The Skating Club of New York
Founded in 1863, The Skating Club of New York is the second oldest figure skating club in the United States. At the beginning, several figure skating clubs called New York City home. They were comprised of elite businessmen who organized clubs within their specific professions such as The Bankers and Brokers Club and The Artists and Architects Skating Club. The Skating Club of New York's original home was a pond across from the Plaza Hotel on the edge of Central Park.
As time went on, the individual clubs slowly began to consolidate. Eventually, it was agreed that The Skating Club of New York would continue on as the name of choice. However, with the crash of the stock market, The Skating Club of New York, was in serious jeopardy. Fortunately, a new building just had been constructed adjacent to the original Madison Square Garden on West 50th street. Through savvy contract negotiations, The Skating Club of New York found a home and began to create a legacy. Gathering a group of elite skaters from the United States and premier coaches from Europe, The Skating Club of New York, began to carve out a path for competitive figure skating within the United States. In addition, during the 1930's the club produced some of the most famous and lavish carnivals in the world at Madison Square Garden. Headlined by three-time Olympian Sonja Henie, these carnivals were the forerunners of the ice show as we know it today.
The Skating Club of Boston, the Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society, and the Skating Club of New York became founding members of the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA). Many of the Association's original officers were from New York and the meetings were typically held in the homes of Skating Club of New York members. The USFSA quickly established a National Champion-ships based on The Skating Club of New York's Middle Atlantic Figure Skating Championships. For the next 30 years, The Skating Club of New York would share in hundreds of National Championship titles and medals. Many of the clubs champions would go on to World and Olympic medals, including Beatrix Loughran (Olympic Ladies 1924 Silver, 1928 Bronze), and Sherwin Badger and Beatrix Loughran (Olympic Pairs Silver 1932), Yvonne Claire Sherman (World Medalist & Olympian), Sonya Klopfer Dunfield (World Medalist & Olympian) and Carol Heiss (Olympic Ladies Gold 1960, Silver 1956). The Skating Club of New York was an undeniable force.
Times did eventually change. After World War II and the popularity of Dick Button, skating clubs seemed to pop up all across the country. Skating as we know it today was well established. Through the years, the club would continue to be a strong presence within the Association and at the National Championships. In 1976, Dorothy Hamill (Olympic Ladies Gold 1976). represented the Skating Club of New York, winning her third National title and the Olympic gold medal. In the more recent years, skaters representing The Skating Club of New York has included Kyoko Ina (World Medalist & two-time Olympian) along with her partner, John Zimmerman won their third consecutive National Pairs Title and were the Bronze Medalists at the 2002 World Championships.
The tradition continues, club member Sarah Hughes is the 2002 Olympic Gold Medalist. The Skating Club of New York is the only American Skating Club with three Olympic Gold Ladies Champions, Carol Heiss, Dorothy Hamill and Sarah Hughes!
SCNY was represented at the 2006 Olympics by Emily Hughes, Johnny Weir and Melissa Gregory & Denis Petukhov (Ice Dancing). The 2008 & 2009 Junior World Men’s Champion and 2010 Four Continents Champion Adam Rippon is also a club member. Club member Maia Shibutani and her brother Alex continued their winning streak capturing the Gold at the Jr. Grand Prix and the 2010 Nationals medal in Junior Ice Dance at Nationals. Felicia Zhang and Taylor Toth won gold in Jr. Pairs at the 2010 Nationals. Johnny Weir represented the club and USFS at the 2010 Olympics with a great skate.
Synchro Skating has become a very big part of SCNY. We currently have 4 teams actively competing. The Skyliners Junior Team won the 2010 National Silver Medal, were Gold Medalists in Prague and represented the US at Synchro Worlds in 2010. The Skyliners Novice team won the 2010 National Silver Medal. The Adult team, Gotham City Synchro won a Silver Medal at the 2009 Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships. Our Pre-Juvenile team, Central Park Ice, also competed for the first time at a sectionals.
Skating Club of New York's Rich History
Home to the "three H's" and oldest competition in the U.S.
By Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com