Retrospective moves on to the 1994 Olympics The key facts in relation to these Olympics are:- Alexei Urmanov wins the Olympic title. In doing so, he produced the performance of his life, as he was not the favourite going into the Olympics, having only recently finished 3rd at the European Championships (won by Viktor Petrenko). The favourites were world champion, Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko (who had just defeated Browning at Nationals), and Viktor Petrenko (the defending Olympic champion who had not only just won Europeans, but also Skate America and the Nations Cup). Browning had a disastrous SP, falling on a 3F and singling out on his 2A. This left him in just 12th place after the SP. However, a 3rd placed finish in the LP, moved him up to the 5th overall. Petrenko also had a very poor SP. In his combination, he stepped out of the 3A and doubled out on his 3T. He also had a double footed landing on an under-rotated 3Z. This left him 9th after the SP, but a 4th placed finish in the FS moved him up to 4th overall. A superb SP by Urmanov (3A+2T, 3Z, 2A) to Rigoletto by Verdi, won him that part of the competition. Hence, he entered the LP in 1st, with Stojko 2nd, and Candeloro 3rd. Although Urmanov stepped out on the landing of a 3F in his FS (and had no quad), he did enough to win the FS segment, and therefore, the Olympic title. Stojko finished 2nd in the LP to take the silver medal, and Candeloro hung on for the Bronze with a 5th placed finish in the FS. Urmanov ultimately became only the second men's skater after Robin Cousins to win the Olympic title without ever becoming world champion (Ilia Kulik would later become the third). He was also the first of 4 consecutive Russian men's Olympic champions. Urmanov produced no quad in either of his programs and it was expected that he would be the last men's skater to win the Olympic title without a quad, when Ilia Kulik (1998), Alexei Yagudin (2002), and Evgeni Plushenko (2006), all produced quads to win their Olympic titles. Nevertheless, in 2010, Evan Lysacek won the Olympic title without a quad. Zhang Min lands the first ever clean quad (a 4T) at the Olympics. He would go on to finish 20th overall. On the 6th January 1994, Nancy Kerrigan was attacked by Shane Stant with an ASP baton which struck Kerrigan on the thigh just above her right knee. It was later discovered that Tonya Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and her bodyguard, Shawn Eckardt, had hired Stant to carry out the attack with a view to preventing Kerrigan from competing at both the forthcoming National Championships, and the Olympics. The incident became known as, "the whack heard round the world." Whilst Kerrigan's right leg/knee was fortunately not broken, fractured, or damaged, apart from bruising, the severe bruising she sustained prevented her from competing at Nationals, which Harding won. Nevertheless, as Kerrigan was able to quickly recover from the attack physically, she was selected for the Olympic team ahead of Michelle Kwan who had finished 2nd at Nationals. As the attack on Kerrigan and its aftermath was partially caught on camera, and on account of Harding's alleged involvement, the incident generated a media frenzy - Tonya/Nancy saga: parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Whilst Harding competed in the Olympics, finishing 8th, she ultimately pleaded guilty "to hindering the investigation of the...attack." She received 3 years probation, had to do 500 hours community service, and had to pay $160,000 in fines and other monies. It was a part of the plea bargain, that she had to withdraw from the 1994 World Championships and resign from the USFSA. Ultimately, she was also stripped of her 1994 U.S. National title and she received a life ban from participating in USFSA-run events as either a coach or a skater. The USFSA concluded, after conducting its own investigation, that Harding had shown: "a clear disregard for fairness, good sportsmanship and ethical behavior," and William Hybl who had chaired the panel stated: "By a preponderance of the evidence, the panel did conclude that she had prior knowledge and was involved prior to the incident." The Olympic ladies competition itself would end up being one of the closest in Olympic figure skating history. The favourites going into the event were Kerrigan and world champion, Oksana Baiul. Kerrigan led after a confident and poised SP, with Baiul a close 2nd (Bonaly 3rd). However, during a practice session, Baiul and Szewczenko collided with one another whilst they were both preparing to do 3Z's. As a result of the collision, Baiul sustained a cut to her right shin which required 3 stitches, and painful back and shoulder injuries which required 2 Olympic-approved pain-killing injections, without which she would not have been able to compete in the FS. In the LP, whilst Baiul and Kerrigan both performed brilliantly, it was Baiul who had the edge with the greater artistry, charisma, and verve. Whilst her back and shoulder injuries, and the pain-killing injections, hindered her in terms of some of her jumps, she had the x-factor which connected with the audience, and ultimately that enabled her to win both the FS and the Olympic title. Kerrigan won the Silver, and a 3rd placed finish in the LP moved Chen Lu up to 3rd overall. A relaxation in the rules allowed some skaters who had turned professional to compete at the 1994 Olympics. This enabled 1988 Olympic champions, Katarina Witt and Brian Boitano to participate. Boitano would finish 6th, whilst Katarina Witt finished 7th. As the sport had moved on technically, Katarina Witt stated that she went into the competition without any realistic hopes of winning, but simply to sample the Olympic experience one last time. Whilst her FS was, from a technical standpoint, well behind those who finished ahead of her, artistically it was one of the highlights of the competition. She skated to "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?", in a moving tribute to the then war-torn city of Sarajevo, the host city of the 1984 Olympics where she had won her first Olympic title. The pairs competition came down to a battle between the returning 2 previous Olympic champions, Gordeeva & Grinkov and Mishkutenok & Dmitriev. Gordeeva & Grinkov were the 1988 Olympic champions and 4 time world champions. They had retired after winning the 1990 world title. Mishkutenok & Dmitriev were the 1992 Olympic champions and 2 time world champions. They had retired after winning the 1992 world title. Both pairs decided to return for the 1993/94 season in order to compete at the 1994 Olympics. Ultimately, Gordeeva & Grinkov won both the SP and the LP to take the Olympic title, with Mishkutenok & Dmitriev finishing 2nd overall. Nevertheless, Mishkutenok & Dmitriev performed their Rachmaninov LP brilliantly, and many believe that they were under-marked. Hence, whilst Gordeeva & Grinkov produced the better performance overall, and deserved their win, the scores should have been closer than they were. Of the previous Olympic champions who had returned to competition after a period out after having turned professional, Gordeeva & Grinkov were the only ones to regain the Olympic title. 1984 Olympic Ice Dance champions, Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean, also returned to compete at these Olympics. However, whilst Witt and Boitano were returning after a 6 year gap, Torvill & Dean were returning after an astonishing 10 year gap, and they were by this time, 36 and 35 years old respectively. Most believed that they stood no chance of winning a medal. However, they were to make an incredible comeback to international competition by winning the 1994 European Championships, beating world champions, Maya Usova & Alexander Zhulin, and world silver medallists, Oksana Grishuk & Evgeni Platov, in the process. Nevertheless, it was Grishuk & Platov who would go on to win the Olympic title, with Usova & Zhulin taking the silver. Torvill & Dean would finish a very creditable 3rd. Grishuk & Platov would go on to dominate ice dancing over the next 4 years, winning 20 consecutive competitions between 1994 and 1998 in the process, including a 2nd Olympic title. In fact, their defeat to Torvill & Dean at the 1994 European Championships, would prove to be the final defeat of their career. Here are the videos for the medal winning and other performances:- MEN'S Gold: Alexei Urmanov (Russia) Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition, Medal Ceremony, Profile Silver: Elvis Stojko (Canada) Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition, Interview Bronze: Philippe Candeloro (France) Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition, 4th: Viktor Petrenko (Ukraine) Short Program, Free Skate 5th: Kurt Browning (Canada) Short Program, Free Skate 6th: Brian Boitano (USA) Short Program, Free Skate 7th: Éric Millot (France) Short Program, Free Skate 8th: Scott Davis (USA) Short Program, Free Skate 9th: Steven Cousins (GBR) Short Program, Free Skate 10th: Sébastien Britten (Canada) Short Program, Free Skate 11th: Oleg Tataurov (Russia) Short Program, Free Skate 12th: Masakazu Kagiyama (Japan) Short Program 13th: Michael Tyllesen (Denmark) Short Program 14th: Cornel Gheorghe (Romania) Short Program, Free Skate 15th: Igor Pashkevich (Russia) Short Program 16th: Michael Shmerkin (Israel) Free Skate 17th: Jung Sung-II (South Korea) Short Program 18th: Stephen Carr (Australia) Short Program, Free Skate 19th: Marius Negrea (Romania) Free Skate 20th: Zhang Min (China) Landing the first quad (a 4T) at the Olympics LADIES Gold: Oksana Baiul (Ukraine) Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition, Medal Ceremony, Profile Silver: Nancy Kerrigan (USA) Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition, Profile, Profile 2 Bronze: Chen Lu (China) Short Program, Free Skate, Profile 4th: Surya Bonaly (France) Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition 5th: Yuka Sato (Japan) Short Program, Free Skate 6th: Tanja Szewczenko (Germany) Short Program, Free Skate 7th: Katarina Witt (Germany) Short Program, Free Skate 8th: Tonya Harding (USA) Short Program, Free Skate 1, Free Skate 2 9th: Josée Chouinard (Canada) Short Program, Free Skate, Interview 10th: Anna Rechnio (Poland) Short Program, Free Skate 11th: Krisztina Czakó (Hungary) Short Program, Free Skate 12th: Mila Kajas (Finland) Short Program, Free Skate 13th: Lenka Kulovaná (Czech Republic) Short Program, Free Skate 14th: Marie-Pierre Leray (France) Short Program, Free Skate 15th: Charlene Von Saher (GBR) Short Program, Free Skate 16th: Nathalie Krieg (Switzerland) Short Program 17th: Laetitia Hubert (France) Short Program 18th: Rena Inoue (Japan) Short Program 19th: Elena Liashenko (Ukraine) Short Program 20th: Marta Andrade (Spain) Short Program, Free Skate PAIRS Gold: Ekaterina Gordeeva / Sergei Grinkov (Russia) Short Program, Long Program, Exhibition, Medal Ceremony - P1, Medal Ceremony - P2, Profile Silver: Natalia Mishkutenok / Artur Dmitriev (Russia) Short Program, Long Program, Exhibition, Profile Bronze: Isabelle Brasseur / Lloyd Eisler (Canada) Short Program, Long Program, Exhibition, Profile 4th: Evgenia Shishkova / Vadim Naumov (Russia) Short Program, Long Program 5th: Jenni Meno / Todd Sand (USA) Short Program, Long Program 6th: Radka Kovaříková / René Novotný (Czech Republic) Short Program, Long Program 7th: Peggy Schwarz / Alexander König (Germany) Short Program 8th: Elena Berezhnaya / Oleg Shliakhov (Latvia) Short Program 9th: Kyoko Ina / Jason Dungjen (USA) Short Program, Long Program 10th: Kristy Sargeant / Kris Wirtz (Canada) Short Program, Long Program 11th: Danielle Carr / Stephen Carr (Australia) Short Program, Profile 12th: Jamie Salé / Jason Turner (Canada) Short Program, Long Program 13th: Anuschka Gläser / Axel Rauschenbach (Germany) Short Program 14th: Karen Courtland / Todd Reynolds (USA) Short Program, Long Program 15th: Jacqueline Soames / John Jenkins (GBR) Short Program, 16th: Elena Belousovskaya / Igor Malyar (Ukraine) Short Program WD: Mandy Wötzel / Ingo Steuer (Germany) Short Program, Long Program ICE DANCE Gold: Oksana Grishuk / Evgeni Platov (Russia) CD1, CD2, Original Dance, Free Dance, Medal Ceremony, Profile Silver: Maya Usova / Alexander Zhulin (Russia) CD1, CD2, Original Dance, Free Dance Bronze: Jayne Torvill / Christopher Dean (Great Britain) CD1, CD2, Original Dance, Free Dance, Exhibition, Profile 4th: Susanna Rahkamo / Petri Kokko (Finland) Original Dance, Free Dance 5th: Sophie Moniotte / Pascal Lavanchy (France) CD1, Original Dance, Free Dance 6th: Anjelika Krylova / Vladimir Fedorov (Russia) Original Dance, Free Dance 7th: Irina Romanova / Igor Yaroshenko (Ukraine) CD1, Original Dance 8th: Kateřina Mrázová / Martin Šimeček (Czech Republic) Free Dance 9th: Jennifer Goolsbee / Hendryk Schamberger (Germany) Original Dance, Free Dance 10th: Shae-Lynn Bourne / Victor Kraatz (Canada) Original Dance, Free Dance 11th: Tatiana Navka / Samuel Gezalian (Belarus) Original Dance, Free Dance 12th: Margarita Drobiazko / Povilas Vanagas (Lithuania) CD2, Original Dance, Free Dance 13th: Aliki Stergiadu / Juris Razgulaevs (Uzbekistan) Original Dance, Free Dance 14th: Berangere Nau / Luc Moneger (France) Original Dance, Free Dance 15th: Elizabeth Punsalan / Jerod Swallow (USA) CD2, Original Dance, Free Dance 16th: Radmilla Chrobokova / Milan Brzy (Czech Republic) Original Dance, Free Dance 17th: Agnieszka Domańska / Marcin Głowacki (Poland) Free Dance 19th: Svetlana Chernikova / Alexander Sosnenko (Ukraine) Original Dance 20th: Enikő Berkes / Szilárd Tóth (Hungary) Original Dance Note: whilst I refer to 'short programs' re the men's, ladies, and pairs events, they were still known as 'technical programs' back in 1994.