Paul Wylie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paul Wylie
Wylie in 1995
Personal information
Country represented United States
Born (1964-10-24) October 24, 1964 (age 58)
Dallas, Texas, United States
Former partnerDana Graham
Former coachEvy Scotvold, Mary Scotvold, Carlo Fassi, John Nicks
Began skatingage 3
Medal record
Men's Figure skating
Representing  United States
Winter Olympics
Silver medal – second place 1992 Albertville Men's singles
World Junior Championships
Gold medal – first place 1981 London Men's singles

Paul Stanton Wylie (born October 28, 1964) is an American figure skater, and the 1992 Olympic silver medalist in men's singles skating.

Personal life[edit]

Paul Stanton Wylie was born on October 24, 1964 in Dallas, Texas to Bob Wylie (a geophysicist) and B.L. Wylie (a realtor) — the youngest of three children.[1] In Dallas, he attended St. Mark's School of Texas. When he was eleven, his family moved to Denver, Colorado, where he focused increasingly on skating and graduated from Colorado Academy.[2]

Wylie attended Harvard University and graduated in 1991 with a degree in government.[3] After competing in the 1992 Winter Olympics, as he planned, he retired from amateur competition and began his professional skating career. It was his intention to tour for a few years and then go to law school.[4][5] He was admitted to law school, but deferred attendance for a few years.[1] He ended up skating professionally for six years before retiring. He then returned to Harvard — but to the Business School, rather than the Law School. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2000. He then worked for two years in marketing with The Walt Disney Company.[6]

On August 14, 1999, Wylie married Kate Presbrey, a Cape Cod native and former Brown University Division 1 hockey player.[6] They have three children, Hannah, Emma and Caleb. The family divides their time between Hyannis, Massachusetts and Charlotte, North Carolina, where Wylie previously worked with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as director of the Dare to be a Daniel program.[7] Wylie currently runs High Gear Travel, a sports-related travel agency,[6] and coaches figure skaters at the Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina, owned by Tom Logano, father of NASCAR star Joey Logano, whose sister Danielle is also a coach.

Skating career[edit]

Wylie started skating at the age of three.[8] After moving to Denver, he began to train with Carlo Fassi. Wylie remained with Fassi for nine years, first in Denver and later in Colorado Springs when Fassi relocated to the Broadmoor Skating Club. As a young skater, Wylie additionally worked with John Curry and Robin Cousins, who were also students of Fassi. Cousins lived with the Wylie family while he was training for the 1980 Winter Olympics.

In 1979, Wylie won the novice men's title at the U.S. Championships, and in the 1981 season, he won both the U.S. junior title and the World Junior Championships. At the latter event, he landed his first triple jumps in competition—two triple toe loops.[9]

At the same time, Wylie was competing in pair skating with partner Dana Graham. They won the junior pairs title at the 1980 U.S. nationals. They were coached by John Nicks, commuting to work with him in California. They placed eighth in the senior division at the 1981 U.S. nationals, but then dissolved their partnership when they lost financial sponsorship.

In 1985, wanting to rework some of his technique, Wylie left Fassi and began to train instead with Evy and Mary Scotvold, who were at that time located in Janesville, Wisconsin. Shortly afterwards, they all moved to the Boston area.

Wylie placed second at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 1988, 1990, and 1992. He won the silver medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. The medal was considered a major upset, as Wylie had never finished higher than ninth at the World Figure Skating Championships four years prior, and had skated such a poor performance at the 1992 U.S. Championships that reporters questioned his placement on the Olympic team. The USFSA had even left Wylie off the team for the 1992 World Championships, naming Mark Mitchell in his place.

Figure skating writer and historian Ellyn Kestnbaum stated that Wylie's Christian faith influenced his skating, especially his free skating program during the 1991—1992 season, when he used music from the Henry V soundtrack, when he "extended his body fully into space" and "might have been reaching for and supported by an ineffable spirituality".[10] Kestnbaum also stated that Wylie used dramatic and powerful motions in his free skate, with a footwork section that portrayed a swordfight that "epitomized a heroic masculine energy".[10] According to Kestnbaum, Wylie also used more feminine movements, with curved elbows, soft hands, and an Ina Bauer movement. Wylie might have used these movements in order to emphasize his "beautiful extended body lines"[10] and because he moved in harmony with his music. This style, used throughout his skating career, consistently earned him high artistic scores.[10]

After the Olympics, Wylie joined the professional skating ranks. He won the 1992 U.S. Open Professional Championship and the 1993 World Professional Figure Skating Championships. Wylie toured with Stars on Ice from 1992 to 1998 before retiring to attend graduate school and work in the corporate world.

After leaving his job at Disney in 2004, Wylie returned to the ice for 22 dates with Stars on Ice.[6] He has also continued his long association with An Evening with Champions, the annual benefit show at Harvard. Wylie has worked as a sports commentator/analyst, most recently for ESPN and Universal Sports.

Wylie was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame on January 25, 2008.


While exercising with friends on April 21, 2015, Wylie collapsed and was unresponsive. One of the friends he was training with, Billy Griggs, was certified in CPR and immediately began chest compressions until medical attention arrived on scene. Paramedics administered a defibrillator but were unsuccessful in resuscitating Wylie. After first responders injected his heart with epinephrine, Wylie's heart started again. He was immediately transferred to Charlotte, North Carolina hospital where doctors diagnosed him as having suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. Wylie was put into a medically induced coma and began a treatment known as therapeutic hypothermia in order to cool his brain and body to 90 degrees in order to reduce any possible brain damage.[11]

After two days, Wylie woke up from his coma and was released from the hospital nine days later. He has made a full recovery but continues to wear an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator pacemaker. He had no symptoms of heart disease except for experiencing a few dizzy spells a few days before the incident. Doctors gave Wylie a clean bill of health, saying he had no heart or brain damage.[citation needed]


  • U.S. Olympic Spirit Award (1992)
  • U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame Inductee (2008)

Professional competitive highlights[edit]

  • Ice Wars 1996 (team) 1st
  • Battle of the Sexes 1996 (men's team) 1st
  • Miko Masters 1996 1st
  • Challenge of Champions 1995 1st
  • Fall Team Pro-Am (team) 1st, 1st overall
  • Ice Wars 1995 (team) 1st
  • Miko Masters Paris Championships 1995 1st
  • Ice Wars 1994 (team) 1st
  • Spring Pro-Am 1994 1st
  • World Challenge of Champions 1993 1st
  • World Professional Figure Skating Championships 1993 1st
  • Fall Pro-Am 3rd 1993 Miko Masters Paris Championships 1993 1st
  • World Challenge of Champions 1992 1st
  • U.S. Open Professional Championships 1992 1st
  • Fall Pro-Am 1992 1st



Season Exhibition / Professional Competition






  • "The Last Night of the World" (with Nancy Kerrigan) from Miss Saigon


  • "The Last Night of the World" (with Nancy Kerrigan) from Miss Saigon


Season Short program Free skating Exhibition

  • "The Last Night of the World" (with Nancy Kerrigan) from Miss Saigon
  • "Reach for the Stars" by Herb Alpert
  • "And the Kids Call It Boogie" by Gap Mangione
    choreo. by Mary Scotvold

  • Charlie Chaplin Medley


Event 80–81 81–82 82–83 83–84 84–85 85–86 86–87 87–88 88–89 89–90 90–91 91–92
Olympics 10th 2nd
Worlds 9th 10th 11th
Skate America 7th
Skate Canada 2nd 3rd
Inter. de Paris 1st 5th
NHK Trophy 5th 2nd 4th
Nations Cup 3rd
St. Ivel 1st
International: Junior
Junior Worlds 1st
U.S. Champ. 11th 5th 4th 5th 5th 5th 2nd 3rd 2nd 3rd 2nd

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Plummer, William (March 2, 1992). "Leap of Faith". People. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  2. ^ "Paul Wylie answers questions exclusively for U.S. Figure Skating Online" (PDF). U.S. Figure Skating Magazine.
  3. ^ "Biographies: Program Presenters". Harvard@Home. Harvard University. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  4. ^ Swift, E.M. (February 24, 1992). "Silver Lining: Paul Wylie's medal-winning performance brightened a cloudy career". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  5. ^ Thomas, Rebecca (February 16, 1996). "Paul Wiley - From Harvard to Ice Rink: Love Of Skating Sidetracked The Olympic Silver Medalist From A Possible Law Career". Orlando Sentinael. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d "At Home with Paul Wylie". The Place for Words & Workshops. 2004.
  7. ^ Menges, Jerri (May 9, 2006). "Dare to Be a Daniel". Decision Magazine. BGEA. Retrieved October 16, 2006.
  8. ^ Cort, Ben G.; Paterson, R. Blake (May 27, 2015). "Olympic Silver Medalist Balanced School and Training". Harvard Crimson. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  9. ^ "1981 Junior World's Report", Skating magazine, March 1981
  10. ^ a b c d Kestnbaum, Ellyn (2003). Culture on Ice: Figure Skating and Cultural Meaning. Middleton, Connecticut: Wesleyan Publishing Press. p. 187. ISBN 0-8195-6641-1.
  11. ^ Pawlowski, A. (November 19, 2015). "Olympic skater Paul Wylie opens up about heart-stopping health scare". TODAY.