Actually the spiral sequence was added some time after the 1988 Olympics and before the 1992 Olympics, AFAIR. Ladies had of course been doing spirals for ever, but they were completely optional before that. The fear at the time was that ladies' skating was getting too 'athletic' and there were too many jumps. There was harking back to the skating of Janet Lynn, and how skating like Janet Lynn should be encouraged. It was probably a reaction against:Originally Posted by Vash01
1. The loss of figures, which were removed about the same time.
2. The possible coming dominance by Midori Ito, and skaters like Midori Ito, who had a complete set of triples including the triple axel.
Somewhere in there the short was lengthened from 2 minutes to 2 and a half minutes to accommodate the spiral as much as for any other reason.
At first the neither the coaches nor the skaters had a clue about what a spiral sequence should involve exactly. Some of the earlier versions aren't great. In the US, Bobek and Kerrigan developed spirals that became the patterns for later US ladies.
I wish I could pinpoint the time for you better. I know there is no spiral sequence in 1982, because I have a clip of an SP from that time frame. I know they were doing it by 1992 because Kerrigan was doing a spiral sequence at that time. Bobek as a junior was doing a sequence in 1991. Midori Ito's 1990 season program has a MITF sequence with one spiral in it. I don't think that was intended to be a spiral sequence, so my guess would be the 1991 season.
I hope someone that has the exact date will speak up!