Memorable Programs in Figure Skating (Pairs)

1988 Olympics:

Soviet skaters Ekaterina Gordeeva (just 16; nicknamed Katya) and partner Sergei Grinkov (21) are already World Champions known for their speed, split triple twist (she goes up VERY high), and Katya’s presence on the ice.  But they are still growing and learning (as we see in the profile below). 

Short Program (SP): It went pretty well, but wasn’t perfect.  We can see that Katya and Sergei wanted it to be better (ever the technicians).

Long Program (LP): They skated with such ease, kept up the speed, and had a flawless program!  Katya (looking like a young Natalie Portman) clearly enjoys being on the ice. 

1988 Worlds:

Isabelle Brasseur & Lloyd Eisler (CAN) were my favorite Pairs team growing up!  I loved their wonderful lifts and fast spins, which rivaled the dominant Soviet teams.  The confident/tall/English-speaking Lloyd (who was 7 years older) had skated w/ several different partner earlier, but shy/petite/French-speaking Isabelle was the match for him on ice.  They continued to work on their style over the years, in order to be compete with the best European teams.  They were Canda’s darlings, and U.S. audiences liked the excitement and sense of fun in their programs (esp. in exhibitions).     

SP: The music is great!  Isabelle is only 17; Lloyd is 24.

LP: At 1:50 mark, Lloyd lifts Isabelle with one arm- WOW!  They put in a good showing here.

1991 Worlds:

Brasseur & Eisler’s SP: Josee Picard. their coach, tells the story of how this pair got together.  Then, we have the peppy, fun-filled program which suits them quite well.  Their double twist is one of the BEST you’ll ever see!   

B&E’s LP:  They go for the gold here, but reach silver, though their program is quite impressive.  At 1:40, Lloyd lifts Isabelle up, then over his head.  The one-armed press star lift (one of their signature moves) is at 3:20; this displays Lloyd’s strength and Isabelle’s fearlessness. 

1992 Olympics:

Profile of B&E:

Mishkutenok & Dmitriev’s SP: Artur is one of the most strongest and dramatic (expressive) male pair’s skaters.  Natalia has incredible flexibility.  The costumes are to die for!  The spin they invented is at 2:55.

M&D’s LP: The Soviet Union has been broken up, but these skaters win the gold with their lyrical program. 

1994 Olympics:

There was a showdown between the Russians- G&G (now married w/ a little girl; back from pro skating) and the dramatic duo of M&D.  B&E did their best on the world stage up to that point; Isabelle had cracked ribs (so had them bandaged up tight before competing). 

G&G profile & SP: Their life was like a fairy tale (at that time).

M&D’s SP: Artur collapsed on the ice after finishing- the pair really put a lot of passion into this program.

B&E’s SP: They didn’t get as high as I’d hope on technical marks.  Isabelle showed so much spirit here, but then was calm/collected when the marks came. 

B&E’s LP: The Canadians did their nation proud with their flawless program; long-time fans could see that Lloyd had worked on his artistry. I loved the music and costumes they chose. 

M&D’s LP: It was very creative and passionate, but not quite enough for gold.  My dad and I preferred their style over G&G, though both teams were great. 

G&G’s LP: It wasn’t flawless, but the judges gave the gold to this superb pair.  My mom liked this team best.  This was one of the BEST competitions! 

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