Weiss on Ice
Freshman Everett Weiss has his eye on
three national figure skating championships, but for him, education still comes first.
WHEN EVERETT WEISS was 13, he slipped into a coma after a violent reaction to medical treatment for severe bronchial asthma.
Weiss’ doctor attributed his unlikely recovery one week later to the four years he had dedicated to competitive figure-skating.
“The doctors said that nine out of 10 kids would have died, but that skating had provided me with a healthy enough heart and lungs that they could pull me through,” Weiss says. “[The incident] inspired me to devote myself even more to my skating, and it made me want to give something back to the community – and that was life.”
Weiss, who is from Albuquerque, is a freshman enrolled in USC’s Baccalaureate-M.D. program, which guarantees a select number of incoming freshmen admission to the School of Medicine after they
finish their undergraduate work. His high school achievements also earned him a Trustee Scholarship.
“Academics come first and foremost – that’s always been my philosophy,” he says. “Too many times I’ve seen injuries that have taken athletes out of competition with a blink of an eye, and they don’t have anything to fall back on because they didn’t keep up with their education.”
However, he has no intention of giving up skating in the near future. He holds two national figure-skating titles and has his eye on a third.
Over the past five months he has been preparing to defend his title as the 1996 U.S. men’s compulsory figure-skating champion. In the compulsory event, which puts skaters through rigidly defined routines, Weiss skates at the highest level, although the trials are not televised and the event was recently dropped from the Olympics. The title will be decided in February in Nashville.
He also reigns as the national collegiate junior men’s free-skating champion, a title he won in August while representing USC, though he didn’t enroll until two weeks later. The junior level is a step below championship level, whose trials are qualifying events for the Olympics and are usually televised.
vWeiss also holds high hopes for his third specialty: pairs skating. Last spring he found a new partner, and they are progressing rapidly, he says. “We have a very good chance of be-coming the novice national champions” in Nashville.

THOUGH WEISS LONGS for national titles in all three events, it will be a tough balancing act for the young biology major.
He skates seven days a week, from 1-1/2 to 5 hours a day. He spends most of his time training at the Skating Edge, the Torrance rink made famous by 1996 world figure-skating champion Michelle Kwan. His trainer, Dee Goldstein, is based in Torrance; one of the reasons that Weiss decided to attend USC was to be closer to her.
If anyone’s up to the challenge of
winning a national title, it’s Weiss, according to his coach. When he decided three years ago to train with Goldstein, he committed himself to a grueling commute, traveling three or four days out of every month from Albuquerque for intensive training. Between training sessions he completed schoolwork given to him in advance. Even while making up schoolwork on the road, he graduated from prep school with a 4.37 GPA under a weighted-scale system which gives extra value to advanced placement and honor classes.
“When Everett sets goals,” Goldstein says, “he achieves more than most people would ever achieve.”

-Meg Sullivan

  



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Light Up and Be Sorry
Sept. 29 Los Angeles Times Magazine article on the cigar craze quoted dentistry pathologist Raymond J. Melrose, who
“believes the boom is a tobacco industry marketing ploy. ‘There is no such thing as a safe tobacco product,’ he says.” Melrose presented statistics showing cigar smokers have four to 10 times the risk of dying from laryngeal, oral and esophageal cancers as non-smokers.
Photograph of Everett Weiss by Irene Fertik
Photograph of cigar by Dan Logan

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