Lynn won a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan, and five consecutive national championships, but, like Kwan, she was a skater whose achievements surpassed her career statistics.
Repeatedly stymied by the dull but demanding compulsory figures competition, which has since been phased out, she brought crowds to their feet during the free skate with her feather-light landings and athletic jumps, her feel for the music, and the joy she was able to communicate on ice.
"She was an artist and an athlete, both," says David Santee, who skated in the 1976 and 1980 Olympics.
"I remember her skating to 'Afternoon of a Faun,' and she would get so lost in the music that it would be hard not to watch and feel the same way. Yet, she could jump, she could spin, she could just do everything. . . . If I had one person to take with me [into competition] as the ultimate skater, I'd take Janet for sure."
After Lynn didn't win a gold at Sapporo because of the compulsories, the sport itself was revised, with international competitions placing less emphasis on the painstaking ice tracings that had tripped up the great free skater.
When Lynn left skating to raise her five sons, the sport's insiders -- judges, coaches, commentators and athletes -- kept her legend alive with grainy videotapes, locker room discussions and frequent references.