As a new season begins, its worth looking back at previous world championships in the lead up to the 2012 Worlds.
Thought I would begin with the 1978 Worlds - perhaps remembered most for two skaters who didn't medal. Firstly, Vern Taylor, who performed the very first triple Axel in international competition, and secondly, Denise Biellmann, who despite another splendid free skate could still only finish fifth - showing once again that several years after Janet Lynn had retired, talented skaters were still being held back by the school figures. In my opinion, Denise Biellmann by today's standards was probably the best ladies singles figure skater of the late 1970's and early 1980's.
These championships also marked the second consecutive year re the intense rivalry between Anett Potzsch and Linda Fratianne. On this occasion, Potzsch won. Ultimately, they would both end up with 2 world titles each and the rivalry would culminate in the highly controversial result at the 1980 Olympics - again won by Potzsch. However, there are many that argue that Fratianne should have won the Olympic title, and there are many others (me included) who believe that Biellmann should have won it. Biellmann actually won both the short program and the free skate during that Olympic competition, but because she finished 12th in the school figures - she didn't even get a medal!! Ludicrous. Hence, had the contest been held without the school figures, Biellmann would have won the Olympic title by a country mile.
Here are some videos from the 1978 Worlds:-
Gold - Charles Tickner - USA
Silver - Jan Hoffmann - East Germany
Bronze - Robin Cousins - GBR
12th - Vern Taylor - Can
Gold - Anett Potzsch - East Germany
Silver - Linda Fratianne - USA
Bronze - Susanna Driano - Italy
5th - Denise Biellmann - Switzerland
Gold - Irina Rodnina & Alexander Zaitsev - USSR
Silver - Manuela Mager & Uwe Bewerdorf - East Germany (No Video Available)
Bronze - Tai Babilonia & Randy Gardner - USA
Gold - Natalia Linichuk & Gennadi Karponosov - USSR
Silver - Irina Moiseeva & Andrei Minenkov - USSR (No Video Available)
Bronze - Krisztina Regőczy & András Sallay - Hungary
Hope you enjoy - as you will observe, figure skating was a completely different world back then!