What fun to view (again) my videotape of the pairs and ice dance competition from the 1990 World Championships. What great skating!!
The legendary Soviet pairs team of Katia Gordeeva/Sergei Grinkov won their fourth (and final) World title that year. They were romantically involved by that time, although it was not a known fact. Their long program was skated to a beautiful selection from "Romeo and Juliet" - a perfect number for them, as the young lovers that they were. Unfortunately, they skated one of the weakest programs of their career. They had a planned jump sequence that started with a double axel. Katia fell on the double axel and missed the complete sequence, while Sergei landed all of the jumps. They had a few other miscues in the program and a curious lack of unison, something that was unheard of for them.
The audience responded with polite applause, but not the standing ovations Katia and Sergei usually receive. They appeared to be in shock as they sat in the kiss 'n cry area and received their scores. Their marks were very generous and reflected their status of defending World and Olympic champions, not the quality of the performance they had just skated.
Canadians Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler skated a dynamic long program, full of difficult jumps and daring lifts - some of which only they perform - and the audience responded with a loud, long standing ovation. G & E skated cleanly and with great speed and assurance. They won the silver medal.
The bronze medal was won by Soviet skaters Natalia Mishkutionok and Artur Dmitriev. They skated cleanly, too, and IMHO, they should have finished second in the competition, not third. IMHO, Brasseur and Eisler should have won the gold medal, and Gordeeva/Grinkov should have finished third. But then, I'm not on of the judges, just a fan. Scott Hamilton expressed his displeasure over the pairs' result and said "The wrong pair won tonight."
The Ice Dance:
Soviet skaters Marina Klimova/Sergei Ponomarenko successfully defended their World title by skating to selections from "My Fair Lady". The silver medal was won by the brother/sister team of Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay who performed to "Missing". The bronze medal was won by Soviets Maia Usova and Alexander Zhulin.
While K & P's performance may have seemed a little bland and unexciting, it was beautifully skated, with clean edges and great technique. IMHO, they were "skater's skaters", and they skated with textbook perfection.
While the Dushesnay's program was very innovative, it wasn't skated with the same skill and perfection as shown by Marina and Sergei, IMHO. Isabelle was clearly not as good a skater as her brother, and it seemed to me that Paul was carrying the burden to present this program. Just an observation and my own opinion, of course.