A Look at the Stars of the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club

Michelle Kwan and Todd Eldredge are among its alums

World Champions Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner Represented the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club
World Figure Skating Champions Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner Represented the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club. Photo by Tony Duffy - Getty Images

With several Olympic and world champions on its roster of past members, the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club is an important part of American figure skating history. Its alumni include Olympians Michelle Kwan and Todd Eldredge and world champion pairs skating team Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner.

The private, not-for-profit club is a member of the United States Figure Skating Association. It offers training for competitive skaters and sponsors three figure skating competitions each year: the California Championships, the Los Angeles Open Championships and the L.A.

Showcase for Skaters.

History of the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club

The Los Angeles Figure Skating Club (LAFSC) was founded in 1933 by a group of about two dozen figure skaters. It is one of U.S. Figure Skating's largest and most prominent figure skating clubs.

The club's first rink was Palais de Glace, an ice rink on the corner of Vermont and Melrose in Los Angeles. In 1934, the club moved its home to the Polar Palace in Hollywood, but that rink burned down in 1963. The club moved to Pickwick Ice Arena in Burbank, California after the fire.

Today the club is based at both Pickwick Ice in Burbank and at East West Ice Palace in Artesia, California.

Over 100 national, world, and Olympic figure skaters have been part of the club's history. Some of the club's skaters have competed in or won medals in the Olympics or have won world figure skating titles.

1961 Plane Crash Tragedy

On February 15, 1961, a plane crash killed all the members of the U.S. Figure Skating Team along with friends, family, judges, officials, and coaches.

The skaters were traveling to the World Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

Ice dancers Diane Sherbloom and Dona Lee Carrier, who represented LAFSC, were both killed in the crash as well.

The Dona Lee Carrier Memorial Trophy for Gold Medalists is on display at Pickwick Ice. The trophy contains the name of each home club member of the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club who has earned a gold medal in Moves in the Field, Figures, Free Skating, Ice Dance or Pairs.

Los Angeles Figure Skating Club's Olympic Medalists

  • Michelle Kwan - 1998 Olympic Ladies Figure Skating Silver Medalist and 2002 Olympic Ladies Figure Skating Bronze Medalist
  • Debi Thomas - 1988 Olympics Ladies Figure Skating Bronze Medalist
  • Peter Oppegard (with Jill Watson) - 1988 Olympic Pairs Skating Bronze Medalists
  • Linda Fratianne - 1980 Olympic Ladies Figure Skating Silver Medalist

Los Angeles Figure Skating Club's World Champions

Los Angeles Figure Skating Club's U.S. National Men's Champions

Los Angeles Figure Skating Club's U.S. National Ladies Champions

  • Michelle Kwan: 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 
  • Nicole Bobek: 1995 
  • Debi Thomas: 1986 and 1988 
  • Linda Fratianne: 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1980 

Los Angeles Figure Skating Club's National Pair Skating Champions

  • Todd Sand (with Jenni Meno): 1994, 1995, and 1996 
  • Natasha Kuchiki and Todd Sand: 1991 
  • Jill Watson and Pete Oppegard: 1985, 1987, and 1988 
  • Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner: 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1980
  • Eugene Turner (with Donna Atwood): 1941 

Los Angeles Figure Skating Club's U.S. National Ice Dance Champions

  • Kristin Fortune and Dennis Sveum: 1965 and 1966
  • Diane Sherbloom (with Larry Pierce): 1961 
  • Margie Ackles and Charles Phillips: 1960
  • Sharon McKenzie and Bert Wright: 1957 

LAFSC 75th Anniversary Celebration

In July of 2008, the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club celebrated seventy-five years. Many of the figure skaters who had represented the club in the past and present attended the celebration.