The U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held annually since 1914, is the nation’s most prestigious figure skating event, with past winners including Michelle Kwan, Kristi Yamaguchi and Scott Hamilton.
In addition to determining the U.S. champions, the event serves as the final step in determining the U.S. teams for the World Figure Skating Championships, World Junior Figure Skating Championships, Four Continents Figure Skating Championships and Olympic Winter Games.
The road to the U.S. Championships each year begins with the U.S. Figure Skating qualifying structure of nine regional events and three sectional events. Skaters who place in the top four at a regional qualify for a sectional; skaters who place in the top four at a sectional qualify for the U.S. Championships. Skaters compete in the region and section that correspond with the location of their skating club.
Some skaters may receive byes that qualify them automatically for the U.S. Championships, including skaters with an international competition that conflicts with a regional or sectional, senior-level skaters or teams placing in the top five at the previous year’s U.S. Championships, skaters or teams who won a medal at the most recent Olympic Winter Games and skaters or teams who won a medal at the most recent World Championships.