In 1993, Figure Skating was the SECOND most popular spectator sport. In the 1993 National Sports Study II, considered by the Associated Press as the largest study of spectator sport popularity in America, ladies' figure skating was the second most popular spectator sport in America, just behind NFL football out of over 100 sports surveyed. The 1993 study found that three figure skaters Dorothy Hamill, Peggy Fleming, and Scott Hamilton were among the eight most popular athletes in the United States, out of over 800 athletes surveyed. Dorothy Hamill was statistically tied with Mary Lou Retton as the most popular athlete in America. The Tonya Harding scandal in 1994 increased interest in figure skating. The first night of the ladies' figure skating competition in the 1994 Winter Olympics achieved higher TV Nielsen ratings than that year's Super Bowl and was the most watched sports television program of all-time, to that date. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figure_skating In 2001, figure skating was the 4th most popular sport beating out college basketball. http://www.gallup.com/poll/1786/more-americans-fans-pro-football-than-any-other-sport.aspx Now, figure skating does not even make the top ten. http://www.therichest.org/sports/most-popular-sports-in-america/ What happened and what can we do to change this?