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  1. #1

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    Retrospective: The 1968 World Championships

    This Retrospective looks back at the 1968 World Championships.

    The key facts in relation to these championships are:-

    • Peggy Fleming wins her 3rd consecutive (and final) World title. She turned professional after these championships. As at the 1968 Olympics (which Fleming also won), Gabriele Seyfert won the silver and Hana Maskova the bronze. A highlight of these championships was Fleming's gala performance of 'Maria' from West Side Story
    • Having suffered the disappointment of only finishing 4th at the 1968 Olympics, Emmerich Danzer came back to win his 3rd consecutive world title in these championships. Like Fleming, he also turned professional after this competition. Tim Wood had won the silver medal at the 1968 Olympics, and he again had to settle for the silver at these championships.
    • Both Gaby Seyfert and Tim Wood would go on to win the World Title in 1969 and 1970, before turning professional (i.e. without staying on to compete at the 1972 Olympics - a situation similar to Carolina Kostner, who is now herself contemplating competitive retirement just 2 years away from an Olympics)
    • The Protopopov's, having just won their 2nd Olympic title at the 1968 Olympics, win their 4th consecutive World title. It was their final World title. They did come back the following year, but could only finish 3rd (the 1969 World title being won by Irina Rodnina & Alexei Ulanov).
    • At the 1968 Olympics, Ice Dance had only been a demonstration event. It was won by Bernard Ford & Diane Towler. Nevertheless, the event had been a part of the World Championships since 1952. Between 1952 and 1969, the World title was won by a British couple on all but 4 occasions (1962-65: Eva Romanová & Pavel Roman). The 1968 World title was won, like the Olympic demonstration event, by Ford & Towler (leading an all British podium, with all 3 couples being coached by Gladys Hogg). It was their 3rd of 4 consecutive world titles. They were the great innovators within the ice dance event of their era (just as Torvill & Dean were during the 1980's), with their Zorba The Greek FD program from the 1968 World Championships representing their pinnacle (it was even included within the BBC's '100 Greatest Sporting Moments' series). Ford & Towler retired after winning the 1969 World title. The silver medal at the 1968 World Championships was won by Yvonne Suddick & Roger Kennerson. As well as being coached by Gladys Hogg, they were also coached by Betty Callaway at one stage, who would of course go on to coach Torvill & Dean. The bronze medal was won by Janet Sawbridge & Jon Lane. Sawbridge was Torvill & Dean's very first coach. Betty Callaway took over as their coach in 1978. Ice Dance would not become an Olympic event until 1976, and the World title would not be won by another British couple until Torvill & Dean won the 1981 World title.


    Here are some videos of the medal winning performances:-

    MENS

    Gold: Emmerich Danzer (Austria)

    Free Skate

    Silver: Tim Wood (USA)

    Free Skate

    Bronze: Patrick Pera (France)

    No video available

    4th: Scott Allen (USA)

    Free Skate

    LADIES

    Gold: Peggy Fleming (USA)

    Free Skate

    Exhibition

    Silver: Gabriele Seyfert (East Germany)

    Free Skate

    Bronze: Hana Maskova (Czechoslovakia)

    Free Skate

    4th: Beatrix Schuba (Austria)

    Free Skate

    PAIRS

    Gold: Ludmila Belousova & Oleg Protopopov (USSR)

    Free Skate

    Silver: Tatyana Zhuk & Aleksandr Gorelik (USSR)

    No video available. This video is their free program from the 1968 Olympics in which they also finished 2nd to the Protopopovs.

    Bronze: Cynthia Kauffman & Ronald Kauffman (USA)

    No video available. This video is their 1968 U.S. Nationals LP

    ICE DANCE

    Gold: Bernard Ford & Diane Towler (GBR)

    Free Dance

    Silver: Yvonne Suddick & Roger Kennerson (GBR)

    No video available. This video shows them competing in the British Figure Skating Championships during the mid 1960's.

    Bronze: Janet Sawbridge & Jon Lane

    No video available
    Last edited by Maofan7; 07-08-2012 at 11:14 AM.

  2. #2
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    The flashbulbs during Peggy's fs are so distracting, especially the one that seems to go off right in her face during her 1st 2x, I don't know how she pulled the jump off.

  3. #3
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    Did Peggy also use the Maria exhibition at the Grenoble Olympics, or was it a one off to mark the end of her career as an amateur?

  4. #4

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    Her EX in Grenoble was to "Ave Maria", as a tribute to her father.
    I wish we had more than a brief snip of it - shown in the televised 1997 Carlo Fassi tribute.

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    Good to see that Peggy had a better skate here than at the Olympics. Trixi Schuba's skating was rather nice here!

    Thank you for posting Danzer, I've never seen video clips of him before.
    "I hit him with my shoes... if he had given me the medal like I told him to, I wouldn't have had to hit him!" -- 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark in "The Bad Seed"

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    Her EX in Grenoble was to "Ave Maria", as a tribute to her father.
    I wish we had more than a brief snip of it - shown in the televised 1997 Carlo Fassi tribute.
    Here is the Carlo Fassi Tribute with the "Ave Maria" clip in it from the 1968 Olympics exhibition

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    Her EX in Grenoble was to "Ave Maria", as a tribute to her father.
    I wish we had more than a brief snip of it - shown in the televised 1997 Carlo Fassi tribute.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maofan7 View Post
    Here is the Carlo Fassi Tribute with the "Ave Maria" clip in it from the 1968 Olympics exhibition
    Thank you

    Gabby Seyfert had some nice exhibition programs during this period as well

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw1kuqBDuwk

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