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Nicole Bobek      

Former U.S. National Champion in Figure Skating

Nicole Bobek (born August 23, 1977) is a retired American figure skater. She is the 1995 U.S. national champion and 1995 World bronze medalist. She also competed at the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Bobek's interest in skating started when she was three.[2] Carlo Fassi coached her in 1989 and 1990 and then returned to Italy for three years.[4]

At age 11, Bobek won the novice silver medal at the 1989 U.S. Championships. In the next few seasons, she worked her way up the competitive rankings at the national level. She was known as an athletic jumper and a charismatic performer, but an erratic competitor and undisciplined student, often arriving late to training and skipping school.[1] Bobek placed 4th at the 1991 World Junior Championships, but the next year dropped to 16th at the same event. She made her first appearance at the senior World Championships in 1994, as an alternate (after both Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding dropped out of the event), but failed to advance out of the qualifying round. She was coached by Evy Scotvold until the summer of 1994.[5]

In late August 1994, Bobek joined Richard Callaghan at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. On November 27, 1994, she sustained a deep puncture wound in her neck when she was attacked by a friend's dog, but she still competed at the Thrifty Car Rental International Challenge several days later. The 1994–95 season brought Bobek her greatest competitive success; she won gold at the U.S. Championships, followed by the bronze medal at the World Championships. In late 1995, she toured with an ice show production of The Nutcracker, rather than rehabilitate an ankle injury or train for the upcoming 1996 U.S. Championships. The injury forced her out of the event after the short program. She changed coaches in the summer of 1996, joining Carlo Fassi at the Ice Castle International Training Center in Lake Arrowhead, California.

Bobek struggled with back problems during the 1996-97 season but won the bronze medal at the 1997 U.S. Championships. Her coach Carlo Fassi died from a heart attack at the 1997 World Championships.[9] She was coached for a time by his widow, Christa Fassi, in Lake Arrowhead, California. She won bronze at the 1998 U.S. Nationals. At the 1998 Winter Olympics, she was impaired by a hip injury and finished in 17th-place. She withdrew from the subsequent World Championships due to a hip injury.

In the summer of 1998, Bobek left her coach, Christa Fassi, and returned to Richard Callaghan in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She finished 4th at the 1998 Skate America and won silver at the 1998 Trophée Lalique. She did not compete at the 1999 U.S. Championships. In August 1999, she began working with coach Kerry Leitch in Bradenton, Florida. Bobek withdrew from her two Grand Prix assignments, the 1999 Sparkassen Cup on Ice and 1999 Trophée Lalique, after falling ill in early November with an internal infection and a reaction to prescription drugs. She missed the qualifying events for the 2000 U.S. Championships and her application for a medical bye was declined. Although Bobek suggested in an April 2000 interview that she had not ended her competitive career, she never returned to competition.

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