Famous American Female Figure Skaters

She also was taking two oxygen-boosting medications not banned in sports. A Chicago native, Jeff Mezydlo has professionally written about sports, entertainment and pop culture for nearly 30 years. If he could do it again, he’d attend Degrassi Junior High, Ampipe High and Grand Lakes University. “I was just disappointed in myself again because I know that I could have brought a bit more and trusted myself to do a bit more in that second half,” Glenn said. “To go from that, feeling like my success was slipping away, to realizing that I had it, it was a mixture of happiness, of course. This wasn’t exactly how I wanted to get my first national title but I’m incredibly thankful for it.” Her expressive performances and dynamic spins pushed the boundaries of the sport and captivated audiences worldwide.

During the early portion of the 20th century, there were not many better than Sweden’s Salchow. He won gold at the 1908 Olympics in London (back when skating was held during the Summer Games), but his real claim to fame at the time were his 10 world championship gold medals in men’s singles. The latter is still a world record for men and shared with the great Sonja Henie and Irina Rodnina. OK, this will be the first of a few times we’ll take the liberty of offering a skating two for one.

  1. Despite suffering from chronic depression for much of her adult life, Dorothy Hamill served as a mentor to Rachael Flatt, who won the gold medal at the 2008 World Junior Figure Skating Championships.
  2. The demoted Russians drop into third place, one point ahead of Canada even after being stripped of the points the then-15-year-old Valieva earned on the ice.
  3. Later, she continued at Holiday on Ice in the United States and in western Europe.
  4. For years Button was a staple as a television analyst, most notably for ABC.

While still competing, Vinson Owen became the first female sportswriter at the New York Times. Her feat of nine U.S. ladies titles was later matched by Michelle Kwan. Vinson Owen died while traveling to the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships when Sabena Flight 548 crashed just outside Brussels. In 1988, Witt started a professional career – rare for East German athletes. She spent three years on tour in the United States with Brian Boitano, also an Olympic champion. Their show, “Witt and Boitano Skating”, was so successful that for the first time in ten years, New York’s Madison Square Garden was sold out for an ice show.

Kristi Yamaguchi

The 29-year-old didn’t have his best short program in Columbus, having one point deducted for a fall, which landed him in third place, but no stranger to road bumps, the veteran remained positive after his performance. That crowd was treated to another bit of history within the women’s free skate program during Mia Kalin’s performance earlier in the event. Although she didn’t finish on the podium, the 15-year-old became the first woman to cleanly land a quadruple jump (a skill with four turns, also known as a “quad”) at the U.S.

In the realm of pairs skating, Gordeeva and Grinkov were among the best — and most tragic. The 1994 gold medalists at Lillehammer and four-time world champions were skating royalty when Grinkov collapsed during a training session in November 1995 and died from a massive attack. He was just 28 years old, and Gordeeva was 24 at the time, with a 3-year-old daughter. There’s a good bet any young girl with dark hair living in America in the mid-to-late 1970s sported the famed Dorothy Hamill bobbed haircut. Especially in 1976, when the 19-year-old became America’s skating sweetheart while winning Olympic gold and also placing first at the world championships.

She was expected to be in a fierce three-person fight for only two spots on the German Olympic team with both young rising star Tanja Szewczenko and veteran Marina Kielmann, who was almost the same age as Witt. She finished second at the German Championships behind Szewczenko, but above Kielmann. She and Szewczenko thus gained the two available spots ahead of Kielmann for the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, where she finished seventh. In a dramatic buildup, she would also draw last to skate, and get to close the show in her final Olympic skate, after the medalists had already been determined. Her free program to the music “Sag mir wo die Blumen sind” (an arrangement of the Pete Seeger folksong “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”) included a peace message for the people of Sarajevo, the site of her first Olympic victory.

Witt then went on to win her first World title in dominant fashion (without Sumners) winning all three phases of the competition. She said then she planned to continue a while longer but did not see herself likely making it to the 1988 Calgary Olympics. Arguably the greatest pairs skater in the history of the sport, Rodnina was a force for the Soviet Union from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. Rodnina is the only skater to win 10 straight world championships ( ) and three consecutive Olympics gold medals (1972, ’76 and ’80) for pairs skating. Teamed with Alexei Ulanov then Alexander Zaitsev, Rodnina was the first pairs skater to win Olympic gold with two different partners. Perhaps the greatest female skater in U.S. history, Kwan never won Olympic gold but did capture silver in 1998 and the bronze in 2002.

Witt and Sumners held the top two spots heading into the Olympic free skate, which was worth fifty percent of the total score. Witt landed three triple jumps in her free skate program, and the judges left room for Sumners to win the event. Sumners scaled back two of her jumps and Witt won the long program by one-tenth of a point on one judge’s scorecard. Witt won the gold medal aged 18 years and 77 days, becoming one of the youngest Olympic figure skating champions.

Tara Lipinski, 39

However, she stepped out of three jumps, including the legendary triple flip, the complex element she was the very first woman to accomplish, and a relatively easy double axel, which cost her the long program win and the overall gold medal. The eventual winner of the competition was Elaine Zayak, who landed six triples. The next season, she won her first European title but finished off the World podium in fourth place, because she was 8th in compulsory figures despite winning the combined free skating.

She clinched Olympic gold at the 1960 Squaw Valley Games, dazzling audiences with her athleticism and grace. Yamaguchi, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan represent the only nation to sweep a ladies World podium. In 1996, Yamaguchi started the Always famous ice skaters female Dream Foundation, which focuses on childhood literacy. The foundation, in its 25th year, also provides underserved communities with afterschool programs, computers, back-to-school clothes and summer camps for children with disabilities.

Celebrating the women of U.S. Figure Skating

In pairs, Canada’s Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps lead with a 69.48, four points ahead of reigning world champs Miura Riku and Kihara Ryuichi (65.61), who were on competitive ice for the first time since September. The unprecedented turmoil of canceling the medal ceremony at the Olympics https://accounting-services.net/ has tested the rules of figure skating’s team event, which debuted at the 2014 Sochi Games. The Russians and Canadians traded gold and silver at the first two editions. The Americans moved into the gold medal position in the team event and Japan has been upgraded to silver from bronze.

After retiring from competitive skating, She has worked as a commentator for numerous figure skating events, including the Olympics. Kristi Yamaguchi is a retired American figure skater who competed in the women’s singles event. These skaters and countless others stand as testaments to the enduring power and inspiring legacy of American women in figure skating. Skating last, Kagiyama nailed a quadruple Salchow to open his “Believer” short, then added a quad toe-triple toe followed by an aggressive triple Axel. Reigning world silver medallist Cha Jun-hwan of the Republic of Korea rounds out the top three with a 95.30 in what was a quality final group in the men’s short program on Thursday evening (1 February) in Shanghai. Olympic and world medallist Kagiyama Yuma was just a point off of his career-best short program score to skate into the lead at the 2024 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.

The IOC executive board will next meet from March in Lausanne, at the same time Canada hosts the figure skating world championships in Montreal. GENEVA (AP) — Despite the disqualification of Kamila Valieva in a doping case, the Russian figure skating team still stands to finish on the podium and get bronze medals from the 2022 Beijing Olympics behind the United States and Japan. In 1976, the creative and supremely talented Curry won gold at both the Olympics and the world championships.

However, Kwan is a five-time world champion and her amazing nine national titles are tied for the most in U.S. history. Kwan has also done well for herself off the ice through commentary, endorsements, film work and speaking engagements — making her one of the most popular athletes in all of American sports. In 1994, Witt made a comeback to the competitive-skating scene, coached again by Jutta Müller.

Katarina Witt

He’s the only male skater to win Olympic gold with two different partners, first, with Natalia Mishkutionok at the 1992 Games in Albertvill and then in ’98 while teamed with Oksana Kazakova at Nagano. Dmitriev and Mishkutionok also took home silver at the ’94 Olympics in Lillehammer. She captured the hearts of the world and the gold medal at the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics, becoming the last female skater to win without a triple jump. Renowned for her powerful skating jumps and spins, she was among the first female skaters to land the double axel, pushing the technical boundaries of the sport. The Olympic silver medallist was brilliant as the final skater in the men’s short program after strong performances from Sato, Cha and others in the final group in Shanghai.


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