100 Years of U.S. Figure Skating
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U.S. Figure Skating: Through the Years
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
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).
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.
A. Winsor Weld Becomes President
A. Winsor Weld served as the first president of the United States Figure Skating Association from 1921 to 1925.
United States Joins ISU
The United States Figure Skating Association became a member of the International Skating Union.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Club Growth Continues
At the Governing Council in New York, it was reported that there were 16 new clubs, bringing the total to 71.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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
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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).
Dwyer Begins Career as Mr. Debonair
Richard Dwyer commences his show career as Mr. Debonair as a cast member of the Ice Follies.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
U.S. Qualifying Structure Takes Form
In 1959, sub-sectionals, which today are known as regionals, were approved for the 1960 season.
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
Heiss Wins Gold; Fans Able to Watch from Afar
Carol Heiss won the Olympic gold medal on home soil (Squaw Valley, California) in the first Olympic Games to be televised. She had a New York City ticker tape parade thrown in her honor.
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.
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.
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.
Shield Logo Makes Debut
In 1964, the Association's "shield" logo was released. This remained the official logo until the organizational rebrand in 2003.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Hamill Tops Podium
Dorothy Hamill won Olympic gold at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Three weeks later, Hamill won the World title.
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.
Babilonia and Gardner Take World Title
Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner became the first Americans to win a World pairs title since 1950.
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
PSA Launches Hall of Fame
The Professional Skaters Association launched its coveted PSA Coaches Hall of Fame.
Edi Scholdan is pictured.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
Skating Magazine Archive Launches
The SKATING Magazine Archive, a fully searchable digital database, was unveiled as a member benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.