If at first you don't succeed ...

Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

Michelle Kwan, left, was the U.S. champion in 1998, but Tara Lipinksi, center, went on to win Olympic gold in Nagano.

With three Olympic bids on the line, all eyes will be the women's free skate at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston on Saturday night. Gracie Gold will take the lead into the final skate after her dazzling performance in Thursday's short program. Polina Edmunds is in second, followed by Mirai Nagasu in third and defending U.S. champion Ashley Wagner in fourth. But recent history indicates that it might be better to not finish in first. The last American to win the U.S. title and go on to win the Olympic gold medal the same year was Kristi Yamaguchi in 1992. The last American to strike Olympic gold, Sarah Hughes in 2002, finished third at the U.S. Championships that year. At the previous Olympics, Tara Lipinski took home gold after finishing second at the U.S. Championships. Michelle Kwan, the U.S. champion in both 1998 and 2002, finished with the silver and bronze medals respectively.