The first Skate America | Golden Skate

The first Skate America

Jun 21, 2003
Here is an interesting account of the first Skate America, by prolific skating correspondent Alexandra Stevenson, writing here for Ice Skating International Online. The purpose of the event was to test the facilities that had been built for the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid.

Scott Hamilton won for the men. Scott says,

"It was easily one of the biggest, most unexpected, victories of my career. Without that triumph, Lord knows what would have become of my skating future."

In ladies, Lisa-Marie Allen prevailed over a field that included a 13-year-old Katarina Witt.

The competition was continued after 1979 as an international event in response to the discontinuation of the North American Championships.

There was quite a fuss when the North American Championships were disbanded. Arrangements were already in progress for the 1973 event to be held in Rochester, NY, when, in a meeting of the two countries’ representatives, the Canadians, Don Gilchrist, George Blundun and John McKay, asked for the event to be cancelled. Ben Wright suggested, unsuccessfully, that, instead, the event morph into an international event with invitations to some of the world’s top competitors. Writing in his encyclopedic Skating in America produced to honor the 75th Anniversary of the USFSA, Wright revealed, "What was not known to the USFSA or its representatives at the time, was that the CFSA planned to establish their own International competition to be called Skate Canada. Sponsorship agreements were already in place." The Americans had been blind-sided.

Here is part 1. To read the other three parts, click on “return to title page” at the bottom and scroll down to The First Skate America, parts 2, 3, and 4. Skate America Preview 1.htm


Final Flight
May 1, 2007
Thank you for the link. Very interesting!

BTW the NHK Trophy started the same year (1979), with some years of its predecessor events before that.
NHK never included compulsory figures, and later in 1995 the ISU "Champion Series" followed suite in discluding it, I hear.


Record Breaker
Jun 3, 2008
Thanx for the links :) That was a great trip to the past , the writer is very detailed (and I didnt know half names or more), and then I went to wiki to read when GP series were made, i didnt know it was that lately as 1995:jaw:
I kept this, very relevant to the other discussions:laugh:, some things remain as old as the mountains

There were so many things that could go wrong in the slow moving figures. There were no set deductions and judges would have their own standards. One judge might penalize a badly closed center more strictly than another, while his colleague might feel the most important thing was perfect geometry, and yet another, that the depth of edges on the turns was a deciding factor.
Every skater was aware that past standings and "reputation" occasionally had a distinct influence on current marks.