I'd like to add Philippe Candeloro's 2nd Olympic bronze. He had a couple of bad seasons behind him and there were at least five skaters that most of us thought of being beyond his reach: Stojko, Eldredge, Kulik, Urmanov and Yagudin. Then Urmanov was out because of injury, Yagudin fell ill and Eldredge fell apart. Candeloro had the skate of his life and was really worthy of that medal. (btw, I'm not a fan of his, just that one skate.)
Denkova /Staviski-they had few ups and downs too - after Denkova's major injury in 2000 in 3 years they climbed to second place in 2004 EC and 2004 WC, the following year wasn,t very succesful but after switching their coaching team they became World Cahmpions in 2006 and 2007 at age of 32-33 for Albena and 29-30 for Maxim.
I don't anyone would have predicted Denkova/Staviski to win Worlds two years in a row after Torino. They seemed to be on their way out then one month later, they beat teams that handily beat them in Torino.
A conspiracy theorist could have a field day with that, but you know
"Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce
I remember when she was 14 she was considered the next great thing because of her jumping and outgoing performance personality. Then she had a few awkward growth years (Like Baiul and Meissner) where she gained a lot of weight, couldn't jump, and lost her confidence. Everyone wrote her off as another puberty victim. Then she reappeared and became one of the women to beat. In her 20's she won an Olympic silver and a World Championship.