12 U.S. Olympic Champions to Attend 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships

U.S. Figure Skating announced that all 12 U.S. Olympic figure skating champions will attend the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash.

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held annually since 1914, is the nation's most prestigious figure skating event. The 2010 competition will take place Jan. 14-24 at the Spokane Arena and be televised live on NBC and webcast on icenetwork.com.

The gold medalists will participate in an on-ice presentation during the Smucker's Skating Spectacular on Sunday, Jan. 24 and will attend a “Destination Vancouver” fundraising dinner later that evening at the Davenport Hotel. Details on the dinner, including how to purchase tickets to it, will be announced later this week.

Dick Button (1948, 52)
Dick Button

Dick Button was a two-time Olympic champion (1948 and 1952) and is credited as having been the first skater to successfully land the double axel jump in competition in 1948, as well as the first triple jump of any kind -- a triple loop -- in 1952.

He also invented the flying camel spin, which was originally known as the "Button camel".

He is also a 5-time world champion (1948-52)

Tenley Albright 1956)
Tenley Albright

Tenly Albright in 1953 became the first American woman to win the world championship in figure skating. She also won the U. S. and North American titles that year to become the first ever triple crown winner.

Less than two weeks before the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina, Italy, Albright fell after hitting a rut in the ice while practicing. Her left skate cut so deeply into her right ankle that it slashed a vein and scraped bone. Her father flew to Italy and did some emergency repair work. Skating beautifully despite the pain, Albright became the first American woman to win the figure skating gold medal, getting first-place votes from ten of the eleven judges.

Hayes Jenkins (1956)
Hayes Alan Jenkins

Hayes Alan Jenkins won the gold medal in the 1956 Winter Olympics, after placing 4th in the 1952 Winter Olympics.

Jenkins led men's skating for 4 years, 1953-56. He won four consecutive World Figure Skating Championships from 1953 to 1956.

Carol Heiss Jenkins (1960)
Carol Heiss

Carol Heiss won gold at the 1960 Winter Olympics and silver at the 1956 Olympics. She captured five world figure skating titles (1956-1960) and four US figure skating titles (1957-1960).

Heiss was known as a very athletic skater for her time. In 1953, she became the first female skater to land a double axel jump. Another one of her trademarks was doing a series of alternating clockwise and counterclockwise single axels. Heiss, incidentally, normally rotated her jumps clockwise and spins counterclockwise; it's much more common for skaters to do both in the same direction, usually counterclockwise.

David Jenkins (1960)
No Pictue Available

David Jenkins won the men's gold medal for figure skating during the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley.

David Jenkins had led the world in men's skating for four years, following the four-year lead of his older brother, figure skater Hayes Alan Jenkins.


Peggy Fleming (1968)
Peggy Fleming

Peggy Fleming won gold at the 1968 Winter Olympics. This was the only gold medal that the U.S. Olympic team won in the 1968 Winter Games.

She captured three world figure skating championship titles (1966-1968) and five US Figure Skating titles (1964-1968)

Peggy began skating when her family moved from California to Cleveland, Ohio when she was nine years old. Her family returned to California in 1960 where she began training with coach Bill Kipp.

Dorothy Hamill (1976)
Dorithy Hamill

At the 1976 winter olympic games, nineteen year old figure skater Dorothy Hamill won her Gold Medal at the 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria. Her interpretation of music, fluid skating and infectious charm led all nine judges to unanimously vote her the winner.

Hamill was U.S. champion from 1974 through 1976. She is credited with developing a new skating move; a camel spin that turns into a sit spin, which became known as the "Hamill camel."

Dorothy began ice skating when she was eight years old on a pond behind her grandparents house.

Scott Hamilton (1984)
Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton captures the gold at the 1984 Winter Olympic Games where he had the honor of carrying the American flag in the opening ceremony.

Hamilton won four consecutive U.S. championships (1981-1984), four consecutive World Championships (1981-1984)

Hamilton toured with Ice Capades for two years, and then created "Scott Hamilton's American Tour," which later was renamed Stars on Ice.

Brian Boitano (1988)
Brian Boitano

Brian Anthony Boitano is the 1988 Olympic champion, the 1986 & 1988 World Champion, and the 1985-1988 U.S. National Champion. He turned professional following the 1988 season.

Brian was the first American skater to land a triple axel. He was also the first skater to attempt a quadruple jump in competition. His signature jump was the Tano triple lutz where he raised his left arm above his head.

Boitano toured for eleven seasons with Champions On Ice.

Tara Lipinski (1998)
Tara Lipiniski

Tara Lipinski won the Olympic gold medal in figure skating at the 1998 Winter Olympics, and remains the youngest individual gold medalist in the history of the Olympic Winter Games

In 1997, Lipinski unexpectedly won both the U.S. and World Championships, and, at the age of 14, became the youngest person ever to win either title.

At the 1996 U.S. Postal Challenge, Lipinski became the first female skater to land a triple loop/triple loop jump combination, which became her signature element.

Kristi Yamaguchi (1992)
Kristi Yamaguchi

Kristine Yamaguchi won the gold at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games.

Yamaguchi also won two national titles in 1989 and 1990 as a pairs skater with Rudy Galindo. In December 2005, she was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

In 1996 Kristi founded the "Always Dream" Foundation whose mission is to support organizations that have a positive influence on children

Sarah Hughes (2002)
Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes is the 2002 Olympic gold medalist and the 2001 World bronze medalist.

Hughes began skating at age 3 because her two older brothers and sister skated. Her silver medal at the 1999 World Junior Championships enabled her to become the youngest competitor in the 1999, 2000 and 2001 World Championships. She received the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence.

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