I wouldn't have called Linda's pro career that stellar. She spent it in Disney on Ice. She always said in interviews that Disney was good to work for, but Disney I think has always been considered a less impressive show to work for, possibly because of always being second banana to and upstaged by Ducks, Mice, and Lions.
If she had had more confidence would she have been able to go for it regardless of having "only silver"? After all, Anett was in E. Germany and wasn't skating pro's. If she had agressively sold herself, I don't think she would have had to settle for Disney.
The big pro scene had not started yet during Linda's pro career. There was just a World Pro skate held in Spain for a couple years in the early 80's. And she did quite well there.
SkateFan4Life, where did you get 1980 hilight tape? I would love to rewatch 1980. At the time we were living in a tiny town in VT with truly lousy TV reception, so I would not trust my opinion on any of these skaters!