Figure skating at the 1998 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.
|Figure skating at the XVIII Olympic Winter Games|
|Men's singles: |
|Ladies' singles: |
|Pair skating: |
Oksana Kazakova / Artur Dmitriev
|Ice dance: |
Oksana Grishuk / Evgeny Platov
1994 Winter Olympics
2002 Winter Olympics
The competitions took place on the following days:
- Pairs: 8–10 February 1998
- Men's singles: 12–14 February 1998
- Ice dance: 13–16 February 1998
- Ladies' singles: 18–20 February 1998
- Exhibition gala: 21 February 1998
|Totals (6 nations)||4||4||4||12|
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 a flawless program which included a quad toe loop to open the last session. Yagudin, who was one of several athletes suffering from the flu during these games, fell on his quad attempt and his triple Axel, which took him out of medal contention. Eldredge was skating cleanly until he popped what was to be his second triple Axel, and then he fell again when he tried to complete the jump again in the closing seconds. Candeloro, with the exception of a step out on his triple Axel, skated his program flawlessly to end up second in the free skating. Stojko, who skated last, originally intended to perform a quad toe loop/triple toe loop combination. However, a partial groin tear and the flu prevented him from attempting the combo, so he downgraded his quad to a triple. Despite his injury, he skated a clean program but finished the free skating third, placing second overall 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 contenders for the gold medal were Americans Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan. Kwan and Lipinski were in first and second place respectively after the short program. In the free skating, both Lipinski and Kwan skated clean. 6 judges placed Lipinski ahead of Kwan, and three placed Kwan ahead of Lipinski, which meant Lipinski won the gold medal, and Kwan took the silver.
The primary competitors for the bronze medal were Maria Butyrskaya and Irina Slutskaya from Russia, and Chen Lu from China. 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.
Tara Lipinski (gold), Michelle Kwan (silver) and Chen Lu (bronze) were the World Champions in 1997, 1996 and 1995, respectively.
While not a medal winner, Surya Bonaly completed an illegal backflip during her long program, making her the fourth person and only woman to ever land a backflip in competition. She is also the only person to land on one foot and to do a split mid-air (now colloquially referred to as a 'Bonaly'). She did this as a result of a poor program due to an injured foot. Given the illegal nature of the move, her backflip was not considered when grading her technical merit.
- 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)
Artur Dmitriev won his second Olympic gold here. He had previously won in 1992 with a different partner. He was the first man to win the Olympics more than once with different partners. The first woman to do so was Soviet skater Irina Rodnina, who 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.
- "Figure Skating at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games | Olympics at Sports-Reference.com". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 17 February 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Longman, Jere (11 February 1998). "THE XVIII WINTER GAMES: FIGURE SKATING; Dmitriev Rises to Occasion in Pairs Once Again". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
- Longman, Jere (17 February 1998). "THE XVIII WINTER GAMES: FIGURE SKATING; Russian Duo Remain Unbeatable". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- Canadians dig for gold on ice: Bourne and Kraatz will battle opponents and judges in Nagano Archived 25 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Steve Milton, 7 February 1998
- Skating federation to investigate judging Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 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