Does anyone out there remember the wonderful television specials that starred Peggy Fleming? She really gave us some wonderful TV memories. In her first special, aired a few months after her 1968 Olympic gold medal win, she skated with Gene Kelly in a Hollywood sound studio, as Kelly sang "Peg o' My Heart".
Peggy filmed a television special in Sun Valley, Idaho around 1970 that starred The Carpenters and French triple Olympic gold-medal skier Jean-Claude Killy. The gorgeous mountain scenery was quite a backdrop for the outdoor skating sequences. In one of these, Peggy demonstrated a number of jumps and spins. She and Jean-Claude had a friendly conversation in a ski lodge, close to an inviting fireplace. The Carpenters sang several of their hits while Peggy skated indoors and outdoors. If I remember this correctly, this show won several television Emmy awards.
Fleming aired two specials in Europe, the first that took her back Grenoble, France, the site of her Olympic victory, and a second that was filmed in the Soviet Union. Peggy commented after filming in the USSR that she "nearly froze". She said, to paraphrase, "We filmed many of the outdoor skating routines after midnight and before dawn. It was so cold that we could only skate for about five minutes before we had to rush back to the heated trailer."
Dorothy Hamill starred in several very nice television specials, all of which were filmed in Hollywood (I think). They were cute and delightful. I remember one routine in which she wore "saddle skates" and skated to "Sing, Sing, Sing".
Brian Boitano starred in several outstanding skating specials in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Remember his "Water Fountain" number on the Alaskian glacier? Wow! Brian said that this was one of the most emotional skating numbers he had ever performed. He was so touched with the mountain grandeur that he was near tears throughout the number. I remember that he skated a single axel, double axel, and triple axel in quick succession during that number. Bravo, Brian.
I enjoyed Elizabeth Manley's "Dear Elizabeth" television special that was aired on American television, and I've enjoyed a number of Kurt Browning's excellent specials. Unfortunately, I've never seen any of Brian Orser's specials.
One of the best skating specials, in my opinion, was "Carmen", starring Katarina Witt, Brian Boitano, and Brian Orser. Great story, great skating. Kudos to all of them.