The 1999 Grand Prix kicked off with Skate America which is being held in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The competition was held on a much compressed schedule with the compulsory dance, original dance, and all the short programs on Friday and the free dance and all the free skating on Saturday. The exhibition was held at the typical Sunday time.
Skate America was the first major competition of the season for many of the competitors and with the compressed schedule and the altitude (6100 ft), there was a little bit of huffing and puffing. By Friday evening's events many of the competitors had still not adjusted, and on Thursday evening Fusar-Poli and Margaglio's coach was felling faint and was taken to the hospital for observations and then released.
There were 8 entrants each in the pairs and dance events and 11 in the ladies event and 12 in the men's. Vanessa Gusmeroli was to be the twelfth lady but she withdrew prior to the draw, citing an injury. In the pairs event Tiffany Scott & Paul Dulebohn were a substitution for Laura Handy & J. Paul Binebose. Binebose received a severe head injury a month ago in a training accident. He has been hospitalized since.
In the men's event, the bar was raised another notch when Timothy Goebel became the first man to land three quad jumps in competition. In the ladies event, Michele Kwan dazzled taking home two 6.0's, one in the short program and another in the long. They were the 41st and 42nd of her career.
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