One more trip down memory lane -- the 1974 World Figure Skating Championships, which were held in Munich, West Germany.

My memories of this Worlds centered primarily on what happened to 17-year-old Dorothy Hamill during this competition. Dorothy had recently won the first of three consecutive US titles and came into the long program with a strong chance to medal. The West German champion, Gertrude Schundrel (sp?) had just skated a good program, but since she was in 11th place after the school figures and short program, she was not given very high marks. The audience erupted in an uproar of boos, catcalls, and whistles. Dorothy was next to skate, and she took to the ice to warm up while all of this was going on. She was announced as the next skater, and the audience again erupted in more boos and catcalls. Dorothy thought the audience was booing her, and she burst into tears, fled from the ice and ran, sobbing, into the arms of her father.

At this point, Dick Button, who was commentating, said (to paraphrase), "Oh, come now, that's nothing to be upset about. She's an emotional girl." Jim McKay, also commentating said, "Believe me, Dick, if I was competing for a World title and the audience reacted that way to me, I'd be just as upset. This is a miserable way for this audience to behave."

The referee approached Dorothy and told her she could take a short rest period to regain her composure. At that point, she straightened up, told the referee, "No, I don't need any extra consideration", marched onto the rink like a soldier and took her starting position at the center of the ice. The announcer stated her name, and this time the audience responded with a huge ovation.

Dorothy Hamill then skated one of the best long programs of her life - athletic, aggressive, confident, and artistic. She won the long program and the World silver medal.

You go, girl!




:D