Figure skating at the 1998 Winter Olympics
|Figure skating at the XVIII Olympic Winter Games|
Oksana Kazakova / Artur Dmitriev
Oksana Grishuk / Evgeny Platov
1994 Winter Olympics
2002 Winter Olympics
The figure skating events in 1998 Winter Olympics were held at the White Ring in Nagano. There were no changes in the format or scoring systems from 1994. Professionals were again allowed to compete, although they had to declare that intention and compete in ISU-approved events to do so. Most of the top competitors by 1998 were now openly professional.
The competitions took place on the following days:
- Pairs: 8–10 February 1998
- Men's singles: 12–14 February 1998
- Ice dancing: 13–16 February 1998
- Ladies' singles: 18–20 February 1998
- Exhibition gala: 21 February 1998
The favourites and top two after the short program were Ilia Kulik and Elvis Stojko, who would skate first and last, respectively. Medal contenders Alexei Yagudin, Todd Eldredge and Philippe Candeloro went in between. Steven Cousins was the other skater in the final draw, but he was not considered to have a realistic chance of making the podium.
Kulik skated flawlessly in a program which included a Quad Toe Loop to open the last session. Yagudin, who was one of several athletes suffering from the flu in these games, fell on his Quad attempt and his Triple Axel to immediately take himself out of contention. Eldredge was skating cleanly but popped what was to be his second Triple Axel and then fell again while trying to complete the jump again in the closing seconds. Candeloro, with the exception of a step out on his Triple Axel, skated his D'Artagnan program flawlessly to the delight of the crowd to end up second in the free skating. Stojko, who skated last, had the best opportunity to win mainly based on his signature Quad Toe Loop/Triple Toe Loop combination. However, a partial groin tear and the flu prevented him from attempting the combo and he downgraded his Quad to a Triple. Despite the injury, he skated a clean program but finished the free skating third, overall placing second behind Kulik.
The countries represented by the podium finishers were the same as in the men's competition at the Lillehammer 1994 games, with Stojko and Candeloro getting their second consecutive silver and bronze medals, respectively. In a noteworthy instance, Stojko had to limp to the podium on sneakers at the medal presentation. He also did not skate at the figure skating gala, although he did take the ice briefly to announce that he would skip the World Championships next month.
- Margaret Worsfold
- Vladislav Petukov
- Sally Rehorick
- Mariana Silvia Chita
- Mieko Fujimora
- Sviatoslav Babenko
- Evgenia Bogdanova
- Paula Naughton
- Marie-Reine Le Gougne
- Zsofia Wagner (substitute)
The primary competitors for the gold medal were Americans Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan. Kwan and Lipinski were in first and second places after the short program, respectively. In the free skating, both Lipinski and Kwan skated excellent programs. 6 judges placed Lipinski ahead of Kwan; three placed Kwan ahead of Lipinski. So Lipinski won the gold medal, and Kwan took the silver.
The primary competitors for the bronze medal were Chen Lu from China, Maria Butyrskaya and Irina Slutskaya from Russia. In the free skating, they all skated well, but had mistakes. The final placements were very close and far from unanimous. The 3rd–5th place votes were split unevenly between Chen, Butyrskaya, and Slutskaya. Chen beat Butyrskaya by the tally of 5 judges to 4 and beat Slutskaya 6 judges to 3, giving Chen her second straight bronze medal in the Olympic Games.
Interestingly, Tara Lipinski (Gold), Michelle Kwan (Silver) and Chen Lu (Bronze) were the World Champions in 1997, 1996 and 1995, respectively.
- Frank A. Parsons
- Judit Furst-Tombor
- Karin Ehrhardt
- Jan Hoffmann
- Susan A. Johnson
- Anatoli Bogatyrev
- Alfred Korytek
- Maria Miller
- Anne Hardy Thomas
- Liliana Strechova (substitute)
This was the second Olympics that Dmitriev won Gold. He previously won in 1992 with a different partner. He is the only man to win the Olympics with different partners. Soviet skater Irina Rodnina won three Olympics with two different partners.
- Yang Jiasheng
- John Greenwood
- Heinz-Ulrich Walther
- Anna Sierocka
- Roger A. Glenn
- Olga Záková
- Donald McKnight
- Marina Sanaya
- Alfred Korytek
- Marie-Reine Le Gougne (substitute)
Grishuk and Platov became the first pair ever to repeat as champions in Olympic Ice Dance. They won 21 straight events before they won in Nagano.
The judging was marred by accusations that the Europeans colluded in "bloc voting" (where judges tend to favor skaters from their regions, broken down along Cold War lines), so that the dance teams representing their countries would take the medals, while keeping the Canadians off the podium. After another judging controversy erupted in the 2002 Winter Games, these incidents led the ISU to issue new procedures to review controversial decisions.
- Jean Senft
- Halina Gordon-Półtorak
- Eugenia Gasiorowska
- Yuri Balkov
- Ulf Denzer
- Jarmila Portová
- Alla Shekiovtseva
- Walter Zuccaro
- Jean-Bernard Hamel
- Robert J. Horen (substitute)
- Olympics at Sports-Reference.com
- Canadians dig for gold on ice: Bourne and Kraatz will battle opponents and judges in Nagano, Steve Milton, 7 February 1998
- Skating federation to investigate judging, sportsillustrated.cnn.com, 12 February 2002
- 1998 Winter Olympics at Skate Canada
- 1998 Winter Olympics at Ice Skating International
- Judges Scoring of Ladies Free Skating-all skaters
- THE XVIII WINTER GAMES: FIGURE SKATING; Kulik of Russia Rides His Quad to Figure-Skating Gold
- Stojko wins silver for second time L.A. Times