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All About Skate America - An Elite Figure Skating Competition


Olympic Figure Skating Champion Evan Lysacek Won Skate America In 2009

Olympic Figure Skating Champion Evan Lysacek Won Skate America In 2009

Photo by Matthew Stockman - Getty Images

Olympic-Style Figure Skating Competition:

Skate America is one of six annual competitions of the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series which is a "world class" figure skating series of events. It usually is the opening competition of the series. Approximately sixty figure skaters participate.


The first Skate America competition was called the Norton Skate. It was held in 1979 in Lake Placid, New York. The event was meant to test out Lake Placid before the 1980 Winter Olympic Games.

Skate America has always been an invitational elite figure skating competition. Top figure skaters from all over the world are invited to compete in the event. When the competition first began, there were only a few international figure skating competitions. The International Skating Union wished to make more opportunities available for elite figure skaters from all over the world.

In 1995, the event became part of the a "World Cup Championship-type" series. In 1998, the series was named the Grand Prix of Figure Skating.


The competition always takes place in the United States. Most of the time the event takes place in October and goes on for three days. A different city in the United States is selected to host the competition.

Skate America has taken part in many different cities in the USA: the event has taken place many times in Lake Placid, New York. Some other places the competition has been held are Portland, Maine, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Detroit, Michigan, and Ontario, California.


The entire Skate America competition is shown on icenetwork.com. Some of the events are also televised. In the past, fans were able to see all of Skate American on television. In recent years, ice skating fans have been disappointed by the limited Skate America television coverage. Not all viewers want to subscribe to icenetwork.com. Although the event is aired on Universal Sports, many fans do not have access to that network.

Skate America Winners:

Winners of Skate America have included Olympic figure skating champions Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, Evan Lysacek, and Kristi Yamuguchi.

World figure skating champions, world figure skating competitors, and Olympic figure skaters from the USA such as Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, Michelle Kwan, Todd Eldredge, Kimmie Meissner, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Christopher Bowman, Vikki de Vries, Debi Thomas, Kitty and Peter Carruthers, Katy Keeley and Joseph Mero, Elisa Spitz and Scott Gregory, Judy Blumberg and Michael Seibert, and Michael Weiss have also won gold at Skate America.

Other Grand Prix of Figure Skating Competitions:

Skate America is usually the first competition of the Grand Prix of Figure Skating series. The other events in the Grand Prix of Figure Skating series are Skate Canada, NHK Trophy, Cup of China, Trophee Eric Bompard and Rostelecom Cup (which was originally called Cup of Russia).

At the conclusion of the Grand Prix of Figure Skating series, a skater's points are totaled. The skaters who have the top six points in ladies, men, pairs and ice dance are invited to compete in the Grand Prix Final.


Four different events take place at Skate America: Ladies, Men, Pair Skating, and Ice Dancing. The singles and pair skaters do a short program and a free skate. Ice dancers do a short dance and a free dance.


Competitors are given two scores: a technical score and a program component score. The technical score is added together to the program component score and the result is the segment score. The sum of all the segment scores (the short program or short dance and the free skate or free dance) becomes the total competition score. The competitor with the highest score wins.

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