On Feb. 15, 1961, a tragedy shook the figure skating world when Sabena Flight 548, carrying the 1961 U.S. World Team to the World Figure Skating Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia, crashed in Brussels, Belgium.
From this loss arose the U.S. Figure Skating Memorial Fund, with a mission to provide qualified U.S. Figure Skating members with monetary assistance in pursuing goals both on and off the ice. The fund awards skating and academic scholarships to those athletes who demonstrate excellent competitive results, academic achievements and show potential in national and international competitions.
Since its inception, the Memorial Fund has provided more than $20 million in financial support to thousands of athletes for skating-related and academic expenses. Supported through the generosity of family, friends, fans, foundations, clubs and athletes around the country, the Memorial Fund acts as a living legacy to the lives lost on Flight 548.
Over the years, the Memorial Fund has supported thousands of athletes, including Olympic champions such as Peggy Fleming, Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton and Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Keeping with tradition, it continues to support athletes of all levels in their pursuit of skating and academic goals.
Gifts to the Memorial Fund come in all forms and sizes. Every check, gift of stock, bequest or life insurance donation helps generate earnings for the Memorial Fund endowment, which benefits not only our Olympic hopefuls, but promising skaters as well. Support the U.S. Figure Skating Memorial Fund and help secure our future by honoring our past.
Secure our future by honoring our past
The Memorial Fund was created out of the tragic plane crash of the U.S. World Figure Skating Team in 1961. Through this tragedy, hope was restored through funding via scholarships to qualified young athletes.
"I thank you for your generous contributions to the Memorial Fund. Because of your donation, I am able to pursue my academic dreams! After retiring from competition, I am grateful to still be connected to the figure skating community. It truly means so much to me to have your support, and to honor the legacy of the 1961 World Team."
- Carly Gold, ladies
"For the most part, I support myself, and it can be extremely difficult and straining because of my competition schedule. Sometimes we are overseas for weeks at a time, and it's impossible to keep a steady paycheck while competing. Receiving funding from the Memorial Fund allows me to focus on my competition and gives me relief from coaching fees and monthly bills so I can stay 100 percent focused on doing my job. Thank you so much for your donation to the Memorial Fund, and GO TEAM USA!"
- Nathan Bartholomay, pairs