the United States welcomed the World Championships and the Olympic Games for the first time. Families around the country were treated to traveling ice shows, such as the Ice Follies. The popularity of the sport spread west as clubs and rinks in the Midwest and Pacific Coast became fixtures.

 

Notable accomplishments this decade

Think we missed something? Let us know!

Feb. 5, 1930

World Championships Visit the Big Apple

The U.S. hosted its first World Championships in New York City. Roger Turner won the first of two consecutive silver medals. Maribel Vinson claimed bronze, while Beatrix Loughran and Sherwin Badger secured the bronze in pairs.

Feb. 15, 1932

Olympics Come to Lake Placid

The U.S. hosted the 1932 Olympics in Lake Placid — a first for America. Maribel Vinson earned a bronze medal. Beatrix Loughran and Sherwin Badger earned silver in pairs. Badger served as USFSA president while competing.

August, 1932

Summer Skating Begins

Summer skating started in Lake Placid following a highly successful Olympics. The first Lake Placid Summer Dance Competition took place as well.

Jan. 30, 1933

Sectionals Debut

Sectional championships debuted: Midwesterns (1933), Pacific Coast (1936) and Easterns (1938). They were created to meet the demand for more competitive opportunities, but were not qualifying events until after World War II.

April 9, 1933

Figure Skating Takes Root on Pacific Coast

The first Pacific Coast club to officially join USFSA was Skate and Ski Club of San Francisco, closely followed by the Los Angeles FSC. In 1934, two more joined, including St. Moritz ISC.

Nov. 1, 1936

Vinson Appears on SKATING Cover

Maribel Vinson was the first person to appear on the cover of SKATING. Until then, the national medal graced every cover. While still competing, Vinson became the first woman sportswriter at The New York Times

Nov. 7, 1936

Ice Follies and Ice Capades Debut

Ice Follies debuted in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1940, the Ice Capades was born. Both traveling ice shows went on to change family entertainment for decades. Entertainers such as Frick and Frack became household names.

Feb. 12, 1937

U.S. Championships Head West

For the first time, the U.S. Championships took place away from the Atlantic seaboard. The event was held at the brand new Chicago Arena under the auspices of the Chicago FSC.

Sept. 3, 1937

Norwegian-born Henie takes America by storm

Three-time Olympic gold medalist and 10-time World champion Sonja Henie became a huge hit in America as a competitive skater, performer and actress. Her first of a dozen films for Twentieth Century-Fox, Thin Ice, was released on Sept. 3, 1937.

Feb. 26, 1938

Tozzer Wins Title in New Ardmore Rink

Joan Tozzer won the first of three U.S. ladies titles at the Philadelphia SC and Humane Society’s newly built $150,000 Ardmore Rink. The Ardmore Rink is one of the oldest in the country.

April 22, 1939

Club Growth Continues

At the Governing Council in New York, it was reported that there were 16 new clubs, bringing the total to 71.

  • 1930
  • 1932
  • 1933
  • 1936
  • 1937
  • 1938
  • 1939
1940-1949

The Forties

World War II had a deep impact on skating internationally, but the United States and the USFSA emerged stronger than ever. Dick Button led the charge known as “The Golden Age of American Skating,” a 14-year run of U.S. dominance abroad. At the end of the decade, Frank Zamboni unveiled the “Model A” Zamboni ice resurfacer, which literally changed the skating landscape.

 

Notable accomplishments this decade

Think we missed something? Let us know!

January, 1940

World War II Changes Skating Landscape

World War II forced the cancelation of the World Championships from 1940 to 1946 and the 1940 and 1944 Olympics. The U.S. Championships went uninterrupted, with the exception of the senior men’s event being canceled in 1944 and 1945.

June, 1940

More Cities Begin Summer Skating

Lake Placid conducted its ninth summer skating season. St. Paul, Minnesota, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, held their third summer sessions. Sun Valley, Idaho (pictured above), held its second. New arrivals on the summer scene were Rochester, Minnesota, and Hollywood, California.

Feb. 12, 1941

U.S. Wins Fours Event

The 10th North American Championships pitting the U.S. versus Canada took place in Philadelphia. The Canadians won the ladies, men's and pairs events, while the U.S. won the Fours event for the first time ever.

March 8, 1943

West Coast Ice Dancers Win

Marcella May and Jimmy Lochead of San Francisco made history as the first ice dancers from the West Coast to win a U.S. title. All previous winners in dance had been from East Coast.

March 5, 1945

WWII Affects North American Championships

The 1945 North American Championships (ladies only), which took place at Madison Square Garden, were skated under wartime/blackout conditions. The entire building had to be cleared out with lights out before midnight.

March, 1946

Radix Pins Become Tradition

Former Chicago FSC President Harry Radix began to informally present Radix skate pins to medalists of the U.S. Championships, World Championships, North American Championships and Olympics. The coveted pins for the champions have a diamond in the toe.

March, 1947

Golden Age of Figure Skating Begins

The Golden Age of American Skating began (1947-1961) with Dick Button leading the way. The U.S. Championships were held for the first time on the Pacific Coast, at Berkeley Iceland.

Feb. 8, 1948

Button Wins Olympic Title

Eighteen-year-old American Dick Button won the Olympic title in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He led the field after the compulsory figures and then won the gold medal by becoming the first person to ever complete a double Axel in competition.

June, 1949

Zamboni Debuts

Frank Zamboni debuted his “Model A” Zamboni ice resurfacer at his Iceland Skating Rink in Paramount, California. Norwegian skating star and actress Sonja Henie bought one soon after for her traveling ice show and called it the “Little Monster.”

  • 1940
  • 1941
  • 1943
  • 1945
  • 1946
  • 1947
  • 1948
  • 1949
1950-1959

The Fifties

“The Golden Age of American Skating” hit its peak. Between 1950 and 1959, U.S. skaters won 55 medals at the World Championships and Olympic Winter Games. Dick Button continued to push the sport forward and became the first skater to land a triple jump. Greats such as Tenley Albright, Carol Heiss, Hayes Alan Jenkins and David Jenkins followed in Button’s footsteps. Ice dance made its debut at the World Championships.

 

Notable accomplishments this decade

Think we missed something? Let us know!

 

March 7, 1950

Kennedys Win World Pairs Title

Karol and Peter Kennedy became the first American pair to win a World title when they claimed gold in the United Kingdom. They are still just one of two teams to accomplish the feat (Babilonia/Gardner, 1979).

May, 1950

Dwyer Begins Career as Mr. Debonair

Richard Dwyer commences his show career as Mr. Debonair as a cast member of the Ice Follies.

July 1, 1950

Headquarters Relocated to Boston

After one year in Chicago, U.S. Figure Skating headquarters moved to Boston. Incidentally, 1950 was the first year with a membership registration fee (50 cents).

Feb. 21, 1952

Button Takes Olympic Gold Again

Dick Button became one of three men (now, four) to win multiple Olympic gold medals in figure skating, and the first to perform a triple jump (loop) in competition.

March 26, 1952

Ice Dance Makes Worlds Debut

At the 1952 World Championships, ice dance was included for the first time. It had taken place at both the 1950 and 1951 World Championships as a judged exhibition event.

Feb. 1, 1956

U.S. Men Sweep Olympic Podium

U.S. skaters Hayes Jenkins, Ronald Robertson and David Jenkins made history in Italy, leading the United States to the only sweep of a modern Olympic podium in figure skating history.

Feb. 2, 1956

Albright Makes History at the Olympics

Tenley Albright became the first American lady to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating at the 1956 Olympic Winter Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

Feb. 18, 1956

Carol Heiss Begins Record Title Streak

In Germany, Carol Heiss won her first of five World Championships, an American record that she shares today with Michelle Kwan. Heiss won all five World titles consecutively. 

March 2, 1957

David Jenkins Wins Worlds in Colorado Springs

The 1957 World Championships were held in the United States for just the second time, with this iteration taking place at the Broadmoor Ice Palace in Colorado Springs. David Jenkins won the first of three World titles at this event.

May 10, 1959

U.S. Qualifying Structure Takes Form

In 1959, sub-sectionals, which today are known as regionals, were approved for the 1960 season.

  • 1950
  • 1952
  • 1956
  • 1957
  • 1959
1960-1969

The Sixties

Tragedy struck in 1961 when Sabena Flight 548 crashed, killing the entire U.S. delegation traveling to the World Championships in Prague. It was Peggy Fleming’s gold medal at the 1968 Olympic Games, which officially marked a return of American skating to the world stage. From the tragedy arose the U.S. Figure Skating Memorial Fund, a legacy that helps current skaters reach their goals on and off the ice.

 

Notable accomplishments this decade

Think we missed something? Let us know!

Feb. 23, 1960

Heiss Wins Gold; Fans Able to Watch from Afar

Feb. 5, 1961

U.S. Championships Makes Television Debut

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships are broadcast on television for this first time, airing on CBS’ "Sunday Sports Spectacular," roughly a week after the competition concluded.

Feb. 15, 1961

Tragic Plane Crash Kills 1961 World Team

A tragedy shook the figure skating world when Sabena Flight 548, carrying the 1961 U.S. World Team to the World Championships in Prague, crashed about 45 minutes outside of Brussels. The Memorial Fund was created from this tragedy. 

May 26, 1961

Heiss Stars in Snow White and the Three Stooges

Carol Heiss, fresh off an Olympic gold medal, played the female lead in the 1961 film Snow White and the Three Stooges.

Jan. 1, 1964

Shield Logo Makes Debut

In 1964, the Association's "shield" logo was released. This remained the official logo until the organizational rebrand in 2003.

March 2, 1965

Colorado Springs Plays Host to Worlds Again

For the third time, Colorado Springs played host to the World Championships, where the U.S. earned four medals, including Peggy Fleming's bronze (pictured). The prestigious event has been held in Colorado Springs five times.

Jan. 27, 1966

Wilson Wins U.S. Title

Atoy Wilson was the first Black skater to win a U.S. title (novice) in 1966. The previous year, Wilson was also the first Black skater to qualify for the U.S. Championships.

Oct. 22, 1966

Josephs Awarded Olympic Bronze Medal

After much controversy, U.S. pairs bronze medalists Vivian and Ronald Joseph earned the bronze medal at the 1964 Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria.

Feb. 10, 1968

Fleming Wins Gold, Marks Return of American Skating

Peggy Fleming’s gold medal in 1968 marked the return of American skating to world prominence after the tragedy of 1961. Tim Wood also medaled, earning silver in Grenoble, France. Watch Fleming remember that day.

Feb. 18, 1968

Ice Dance Takes Center Stage

Ice dance premieres as a demonstration event at the 1968 Olympic Winter Games in Grenoble, France. Judy Schwomeyer and Jim Sladky (pictured) represented the U.S.

Feb. 25, 1969

Worlds Held in United States for Fifth Time

The World Figure Skating Championships returned to the United States, specifically Colorado Springs, Colorado, for the second time in the decade. Tim Wood (pictured) won the first of two World men's titles.

May, 1969

Champions on Ice Hits the Road

Champions on Ice (originally known as the Tour of World Figure Skating Champions), the brain child of preeminent skating tour owner/producer Tom Collins, begins a nearly four-decade run playing to packed arenas.

  • 1960
  • 1961
  • 1964
  • 1965
  • 1966
  • 1968
  • 1969
1970-1979

The Seventies

U.S. Figure Skating celebrated its 50th anniversary. The association’s headquarters moved to its current home of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Computers started being used to tabulate results. Dorothy Hamill became known as “America’s sweetheart.” Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner won Worlds, a first for U.S. pairs in 29 years. Flaming Leaves International, which later became Skate America, debuted in Lake Placid, New York. Ice dance made its Olympic debut.

 

Notable accomplishments this decade

Think we missed something? Let us know!

Nov. 29, 1971

U.S. Figure Skating Celebrates 50th Anniversary

U.S. Figure Skating celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala exhibition at Madison Square Garden. Dick Button emceed the event, which was later televised.

Jan. 13, 1972

Computerized Scoring Comes to U.S. Championships

The 1972 U.S. Championships used a computer to calculate results. The scoring software, called “Hal,” was written by Al Beard in FORTRAN.

Jan. 14, 1972

Michelle McCladdie and Richard Ewell Win U.S. Junior Pairs Title

Michelle McCladdie and Richard Ewell became the first Black pairs team to win a U.S. title when they were crowned junior champions at the 1972 competition in Long Beach, California. Ewell was also the U.S. junior men’s champion in 1970.

Jan. 16, 1972

Shelley Makes History

Kenneth Shelley won U.S. titles in senior men and pairs (with JoJo Starbuck) to become the first post-war athlete to qualify for the Olympics in two disciplines.

1973

Singles Short Program Debuts

ISU changed singles events by adding the short program. Compulsory figures were worth 40 percent, short program 20 percent and free skate 40 percent.

1975

Headquarters Moves to Sears Crescent Building

U.S. Figure Skating’s headquarters moved from 178 Tremont Street in Boston to the Sears Crescent building on City Hall Plaza (also in Boston). It was the first time U.S. Figure Skating Association Museum and Hall of Fame was set up as part of the Central Office.

March 4, 1975

U.S. Hosts Worlds for Sixth Time

The World Figure Skating Championships returned to Colorado Springs, Colorado, for a sixth time. Dorothy Hamill, and the ice dance team of Colleen O'Connor and Jim Millns lead U.S. charge at Worlds, both winning silver medals. (Pictured is free skate winner Terry Kubicka)

Jan. 9, 1976

Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner Win First U.S. Title

Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner won their first of five U.S. pairs titles in 1976, making Babilonia the first Black skater to win a U.S. title at the senior level.

Feb. 4, 1976

Ice Dance Makes Olympic Competitive Debut

Ice dancing made its Olympic competitive debut in Innsbruck, Austria. Americans Colleen O’Connor and James Millns earned bronze.

Feb. 14, 1976

Hamill Tops Podium

Dorothy Hamill won Olympic gold at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Three weeks later, Hamill won the World title.

1976

U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame Inducts First Class

U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame inducted its first class, which featured 15 inductees.

March 15, 1979

Babilonia and Gardner Take World Title

Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner became the first Americans to win a World pairs title since 1950.

Sept. 20, 1979

Flaming Leaves Invitational Takes Place

The U.S. held the Flaming Leaves International (a.k.a. Norton Skate, for sponsor Norton Company) in Lake Placid, New York, as the test event for the 1980 Olympics. The event would become Skate America in 1981.

Oct. 6, 1979

Headquarters Moves to Colorado Springs

U.S. Figure Skating moved its headquarters from Boston to Colorado Springs. It had to create an entire staff from scratch, since no one on the Boston staff wanted to move. The building was dedicated on Oct. 6, 1979, by U.S. Figure Skating President Charles DeMore.

  • 1971
  • 1972
  • 1973
  • 1975
  • 1976
  • 1979
1980-1989

The Eighties

The start of the decade marked the beginning of U.S. Figure Skating’s relationship with ABC, which secured the association’s financial future in an affiliation that lasted until 2007. Scott Hamilton and Brian Boitano carried men’s skating to the top, while Debi Thomas broke color barriers as the first African American Olympic Winter Games medalist. The Haydenettes commenced their dynasty run.

 

Notable accomplishments this decade

Think we missed something? Let us know!

Jan. 20, 1980

Joan Campbell Becomes First African American to Win Ladies Event at the U.S. Championships

Joan Campbell became the first Black skater to win a ladies event at the U.S. Championships. She bested another Black skater – Debi Thomas – to win the novice crown.

Feb. 13, 1980

Winter Olympics Head to Lake Placid for the Second Time

The 1980 Olympic Winter Games took place in Lake Placid, New York. This was the second time the event took place in the upstate New York town (1932).

October, 1980

U.S. Figure Skating lands television deal with ABC

At the October 1980 Board of Directors meeting, Chairman of the Television and Commercial Sponsorship Committee William J. Brennan, Jr., announced a landmark deal with ABC to cover televising the national and sectional championships for the years 1981-1985, helping to secure the organization’s financial future.

March 3, 1981

Hartford Hosts the World Championships

The United States hosted the 1981 World Championships in Hartford, Connecticut. This was the seventh time the U.S. hosted the event, and the second time on the East Coast.

Oct. 5, 1981

First Skate America held in Lake Placid

The first Skate America was held October 5-11, 1981, in Lake Placid, New York. Fifteen countries participated in the inaugural event.

May 14, 1983

George Takashi Yonekura Becomes First Asian-American president of U.S. Figure Skating

Yonekura became interested in figure skating in 1958 when his daughter, Lynn, began lessons. He was first elected to the U.S. Figure Skating Executive Committee nearly a decade later.

Feb. 8, 1984

Scott Hamilton Wins Olympic Title in Sarajevo

Scott Hamilton became the fourth American man to win an Olympic title at the 1984 Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo, wearing his iconic red and blue suit.

May 6, 1984

First U.S. Precision Team Championships Commence in Bowling Green, Ohio

Since Dr. Richard Porter first organized a team of skaters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1956, synchronized skating continued to grow in the United States and around the world. The Fraserettes became the first U.S. champions at the 1984 U.S. Precision Team Championships.

Jan. 31, 1985

Tiffany Chin Wins U.S. Ladies Title

Tiffany Chin became the first Asian American to win a U.S. senior singles title when she was crowned the ladies champion at the 1985 U.S. Championships in Kansas City, Missouri. Chin is also the first Asian American to claim a World medal, taking bronze in 1985 and 1986. Of note, Suggie Oh won the U.S. novice ladies title in 1983, becoming the first Asian American to win a U.S. ladies title (she was the youngest competitor in any discipline at that year's competition).

Aug. 24, 1985

First Collegiate National Championships are held in Lake Placid

The first Collegiate National Championships took place Aug. 24-25, 1985, in Lake Placid, New York. Robert Rosenbluth (Emory University) won the men’s event, and Kathaleen Kelly (Harvard College) won the ladies event.

Feb. 8, 1986

Debi Thomas Wins U.S. Title

Debi Thomas made history at the 1986 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held in Uniondale, New York, where she became the first Black skater to win a senior U.S. ladies title.

July 15, 1986

Inaugural Goodwill Games Includes Figure Skating

Figure skating appeared at the inaugural Goodwill Games in July 1986 as an exhibition sport and was the only winter sport included in the event. The event, held in Moscow from July 5-20, was broadcasted through the Turner Broadcasting System.

March 10, 1987

USA Hosts 1987 World Championships in Cincinnati

Cincinnati hosted to the 1987 World Championships from March 10-15, 1987. This was the seventh time the United States hosted the event.

Feb. 20, 1988

Brian Boitano Wins Gold, U.S. Wins Three Medals in Calgary

Brian Boitano became the fifth American man to claim the Olympic title, winning the legendary “Battle of the Brians.” Thomas became the first Black athlete to win any medal (bronze) at an Olympic Winter Games during the epic “Battle of the Carmens.” Jill Watson and Peter Oppegard also earned a bronze medal in pairs.

May 13, 1989

Kristi Yamaguchi Wins Inaugural SKATING Magazine Readers’ Choice Award

Dale Mitch, editor of SKATING, awarded Kristi Yamaguchi with the first SKATING magazine Readers’ Choice Award for the Amateur Figure Skater of the Year at a luncheon during the 1989 Governing Council.

  • 1980
  • 1981
  • 1983
  • 1984
  • 1985
  • 1986
  • 1987
  • 1988
  • 1989
1990-1999

The Nineties

A ladies podium sweep at the 1991 World Championships by Kristi Yamaguchi, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan set the tone for American success throughout the decade, with names like Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski soon to follow. Claire Ferguson became the first female president of U.S. Figure Skating. U.S. Figure Skating signed an extension with ABC — the largest of its kind in sports at the time.

 

Notable accomplishments this decade

Think we missed something? Let us know!

Feb. 16, 1991

Tonya Harding Becomes First American Lady to Land a Triple Axel

Tonya Harding made history in Minneapolis at the 1991 U.S. Figure Skating Championships when she landed a triple Axel in her free skate. She became the first U.S. lady to land the jump.

March 17, 1991

Yamaguchi Wins First World Title in American Podium Sweep

Kristi Yamaguchi won her first World title at the 1991 World Championships in Munich. Also, U.S. ladies swept the World podium. Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan earned the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

March 29, 1992

Yamaguchi Wins Olympic Gold, Clinches Back-to-Back World Titles

Kristi Yamaguchi became the first Asian American to win a figure skating medal at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France with the gold. Nancy Kerrigan won bronze. A month later, Yamaguchi clinched her second World title in Oakland, California.

Oct. 9, 1992

Claire Ferguson Becomes First Female President of U.S. Figure Skating

Claire Ferguson became the first female president of U.S. Figure Skating. Ferguson acted as president until 1995.

Jan. 18, 1993

Tucker and Singley Medal in Ice Dance

Tiffani Tucker and Franklyn Singley became the first African American ice dance medalists at the 1993 U.S. Championships in Phoenix. They earned the junior bronze medal, representing the Arctic Blades and Winterhurst Figure Skating Clubs.

Jan. 6, 1994

Nancy Kerrigan Attacked at the 1994 U.S. Championships

After a practice session in Detroit, an assailant struck Nancy Kerrigan on her knee and ran away. She was forced to withdraw from the 1994 U.S. Championships, taking place at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. She was later named to the 1994 Olympic team. Officials later connected the attack to Tonya Harding.

March 12, 1994

Nancy Kerrigan Hosts Saturday Night Live

Nancy Kerrigan hosted Saturday Night Live a month after earning silver at the 1994 Winter Olympics. In her skit, she made light of the January attack that forced her to withdraw from the U.S. Championships. She also performed a satire pairs routine with comedian Chris Farley.

April 20, 1995

First U.S. Adult Championships Takes Place in Wilmington, Delaware

The first U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships welcomed 421 competitors (over 25 years old) to Wilmington, Delaware. There were also trade show exhibits, educational seminars and social events.

Jan. 20, 1996

Rudy Galindo Becomes First Openly Gay Skater to Win the U.S. Championships

Rudy Galindo won the 1996 U.S. Championships in his hometown of San Jose, California, becoming the first openly gay skater to win the event.

Jan. 21, 1996

Michelle Kwan Wins First of Nine U.S. Titles

Michelle Kwan won her first U.S. title at the 1996 U.S. Championships in San Jose, California. She went on to win eight more titles, tying the record of Maribel Vinson.

March 23, 1996

Michelle Kwan Wins Her First World Title

At the 1996 World Championships in Edmonton, Canada, Michelle Kwan won her first of five World titles. She is tied with Carol Heiss for the most World titles held by an American lady.

March 23, 1997

Tara Lipinski Becomes Youngest World Champion

Tara Lipinski won the 1997 World title in Lausanne, Switzerland, at age 14. She was the youngest World champion, an accolade she still holds today.

April 13, 1997

U.S. Figure Skating Enters Partnership Extension with ABC through 2006-07 Season

On April 13, 1997, the U.S. Figure Skating Board of Directors approved an extension on the partnership with ABC Television through the 2006-07 season, which was the largest of its kind in sports at the time. In the agreement, ABC continued to televise five major figure skating events each year, and U.S. Figure Skating received up to $100 million in revenue to develop its athletes and programs. 

Feb. 20, 1998

Tara Lipinski Becomes Youngest Olympic Champion

Tara Lipinski won the gold medal in the ladies event at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, becoming the youngest Winter Olympic champion at age 14, an accolade that she still holds today.

March 8, 1998

Timothy Goebel Becomes First U.S. Man to Land Quadruple Jump in Competition

Timothy Goebel leapt to win the 1998 Junior Series Final in Lausanne, Switzerland, with a quadruple Salchow, becoming the first man to land the jump and the first U.S. man to land any quadruple jump in competition.

March 29, 1998

Minneapolis Hosts Worlds, Americans Win Three Medals

For the 10th time, the United States hosted the World Championships. Michelle Kwan won her second World title, while both Tood Eldredge and the pair of Jenni Meno and Todd Sand took silver. 

  • 1991
  • 1992
  • 1993
  • 1994
  • 1995
  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 1998
2000-2009

The 2000s

Team USA’s international prominence in ice dance began this decade, led by Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto who became the first team to win an Olympic medal in 30 years. A judging scandal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City led to the international judging system being created and adopted. U.S. Figure Skating debuted its new logo and the new U.S. Championships Trophy designed by Tiffany & Co.

 

Notable accomplishments this decade

Think we missed something? Let us know!

April 5, 2000

United States Hosts First World Synchronized Skating Championships

The first World Synchronized Skating Championships welcomed 21 synchro teams from across the globe to Minneapolis. The Haydenettes and Team Elan represented the United States.

January, 2001

PSA Launches Hall of Fame

The Professional Skaters Association launched its coveted PSA Coaches Hall of Fame.

Edi Scholdan is pictured.

Feb. 21, 2002

Sarah Hughes Wins Olympic Gold

Sarah Hughes won the gold medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City at the age of 16 following a stunning free skate.

March 4, 2002

National Skating Month is Born

National Skating Week took place for the first time from March 4-10, 2002, with the theme “It’s Great to Skate.” The event evolved into National Skating Month, which now takes place every January.

March 24, 2003

U.S. Capital Hosts Worlds

Washington, D.C., welcomed the best skaters on the planet as the United States hosted the World Championships for the 11th time. Michelle Kwan won her fifth title and Timothy Goebel earned a silver medal.

May 7, 2003

Organization Unveils New Logo

In 2003, U.S. Figure Skating dropped the shield and adopted its current logo as part of an organizational re-branding. The logo rolled out on merchandise, documents and the new website throughout the remainder of 2003.

June 9, 2004

ISU Approves International Judging System

At the June 2004 ISU Congress, delegates approved the international judging system to replace the 6.0 scoring system, which was the center of scandal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. International events began using the system in the 2004-05 season.

Jan. 16, 2005

U.S. Championships Trophy Unveiled

Designed by Tiffany and Co., the sterling silver U.S. Figure Skating Championships Trophy was first awarded at the 2005 U.S. Championships. The names of every U.S. champion since 1914 are engraved on it.

Feb. 20, 2006

Belbin and Agosto Earn Historic Olympic Ice Dance Medal

Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto won the silver medal at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, becoming the first American ice dance team to earn a medal at the Olympics in 30 years.

March 31, 2007

Miami University Earns First U.S. Medal at World Synchronized Skating Championships

Miami University won the silver medal at the 2007 World Synchronized Skating Championships in London, Ontario. It was the first World Synchronized Championships medal for the United States.

Jan. 23, 2008

Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir Tie at U.S. Championships

Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir tied at the 2008 U.S. Championships in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with a score of 244.77. Lysacek’s free skate was scored higher by 1.35 points, giving him 2008 title.

May 20, 2008

Kristi Yamaguchi Wins Dancing With The Stars

Kristi Yamaguchi won season six of Dancing With The Stars with partner Mark Ballas. She was the first figure skater to win the Mirrorball Trophy.

Jan. 24, 2009

Meryl Davis and Charlie White Win First of Six Consecutive U.S. Ice Dance Titles

Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the first of six consecutive U.S. ice dance titles at the 2009 U.S. Championships in Cleveland. The record-holding duo went onto surpass five teams that had won five career titles.

March 23, 2009

Los Angeles Hosts World Championships, Lysacek Breaks Drought

For the 12th time, the United States hosted the World Championships, this time in Los Angeles. Evan Lysacek captured the men's title (the first American man to do so since Todd Eldredge did it in 1996), and Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto earned silver in ice dance. 

  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
2010-present

The 2010s

Meryl Davis and Charlie White became the first American Olympic and World champions in ice dance. Evan Lysacek put the U.S. on top of the men’s Olympic podium for the first time in 22 years. The U.S. earned a pair of bronze medals in the brand new Olympic Team Event. U.S. Figure Skating launched Learn to Skate USA, powered by Toyota, and signed a new media rights deal with NBC through 2026.

 

Notable accomplishments this decade

Think we missed something? Let us know!

Feb. 18, 2010

Lysacek Wins Olympic Gold in Vancouver

Evan Lysacek put the United States back on top of the men’s Olympic podium for the first time in 22 years, narrowly beating reigning Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko of Russia.

March 30, 2011

U.S. Ice Dancers Dominate World Podium

The United States claimed 11 World medals in the 2010s, more than any other country. Meryl Davis and Charlie White led the charge with four total medals (two golds, two silvers). SKATING wrote about this in 2011, 2016 and 2019.

April 30, 2011

Meryl Davis and Charlie White Make History at Worlds

Meryl Davis and Charlie White became the first U.S. ice dance team to win a World title (also won in 2013).

June 1, 2013

Skating Magazine Archive Launches

The SKATING Magazine Archive, a fully searchable digital database, was unveiled as a member benefit.

Feb. 9, 2014

First Olympic Team Event Takes Place in Sochi, Russia

The first Olympic Team Event kicked off figure skating competition at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The United States went home with the bronze medal.

Feb. 17, 2014

Davis and White Win Olympic Gold

Meryl Davis and Charlie White became first American ice dance team to capture the gold medal, beating the Canadians by more than four points at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

April 2, 2016

United States Hosts World Championships in Boston

The United States hosted the World Championships for the 13th time, in Boston. Ashley Wagner put Team USA back on the ladies podium for the first time in 10 years, earning silver.

June 1, 2016

Learn to Skate USA Launches

Learn to Skate USA, powered by Toyota, launched in 2016 with the mission to provide a fun, positive experience that will instill a lifelong love of skating.

Feb. 20, 2018

Team USA Makes History and Sets Records in PyeongChang

Maia and Alex Shibutani became the first ice dance team of Asian descent to medal at the Olympics (bronze) while the U.S. earned bronze in the Team Event. Also, Nathan Chen won the free skate with a record six quads, Mirai Nagasu landed a triple Axel and Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim completed a quad twist.

March 17, 2018

Skyliners Junior Win First World Junior Medal for Team USA in Zagreb, Croatia

The Skyliners Junior team earned the silver medal at the ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships 2018, marking the first U.S. podium finish at the event. They also earned bronze in 2019.

March 24, 2018

Nathan Chen Wins First World Title with Eight Quads

Nathan Chen won his first World title in Milan, landing a record eight quads throughout the competition. He would go on to win the World title in 2019 and 2021.

April, 2018

U.S. Figure Skating Signs NBC Media Rights Agreement Through 2026 Season

U.S. Figure Skating signed an eight-year extension of its broadcast rights agreement with NBC. Additionally, Ice Network, LLC, acquired all U.S. media rights for ISU competition through 2026.

Jan. 25, 2019

Alysa Liu Becomes Youngest U.S. Ladies Champion

Alysa Liu became the youngest U.S. ladies champion at just 13 years old in Detroit (also won in 2020). Later, she became the first U.S. lady to land a quadruple jump (Lutz) in international competition.

July 1, 2019

Membership Surpasses 200K for the First Time

U.S. Figure Skating’s membership surpassed 200,000 for the first time in organizational history in 2019 with 203,023 members, including 144,476 Learn to Skate USA members.

Oct. 23, 2020

Las Vegas Hosts Skate America Without Spectators Due to Pandemic

In an unprecedented year, 2020 Guaranteed Rate Skate America became the first major figure skating event to be hosted in a bubble environment without spectators due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Championships was also hosted in a bubble in January 2021.

  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2016
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 20s
  • 30s
  • 40s
  • 50s
  • 60s
  • 70s
  • 80s
  • 90s
  • 00s
  • 10s

 

 

 

Social Round-Up

 

 

DRESS LIKE A CHAMPION

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS