Figure Skating's Hall of Fame

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San Diego Figure Skating Communications

Gustave Lussi

1898 - 1993

died on June 23, 1993, at the age of 95.

It was the ability of Gus Lussi to analyze what he saw, through the application
of physics, he was able to develop a systematic approach starting from the
performance of basic edges and turns that could be applied to free skating
principals for jumping and spinning.  He achieved this without the benefit
of advance computer and video technology.  A man who truly advanced the
sport of figure skating and was visionary aahead of his time who left his mark
on the sport of figure skating.

    Lussi was born in Stans, Switzerland in 1898.  Lussi himself was not a competitive skater, but a ski jumper.  Because of limited funds, he was unable to compete as an amateur ice skater, but he learned to skate from a top professional in Switzerland in exchange for later becoming his coach's assistant. He vowed that if he could not become a World Champion himself, he would make one through his teaching abilities.

    He emigrated to the United States at the age of 20, just after World War I, and settled in Philadelphia. Moving to Toronto, Canada, he taught Montgomery "Bud' Wilson and his sister Constance who dominated North American skating in singles and pairs from the late 1920's to the 1930's.

    He passed the Canadian Gold Medal in 1931, only the sixth person to do so, and was the first teaching professional ever to pass the highest USFSA figure test. In 1932, Lussi moved to Lake Placid, New York. In those days the Olympic rink in Lake Placid was one of a few rinks in the world that provided summer ice.

    Lussi's students are known for their superb spinning technique. Lussi was also responsible for develop- ing modern figure skating jump technique, including the now-standard cross-legged or back spin position in the air. His pupil Dick Button was the first to perform a triple jump, and his students were also the pioneers of flying spins such as the flying camel and flying sit spin which are now a standard part of every elite skater's repertoire.

    His students included many champions such as - Barbara Ann Scott, Dick Button, Donald Jackson, Ronnie Robertson, Ron Ludington, Barbara Ann Scott, David Jenkins, Hayes Jenkins, Dorothy Hamill (during her novice years), John Misha Petkevich, John Curry, and others.

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A web site for figure skaters of all ages involved in
Basic Skating Skills and USFS Figure Skating programs

The information on this site is provided to support skater's efforts to
achieve their full potential in the pursuit of his/her skating goals, and to transfer
those skills to their future education, career, and other life activities.

    Information is an important tool that provides a basis for the articles being developed. The goal is to help facilitate communications between judges and coaches that provides the technical descriptions  coaches use in their teaching and for judges the basis they use to arrive at the minimum standard for passing each level of tests.

  Comments and suggestions are welcomed so a balance of different perspectives can be achieved. Input from coaches and judges will help to achieve a consensus. We hope our efforts will result in skaters who are well prepared to test and receive a uniform evaluation by judges from rink to rink.

San Diego Figure Skating Communications (SDFSC) goal is to provide information
that encourages participation and achievement in the sport of figure skating.
Articles are continuously under development to serve as reading/reference
materials for seminars with an audience of skaters, parents, coaches, and judges.

Suggestions and comments from rink management, coaches,
     choreographers, judges, skaters, and parents are welcomed. 

San Diego Figure Skating Communications