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LIPINSKI FALTERS AT NATIONALS, COULD STILL GO TO OLYMPICS
Published January 9, 1998
Tara Lipinski "took a nasty fall to place fourth" in the short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships yesterday, according to USA TODAY's Debbie Becker. The next chapter "comes in Saturday night's final event, when the U.S. champion is crowned and three women are named to the Olympic team" (USA TODAY, 1/9). In Boston, John Powers reports that even if Lipinski doesn't finish in the top three, the USFSA's int'l committee "could vote her onto the team based on her results over the past two seasons." But Nicole Bobek, currently in second place, said, "Whoever places what here, they should be sent" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/9). NOTES: Campbell's spokesperson Kevin Lowery, on the company's decision to feature Lipinski, Kwan and Bobek on soup cans even though the Olympic squad is not yet set and one of the three could be left off the team: "This is our campaign. We would not change it." Lowery said that the three were chosen because of their name recognition, and added, "This is not at all a campaign about who's going to the next level. This is a way to help personify our interest in creating awareness about U.S. figure skating" (Ken Rosenthal, Baltimore SUN, 1/9)....In Philadelphia, Francesca Chapman reports that "women vastly outnumber the men" in attending the skating championships. CBS Sports Producer David Winner estimates figure skating's audience to be about 60% female (DAILY NEWS, 1/9)....USA TODAY's Debbie Becker reports that an Olympic title for Kwan or Lipinski would be worth more than $15M in performance and appearance fees, "particularly if they delay turning professional and compete in the 2002 Olympics" (USA TODAY, 1/9).