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Thread: "Heartbreak" Ice Moments

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  1. #1
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    "Heartbreak" Ice Moments

    Probably a lot of you remember watching and/or have seen videotapes of Tai Babilonia/Randy Gardner's heartbreaking experience at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

    Tai and Randy were the five-time US champions and the reigning World champions. Granted, their 1979 World title was a bit tainted, as the longtime World and Olympic champions, Soviets Irina Rodnina/Alexandr Zaitsev, had taken the 1979 season off, as Irina had given birth to their first child. Still, Tai and Randy were at the top of their game, and an Olympic gold medal was a real possibility, and on their home ice, to boot.

    Unfortunately, Randy pulled a groin muscle in a practice session a few weeks prior to the Olympics, and he had reinjured himself at a practice just a few days before the Olympic short program. He and his coach, John Nicks, kept the injury private. Tai was completely unaware that her partner was seriously injured.

    Then, filmed on live television, Tai and Randy took to the ice for their short program warmup. They skated their side-by-side stroking movements cleanly and with power. Then they attempted a side by side double axel, and Randy crashed on the ice. They attempted it again, and Randy fell again. Clearly, something was wrong, and they skated to the boards to confer with Nicks.
    They left the rink, and the competition began. When it was their turn to skate, Randy came out on the ice alone, skated around a bit, and attempted to land a double flip. Crash, down on the ice. He skated to Tai and their coach, and they withdrew from the competition.

    Dick Button and Jim McKay were commentating for American television. Dick said, "My heart is in my mouth", and Jim replied, "I can hear it." After Dick announced the withdrawal he said. "I feel so badly for Tai and Randy. I don't feel badly because they are Americans, but because they had worked so hard for so many years, and they were finally in a position to show their talents to the world. What a luck of the draw!"

    Many Americans (myself included) sent a telegram of sympathy and support to Tai and Randy. When I spoke to the operator at Western Union about an hour afterwards, she told me she and her staff had been "swamped" with calls from throughout the United States and Canada.

    President Jimmy Carter called Tai and Randy to express his sympathy and concern.

    It was truly a moment to reach for the Kleenex. I can't imagine how devastating this must have been for them. A year later, I had the pleasure of attending a performance of Ice Capades, where Tai and Randy, now professionals, skated the short program they had been unable to skate at Lake Placid. It was a great program - fast, clean, dynamic - and it brought everyone to their feet in a long, standing ovation.

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    It must have been devastating to Tai & Randy and their fans, regardless of where they would have placed if they had actually skated. It was not about the color of a medal, it was about the dream of a lifetime being shattered. I have only faint memories of hearing about it, but looking back I feel very bad for them.

    Perhaps equally bad- Sarah Abitbol broke her ankle just before the 2002 Olympics and she and Stephane Bernardis had to withdraw from the Olympics. Unlike Tai & Randy they were not medal contenders skating before a home crowd, but they too had worked very hard for that competition. However, A&B had at least competed in the 1998 Olympics, so they had the satisfaction of having tried once.

    Paul Binnebose's career ending injury was also tragic. I guess all athletes - pairs skaters in particular- know the risks they are taking, but when it actually happens it must be heart breaking.

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    The 2002 Olympics were full of "heartbreaking" moments for me. It was so heartbreaking to see Michelle narrowly miss the Gold yet again. It wouldn't have been as bad had she skated up to her potential and lost....but she didn't. I know that had/has to bother her. I was so proud of her for putting on such a bittersweet smile for the medal ceremony...I don't see how she held back the tears! I sure as hell didn't! The other heartbreaking moment was Todd Eldredge sitting in the K&C after his dismal SP performance. I so wanted him to perform well and finally get an Olympic medal...and "Carmina Burana" was a great program! But...it wasn't to be. At least he went for the quad and showed people that he wasn't affraid to take risks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01

    Paul Binnebose's career ending injury was also tragic. I guess all athletes - pairs skaters in particular- know the risks they are taking, but when it actually happens it must be heart breaking.
    What happened to Paul

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    Michelle Kwan's "Fields of Gold" exhibition in the 02 Olympics, and the look on her face at the end.

    The look on Christopher Dean's face in the Kiss n Cry at the 94 Olympics FD, when their marks came up.

    Kurt Browning after his 94 Olympic SP, saying "I need a hug".

    Evgeny Plushenko in the 04 Euros LP. I was watching without knowing the results, and my hands flew to my face in shock on that first crash on the axel. He tried to put a brave face on it at the end, but looked like he didn't really know what to do with himself. It was clear he'd tried so hard though.

    Abitbol & Bernadis in their 03 Worlds LP. Sarah's injury still wasn't right, and after doubling the 3toe, she went for the throw 3salchow and just couldn't do it, she looked in so much pain and was holding her ankle, telling Stephane she couldn't carry on. After talking with their coach, then decided to try to make it through the rest of the programme, leaving out the twist. She even went for the throw 3loop (which wouldn't affect the injured ankle like the salchow would), but fell - but still amazing that she went for it. It was a struggle for her but she got through the programme, kudos to her for that.

    The look on Victor Kraatz's face at the end of their 02 Olympic FD, as he lay on the ice and as they bowed. He looked totally crestfallen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by icenut84

    Abitbol & Bernadis in their 03 Worlds LP. Sarah's injury still wasn't right, and after doubling the 3toe, she went for the throw 3salchow and just couldn't do it, she looked in so much pain and was holding her ankle, telling Stephane she couldn't carry on. After talking with their coach, then decided to try to make it through the rest of the programme, leaving out the twist. She even went for the throw 3loop (which wouldn't affect the injured ankle like the salchow would), but fell - but still amazing that she went for it. It was a struggle for her but she got through the programme, kudos to her for that.
    .
    I don't know if you saw most of the pairs in the 1998 Olympic pairs final. They showed a Canadian pair (Savard-Gagnon/Bradet) skating to Gone With The Wind. She was really ill, and halfway through the performance, they had to come out of a lift early, and when she patted his back after he set her down, you knew they were about to give up. My heart broke then, but as soon as the crowd began clapping, they continued on with the performance, and even threw in a throw triple toe, and the crowd went wild. She looked extremely disappointed when they were taking their bows, though...

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    Wötzel/Steuer's performance at the '94 Olys, now that I think about it. As I remember it (I was 7 at the time, so spare me ), they had been having all kinds of problems in the programme, and it finally came to a head when she fell during a sbs pairs spiral and injured her jaw. They stopped after that, and I remember the shot of Ingo carrying her off the ice in his arms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TripleL
    What happened to Paul
    I'm not sure if you mean currently or if you mean the accident. Here's a link to some info about Handy/Binnebose. I think he coaches now. At the bottom, it just says that he suffered a skull fracture during a lift.

    http://www.pairsonice.net/profileview.php?pid=20

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    Kurt Browning, saying "I'm sorry" (to his Canadian fans) after his disastrous skate at the Olympics. That was heartbreaking.

    Underhill and Martini - Barb's skate boots were new and she was not used to them - came to a crashing halt at the end of their Olympic program. Very heartbreaking - they were so close.

    Of course, the famous finish for Bourne and Kraatz at the last Olympics - not what they expected! Truly heartbreaking for them and for their fans here in Canada.

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    The moment that broke my "skating heart" most was Michelle's exhibition at the 2002 Olympics. At the very end, I had tears in my eyes, just as she had...

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    Bourne/Kraatz's FD at the Olympics is definitely a heartbreak moment b/c I remember it was just after Fusar-Poli/Margaglio's slip-up in the FD, and the bronze medal should have been a lock for them after that. Plus, it was "the last thing the judges see"

    The Hartsells pulling out of Nationals in the warm-up for the LP (year?) I just remember Danielle's face completely in tears

    Emanuel Sandhu's LP at 2004 Worlds was somewhat of a heartbreak, too, especially he won the GPF and we finally though he had gotten the demons behind him. Alas.

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    When i saw pictures, and later a video of Lang & Tchernyshev withdrawing from US Nats i was so devastated - just the look on Peter's face was truly heartbreaking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt
    Emanuel Sandhu's LP at 2004 Worlds was somewhat of a heartbreak, too, especially he won the GPF and we finally though he had gotten the demons behind him. Alas.
    Actually, the SP was the heart break moment because we knew that he probably wasn't going to be on the podium.

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    Miffy, I, too, felt so bad for Lang and Tchernyshev, especially since it was shaping up to be an exciting contest between them and Belbin and Agosto.

    I'm glad you decided to post -- welcome to the forum!

    Mathman

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    Quote Originally Posted by thisthingcalledlove
    The moment that broke my "skating heart" most was Michelle's exhibition at the 2002 Olympics. At the very end, I had tears in my eyes, just as she had...
    I could not feel sorry for her then. If you think about it she set herself up for that. She was so sure she would win the gold she choose a gold dress and Fields of Gold to skate to...

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