Kay Thomson

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Kay Thomson
Personal information
Country represented Canada
Born (1964-02-18) February 18, 1964 (age 53)
Toronto, Ontario
Height 1.60 m (5 ft 3 in)
Skating club The Granite Club
Training locations Toronto
Retired 1984

Kay Thomson (born February 18, 1964)[1] is a Canadian former figure skater who competed in ladies' singles. She is the 1981 Prize of Moscow News champion, the 1983 Skate Canada International silver medalist (behind that years Olympic and World Champion Katarina Witt), and a three-time Canadian national champion. Her rise to dominance of Canadian ladies figure skating was unexpected as young phenom Tracy Wainmann had been expected to dominate Canadian ladies skating throughout this quadrennial, and beyond, but Thomson dethroned Wainmann at the 1982 Canadian Championships, and was only challenged by rising future superstar Elizabeth Manley thereafter as Wainmann fell off the map for a few years with personal issues and a growth spurt. She represented Canada at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, placing 12th, and at three World Championships, achieving her best result, fifth, in 1984 (Ottawa). At this event she had perhaps her best shot ever of a world podium finish in a heavily weakened post Olympic field (missing amongst other Rosalynn Sumners, Tiffany Chin, Claudia Leistner, and Elena Vodorezova) and a respectable initial finish in compulsory figures which were never her strength, but a turn between her triple lutz-double toe combination in the short, and a miss on her triple flip in the long, was enough to keep her behind silver medalist Anna Kondrashova, bronze medalist Elaine Zayak, and 4th place finisher Kira Ivanova. The pro Canadian crowd however were not fully convinced, and booed the marks of each of Kondrashova, Ivanova, and young Japanese phenom Midori Ito (who was scored 4th best in the long program phase despite a fall and several glaring miscues), feeling Thomson and teammate Elizabeth Manley were unfairly scored.[2] At the post event press conference Kondrashova would apologize to the fans for having not performed better, despite her silver medal.

During her competitive career, Thomson was known as a particularly strong spinner.[3] [4] Her spins included an unusual back layback, performed on the opposite foot than a normal layback spin. Kay in fact had 3 or 4 unique versions of the layback, performed by no other competitor, and often included each one in her long programs, as well as a unique crossfoot version of the scratch spin. Thomson was also one of the first female skaters to regularly include the triple Lutz jump in her programs, and the first ever to complete a triple lutz-double toe combination in a short program. [5] Surprisingly despite having a triple lutz, and sometimes a triple flip, she unfortunately was ever unable to master the standard easier triples of the time- triple salchow, triple toe, and triple loop, which most of the leading female contenders at the time had, which held her back on the international stage. With strong choreography and musical interpretation, Kay was known as a very strong all around skater, and despite failing to reach a world or Olymipc podium is often credited as the one who brought Canadian ladies skating back to prominence after a few years of heavily middling results after the retirements of Karen Magnussen and Lynn Nightingale.


Event 1980–81 1981–82 1982–83 1983–84
Winter Olympics 12th
World Champ. 8th 7th 5th
Skate America 5th
Skate Canada 2nd
Prize of Moscow News 1st
Canadian Champ. 2nd 1st 1st 1st