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Thread: ** Flashback ** 1989 World Championships

  1. #16
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    Interesting memory

    My memory of Elaine is quite different from yours... wasn't it, like, a big secret that Elaine was missing toes? And it was never discussed until after she'd won worlds? For some reason, I'm having trouble recalling any time when Elaine's coach made excuses for her less than perfect school figures.
    Linny

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linny
    My memory of Elaine is quite different from yours... wasn't it, like, a big secret that Elaine was missing toes? And it was never discussed until after she'd won worlds? For some reason, I'm having trouble recalling any time when Elaine's coach made excuses for her less than perfect school figures.
    Linny
    It's in an ABC up close and personal fluff piece on Elaine from Sarejevo in '84. It was the first time she'd allowed her foot to be filmed. She had a major problem with this before. During the piece her coach, when asked if the missing part of her foot caused any problems training for free skating replied No but it does play havoc with her figures - or something to that effect. This makes a lot of sense as the control of a figure can be guided by pressure on just one toe. It was said and it's on the ABC footage of that event. So yes it's after Worlds 1982. Also her coach wasn't making excuses, he was simply answering a straightforward question with an informative answer.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate
    It's in an ABC up close and personal fluff piece on Elaine from Sarejevo in '84. It was the first time she'd allowed her foot to be filmed. She had a major problem with this before. .
    I remember seeing that "Up close and personal piece". When the piece showed Elaine's foot, I gasped. That foot only has two toes - the big toe and the next one - the rest of the foot is "toeless". How Elaine managed to skate under that circumstance is amazing, and she deserved a great deal of credit for becoming such an great, competitive figure skater.

  4. #19
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    ITA skatingfan4life. Elaine was so derided in many quarters during her amateur career, but it is amazing seeing her foot and then thinking about what she actu8ally could do on the ice. She had many great performances: 1980 Worlds, 1981 Nationals, 1981 Worlds, 1982 Worlds LP,1984 Olys LP and Worlds LP and I thought her skates at 94 US Nationals during her comeback were inspired.

    If you listen to Dick and Peggy commentate on her they applaud the tricks but harp incessantly about the presentation. Even their commentary in '84 wasn't so positive. The gush express was reserved for Tiffany Chin that year, and it was clear that others were in favour in the US before Elaine. Yet it was Elaine that saved the USFSA's *** in '84 Worlds when Sumners retired and Chin was injured and they "forgot" to send anyone else. Elaine singlehandedly gave the US 3 spots for '85. They owed her a lot more than was evidenced in their treatment of her IMO

  5. #20
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    Elaine Zayak's 1994 Comeback

    The 1994 US Nationals will long be remembered for the terrible knee bashing of Nancy Kerrigan and the criminal prosecution of Tonya Harding. There was another event that occurred concerning the ladie's competition that deserves mentioning, and high praise - the stellar comeback of 28-year-old Elaine Zayak to eligible competition.

    Elaine had won the US title and World silver medal in 1981 as a 15-year-old with a huge arsenal of triple jumps, and she won the World title in 1982 with that same amazing arsenal of triple toes and triple salchows. Zayak won the silver medal at US Nationals in 1983 and withdrew from the Worlds due to a stress fracture. She won bronze medals at the 1982 and 1984 US Nationals. She represented the US at the 1984 Winter Olympic Games, and she won the bronze medal at the 1984 World championships.

    Elaine's strength was her triple jumps, as she was the first woman to land a large number of triples. In her day, the top women landed, at most, three or four triples. Elaine, typically, landed six or seven clean triples in her long programs!

    Zayak turned professional after the 1984 Worlds and skated with Ice Capades as one of their star skaters. I saw Elaine in a 1986 performance of Ice Capades
    and thought she looked terrific. She skated with a lot of power and pizzaz.

    Unfortunately, life as a touring professional skater was hard on Elaine, and she stopped skating after a few years with Ice Capades.

    Then, in early 1993, the competitive juices started to circulate in Elaine, and she decided to try to make a comeback. She returned to her former coach, Peter Burrows, for assistance. Her plan was to take her comeback one month at a time, as she, quite frankly, did not know whether or not she would be able to return to competition shape, Well, she did return to competition shape, and she skated two strong, solid programs at the 1994 US Nationals.

    How wonderful it was to see Elaine land those triples, cleanly, securely, and to also show a more artistic style. The audience was on its feet, cheering loudly, for both of her programs. Her coaches jumped up and down, in ecstasy.
    And Elaine was almost in tears, she was so overjoyed at accomplishing such a marvelous comeback. Elaine told the media that she did not want to take a spot on the Olympic team away from anyone - she just wanted to skate her best. She finished fourth overall.

    Bravo, Elaine!

  6. #21
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    Another memory from the 1989 World Figure Skating Championships was the ladie's medal ceremony. Midori was quite choked up as the Japanese national anthem was played. When Midori, silver medalist Claudia Leistner, and bronze medalist Jill Trenary stood together on the top podium, I had to chuckle. The
    "mighty mite" had stolen the show, absolutely. Both Leistner and Trenary towered over Ito, yet Midori had proved convincingly that she was the world's best woman skater.

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