The World Professional Figure Skating Championships was an elite made-for-TV Figure skating competition. It was created by Dick Button, a 2-time Olympic gold medalist, through his production company Candid Productions. It usually took place in December. For most of its existence, it was an unsanctioned professional event, meaning that skaters who participated lost their eligibility to compete in the Winter Olympic Games and other "amateur" skating events controlled by the International Skating Union.
The first professional championship was held in 1973 in Landover, Maryland. Skaters competed in three disciplines: men's singles, ladies' singles, and Pair skating. However the competition was not held again until 1980. It was held again from 1980 to 1982 as a two-team competition. In 1983 individual competition once again resumed alongside continued team competition. 1983 also marked the first year in which Ice dancing was contested. Team competition was discontinued in 1986. The last professional championship was held in 2000.
The professional championships were held in Landover, Maryland every year until 1997, when it moved to the MCI Center in Washington, D.C.
Beginning in 1990, the championship started taking the name of its sponsor. Thus the 1990 competition was called the "NutraSweet World Professional Championships". Other sponsors have included Durasoft Colors, Equal (sweetener), Metabolife, and Hallmark.
In 1998, the competition was sanctioned by the International Skating Union (ISU) as an "international open" or pro-am event. Because the ISU restricts the use of the title "Championships" to refer to ISU Championship events, that year the event was formally known simply as the "Equal Sweetener World Pro".
In 1999, Button's Candid Productions was acquired by SFX, which was in turn acquired by Clear Channel Communications a year later. At the same time, public interest in professional skating competitions was declining, more elite skaters were choosing to retain their competition eligibility by participating only in sanctioned events, and networks were shifting towards a time-buy model which made skating events less lucrative for producers. All of these factors contributed to the competition's demise. In 2001 of this tournament did not become and instead of him other firm has led "Hallmark Skater's Championship" under the same scheme. In 2002 this tournament has received the open status, but experiment have considered unsuccessful and was last tournament of such status. Since 2003 World Professional Figure Skating Championships are not held.
Professional champions Edit
|Year||Team||Ladies' singles||Men's singles||Pair skating||Ice dancing|
|1973|| ||Janet Lynn||Ronald Robertson (figure skater)||Belousova & Protopopov|| |
|1980||See|| || || || |
|1981||"All Stars"|| || || || |
|1982||"Pro Stars"|| || || || |
|1983||See||Janet Lynn||Charles Tickner||Belousova & Protopopov||Wighton & Dowding|
|1984||See||Dorothy Hamill||Scott Hamilton (figure skater)||Underhill & Martini||Torvill & Dean|
|1985||See||Dorothy Hamill||Robin Cousins||Babilonia and Randy Gardner (figure skater)||Torvill & Dean|
|1986|| ||Dorothy Hamill||Scott Hamilton (figure skater)||Underhill & Martini||Fox & Dalley|
|1987|| ||Dorothy Hamill||Robin Cousins||Underhill & Martini||Fox & Dalley|
|1988|| ||Debi Thomas||Brian Boitano||Underhill & Martini||Blumberg & Seibert|
|1989|| ||Debi Thomas||Brian Boitano||Underhill & Martini||Wilson & Robert McCall (figure skater)|
|1990|| ||Denise Biellmann||Brian Boitano||Underhill & Martini||Torvill & Dean|
|1991|| ||Debi Thomas||Brian Boitano||Gordeeva & Grinkov||Bestemianova & Bukin|
|1992|| ||Kristi Yamaguchi||Brian Boitano||Gordeeva & Grinkov||Annenko & Sretenski|
|1993|| ||Midori Ito||Paul Wylie||Underhill & Martini||Annenko & Sretenski|
|1994|| ||Kristi Yamaguchi||Brian Boitano||Gordeeva & Grinkov||Usova & Zhulin|
|1995|| ||Yuka Sato||Kurt Browning||Kovarikova & Novotny||Torvill & Dean|
|1996|| ||Kristi Yamaguchi||Kurt Browning||Bechke & Petrov||Torvill & Dean|
|1997|| ||Kristi Yamaguchi||Kurt Browning||Kovarikova & Novotny||Roca & Sur|
|1998|| ||Michelle Kwan||Alexei Yagudin||Kazakova & Dmitriev||Usova & Platov|
|1999|| ||Tara Lipinski||Alexei Urmanov||Leonova & Khvalko||Punsalan & Swallow|
|2000|| ||Yuka Sato||Philippe Candeloro||Leonova & Khvalko||Punsalan & Swallow|
|2001|| ||Yuka Sato||Ilia Kulik||Kazakova & Dmitriev||Krylova & Ovsyannikov|
|2002|| ||Yuka Sato||Alexei Yagudin||Salé & Pelletier||Anissina & Peizerat|
Confusingly, another professional skating competition held for many years in Jaca, Spain was also known the "World Professional Figure Skating Championships"; its official name in Spanish was Campeonatos del Mundo de Patinaje Artístico Professional sobre Hielo. The forerunner of this event was an open professional championship for show skaters dating back to at least the 1930's that was held in England, initially under the auspices of the National Ice Skating Association of Great Britain, and later organized by the Imperial Professional Skaters Association. The event moved to Jaca with the sponsorship of the International Professional Skaters Union. During the 1980s it was quite a prestigious event with wide television coverage in Europe. Past winners of this event include Denise Biellmann, Robert Wagenhoffer, Gary Beacom, and Scott Williams (figure skater).
- Information at goldenskate.com
- Jaca results at goldenskate.com
- Robert S. Ogilvie, Competitive Figure Skating: A Parent's Guide. ISBN 0-06-015375-X.
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