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Figure Skating - 15. February 2011.

Remembering the 1961 US World Figure Skating Team

U.S. Figure Skating statement on the 1961 U.S. World Figure Skating

Fifty years ago today, the world was stunned by a tragedy near Brussels
Belgium as the crash of Sabena Airlines Flight 548 took the lives of 73

Among the dead, were the 34 members of the U.S. Figure Skating Team - 18
athletes, six coaches, four judges and officials and six family members
- on their way to the World Championships in

Prague, Czechoslovakia. 

As President Kennedy said in reaction to the tragedy, "Our country has
sustained a great loss of talent and grace which had brought pleasure to
people all over the world." 

The best and brightest - a generation of this nation's top figure
skaters - were lost in this terrible tragedy.  It is a day that will
never be forgotten in our sport.


But from this tragedy, a legacy was born.  Within days of the crash,
U.S. Figure Skating established a Memorial Fund to be a living memorial
to the members of the 1961 U.S. World Figure Skating Team.  The mission
of the Memorial Fund is to provide qualified U.S. Figure Skating members
in need of financial aid with monetary assistance through skating and
academic scholarships to pursue their goals both inside and outside the
competitive arena.

Today, we pay tribute to all who lost their lives in the crash of Sabena
Airlines Flight 548, including a talented group of individuals who
exemplified the principles of excellence and personal achievement that
we all cherish. 


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