- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 8, 2002


Who is the first American to land the quad? It depends on who you ask.

At the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 1997, Michael Weiss was rewarded by the judges for landing a quad toe loop and became the first American to do a four-rotation jump in competition. But he held the distinction only briefly. Video footage revealed that he had two-footed the landing.

Weiss did successfully land the quad toe loop during the qualifying round for the 1999 World Championships, but by then another American had beaten him to it. Timothy Goebel landed the quad Salchow at the ISU Junior Champions Series in 1998.

Some still consider Weiss to be the first. According to his father, Greg Weiss, Michael barely brushed the ice with his second foot, a move so subtle the judges at the competition didn't notice. Technically, though, the jump could not be counted as the first.

There is also controversy over the first quad in the world.

Canadian Kurt Browning landed the quad toe loop at the 1988 World Championships and was given credit for being the first man to do so and is even listed in the Guiness Book of World Records.

But some believe the record should go to Jozef "Jumpin' Joe" Sabovcik of Czechoslovakia, who performed a quad at the 1986 European Championships. Like Weiss, he brushed the ice with his free leg and his jump wasn't clean.

According to Greg Weiss, Browning called Michael Weiss after his two-footed landing in 1997.

"Kurt said, 'I got credit for doing the first quad, but I two-footed it all the way,'" Greg Weiss said.

Should a two-footed landing count as a completed jump? Do Browning and Goebel deserve the credit? It's all just part of the subjective nature of figure skating.

Jenine M. Zimmers

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