There have been numerous outstanding, memorable, top-notch competitive programs that our favorite skaters have delivered over the years, much to our delight. A few of these, in my view, are:
1996 US Nationals - Rudy Galindo's glorious long program that won him the title. Rudy's triple axel/triple toe and triple lutz/triple
toe combinations were the class of the field, as was his superb line, edge, flow, and choregraphy. His spins were gorgeous - a layback spin, a "shotgun" spin, spread eagles, extensions, etc.
Dick Button practically gushed throughout the program, and even he was impressed at Rudy's skating. To skate so well in your home town, before your friends, fans, and neighbors was such a thrill, and it was made even more sweet because so many folks had written Rudy off as a lost cause, as far as a singles skater is concerned. While Rudy and Kristi Yamaguchi won two US pairs titles, he floundered as a singles skater after Yamaguchi broke up their partnership in 1990. Rudy was close to calling it quits, but decided to compete for one more year. And what a performance at the Nationals! The crowd was going crazy, as was Rudy's sister/coach. When they sat in the kiss 'n cry area, the crowd screamed and chanted, "Six! Six! Six!". And, indeed, Rudy did receive several 6.0s for presentation. What a triumph!!! What wonderful interpretation of "Swan Lake"!! :D
1996 US Nationals - Michelle Kwan's long program, skated to "Salome", was a breakthrough routine for her, as it marked the dawn of her emergence as a beautiful artist as well as a gifted technical skater. Michelle's blossoming into a lovely young woman, and her interpretive skill was amazing. She soared through her jumps, she played the role of "Salome" to the max, and she left no doubt in anyone's minds that she was going to become the next US champion. She skated the same great routine at the Worlds and won her first World title. A fantastic skate for an extraordinary then-15-year-old!!! :D
1988 Winter Olympics - Elizabeth Manley's terrific long program, skated to lively selections including "Canadian Concerto". She soared through her five clean, right-on-the-money triple jumps, including a triple lutz, and she won the long program. Liz should have won the gold medal with that skate, in my opinion, but the combined scores of school figures, short and long programs left her in second place. The crowd went crazy, and celebrated her wonderful long program and excellent placement. Liz was another skater who had so much talent but who had never quite managed to put it all together until 1988 - and what a moment to put it all together!! I get goosebumps whenever I watch a reply of Elizabeth's long program. You go, girl!! :D