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1976 Olympics: Dorothy Hamill, Dianne de Leeuw, Christine Errath and Linda Fratianne

Updated on August 26, 2015

Dorothy Hamill in 1976

This is a program the sport proudly offers. No program in competition has ever been presented in a greater quality than this.

As you may know by now, if you follow up, Dorothy Hamill was at the height of compulsory era when the Great Peggy Fleming conquered the world, and Janet Lynn laid the foundation of modern figure skating thereon.

With the unprecedented legacy on her heel, Dorothy Hamill was to model the ever evasive power skating. As you have already acquainted with several power skaters in the 1970s, it was Dorothy Hamill that showed for the first time what the power skating ought to be.

So, here is the one and only Dorothy Hamill.

Hamill's skating is strong. At the same time it's lyrical and aesthetic.

The classic model had been a canon for ladies figure skating. But as you saw already, there were skaters whose skating was particularly characterized by power and speed.

Although Peggy Fleming finalized the classic model, Dorothy Hamill showed another possibility for power skating as an alternative genre.

Indeed. After all, power and speed are a symbol of athleticism and what athleticism stands for. So, it is only natural if the sport desires more athleticism than aesthetics. Thus Hamill's achievement might have been the seed for triple era.

s It is also possible that Hamill might have paved a way for skaters to aim at triple jumps.

Hamill here qualifies 9.5 in PCS average.

Dorothy Hamill in 1976

I dare you show me a better skater than this!

What a girl! What a skater! Yes, you have just watched the legend Dorothy Hamill. She has it all. She is in her own league. Her PCS is 9.25.

Haha, Hamill fell in earlier practice before the competition. Come to think of it, that reminds me of Yuna Kim.

What a coincidence! Yuna Kim also fell in practice just before her 2010 Olympics, and it was shown on TV.

Of course, skaters always fall in practice. So nothing special about that. But I can't help thinking that it's just how great skaters win their game. Just a silly thought.

Dianne de Leeuw in 1976

Her weak points are balance, completeness and degree of freedom.

Leeuw's moves are filled with elements that rely on technical elements such as speed and height. Of course that's the greatest asset any figure skater needs. In figure skating, however, that's not what makes a complete skater.

In other words, she lacks, in general, of control, accuracy and polishing. You can spot her moments of imbalance and instability throughout the program. Also her arms never satisfactorily complete in motion, which tells you that she hasn't mastered upper body control.

Her PCS is about 7.25 but not beyond 7.5.

Dianne de Leeuw in 1976

Dianne de Leeuw reminds me of Linda Fratianne in style.

I like her here better than in free program. For a quite obvious reason, Dianne appears more energetic and free than in free program.

But Dianne's moves are not polished enough to boost her average PCS 7.5 or above. Her PCS is 7.25 again. I do not believe she broke 7.5 barrier. No, not with this performance.

Christine Errath in 1976

Her jump deficiency is glaringly notable. So her program may be filled with negative GOE, but her PCS still is 7.0.

Her skating well passed junior.

You will notice that her speed and power and body control appear solid. Just think whether Gracie Gold would be able to skate like her if she is free of jump. You can ask a question like, Is Gracie able to move just like her?

So Christine Errath is a skater more advanced than 7.0 average PCS skaters, even if she skates today.

Christine Errath in 1976

Anette Potzsche in 1976

What an impressive performance by Anette! You see why she was a formidable rival to Linda Fratianne.

There are some issues of quality but her speed, power and edge are all excellent. You can't fault anything in her skating: she may be tiny and young, perhaps barely junior. But she was well trained unlike today's Russian skaters.

What she lacks, however, that her moves are too simple and too unsophisticated, that is they are closer to gestures than moves at times. In other words, she skated and jumped well, but her skating needs to be built up.

Her PCS is 7.0 to 7.25.

Linda Fratianne in 1976

Speed and agility are satisfactory here, but maturity is an issue for Linda.

Maturity has to do with completeness and polishing too. Therefore it's not a small matter. Linda's skating well passed the junior, so that she qualifies up to 7.5 here theoretically.

However, her moves are not all rounded. Forget about her disastrous first jump or other jump quality; that can be dealt with by GOE.

Her program appears heavily depending on technical elements such as power, speed and momentum. That alone is some achievement for most skaters. But while you are competing with veterans, that will lead you only to a certain point. Beyond that, you need something called execution skills that make you versatile.

Here, Linda qualifies for 7.0 to 7.25 PCS.

Linda Fratianne in 1976

Who do you think should have won silver in free program?

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