Big, Big, BIG news!! Sarah Hughes had to unfortunately withdraw from Skate America due to an injury....and Michelle has agreed to take her place! While Sarah also had to withdraw from Skate Canada, no news yet on whether Michelle will be skating there or not. Phyllis Howard, the president of the USFSA, said, "We are delighted that Michelle has agreed to enter the event at this late date, and look forward to her defending her Skate America title." For more information, check out the following article Four-Time World Champion Michelle Kwan Added to Smart Ones Skate America.

Skate America runs October 23-27 in Spokane, Washington, with the ladies short on October 24 and the ladies long on October 26. The ladies long airs on Sunday, October 27 on ABC. For more information, check out my TV schedule.

It looks like Michelle will have a new short program at Skate America. In the article Eager to appease, skating takes a new spin, Michelle is quoted as saying, "My new short program is brand new and very different. I have a new coach who skates after me on the ice, and everything is so new it's kind of exciting."
The Ladies short program at Skate America took place Thursday night. Michelle's new short program is Peter Gabriel's The Feeling Begins, which can be found on the album Passion: Music For The Last Temptation Of Christ Soundtrack . You may recognize this music because both Oksana Baiul and Grishuk & Platov have skated to this music in the past. For this program, Michelle wore her gold Fields of Gold costume. Even though the short program is not scheduled to be broadcast, as always, I won't post the results here. Check out the following articles and pictures from before the competition, and from the short program:

Michelle skates 9th out of 12 skaters in the long program. Check out the full skate order for the long program.

We all know that ABC did not air Michelle's new short program from Skate America, The Feeling Begins. Well, it was taped and shown in Asia. Anne made a real video clip of it, and thpme put the program online! Just go to Cruella De Kwan's MK videos page and scroll down for the link. You can also download thpme dialup version of the clip, which is less than 3MB, on her site. (Thanks Anne, thpme, Moyesii, and Cruella De Kwan!)

The Ladies long program at Skate America took place Saturday night. Michelle skated to Aranjuez, wearing the same yellow costume she wore at the Campbell's event. As always, won't post the results until it's shown on TV, though you won't have to wait too airs Sunday afternoon son ABC. Check out the final results of the competition. Then check out the following articles, reports, and pictures from the long program:


Congratulations to Michelle for winning her record 7th Skate America title! For the exhibitions, Michelle skated to Fields of Gold, as seen in this picture of her end pose. Check out a review of how she skated from a poster who was there on MK Forum (you have to scroll down to read that post.) Finally, check out the following two pictures of the podium:
I'm sorry if this is considered a spoiler (scroll down if you don't want to here this, LOL!), but, all the Grand Prix events have concluded, and with 12 points from her Skate America win, Michelle has made the Grand Prix Finals! It's amazing that her first place points from just one event were enough to make the Finals, but that's what happened. I won't post who else made the finals, to avoid spoilers. The GPF take place from Feb. 28 to March 1, 2003 in Russia.
Michelle has announced that she will not be competiting at the 2003 Grand Prix Finals. Michelle qualified because of her win at Skate America. It's very rare that a skater can qualify for the finals by skating in just one event. Here is what Michelle said in her statement about deciding not to compete:

In September I made the decision to cut back on my schedule and not compete in the Grand Prix Series because I needed time to re-energize after such a long and grueling 2002 season. I've given this a lot of thought and still feel that this is the right decision. I'm going to focus all my energy on preparing for the World Championships.

The USFSA is supporting Michelle. Phyllis Howard, the USFSA president, said, "We fully support and respect Michelle's decision and are pleased that she will be competing in the World Championships in Washington, D.C." For more information, check out the article on the USFSA's site, Michelle Kwan Will Not Compete in 2003 ISU Grand Prix Final.

It looks as if Michelle will not be competiting in the Grand Prix events next season. The ISU has released the assignments for the Grand Prix events, which can be seen on the ISU's site. Michelle is not on this list. Even though Michelle will not be competiting at the Grand Prix events (this includes Skate America and Skate Canada), or the subsequent Grand Prix Final, this does not mean that she couldn't compete at Nationals or Worlds. Michelle hasn't announced anything yet, so it's uncertain whether she will take the whole year off or not at this point.

I posted earlier that Michelle's name was not listed on the rosters for the Grand Prix events. Apparently, this doesn't mean she won't be competiting in those events this season. The following is from the LA Times article, Enjoying Her Golden Year:

Kwan, one of the sport's most accomplished competitors with six U.S. championships, four world titles and two Olympic medals to her credit, was not on the list of Grand Prix entrants released by the International Skating Union last week. However, her agent, Shep Goldberg, said she simply hasn't planned her future. If she decides to compete in Grand Prix events, she can notify the U.S. Figure Skating Assn., "and they'll do their best to accommodate her," Goldberg said.

As a side note, it says on the USFSA's site that the Skate America roster won't be announced until July 30. Could Michelle be on this list when it's released? I guess we'll see.

When the USFSA posted the list for Skate America on August 1, Michelle's name was not on the list.

Last updated November 3, 2003

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