Do you remember these figure skating legends?

Olivia Seitz

Image: youtube

About This Quiz

Figure skaters have captivated audiences with their daring exploits and impassioned performances for decades. How much do you know about the athletes who left their marks in figure skating history?

Which skater's career came to an end over an attack on her rival, Nancy Kerrigan?

American Tonya Harding was a true prodigy in her youth, landing her first triple at only eight years old and becoming the first woman to land a triple axel. When she hindered police investigation into the crime against Kerrigan, however, her career came to an end.

Which East German bombshell had to deal with increased attention from the Stasi, the country's secret police, when she rose to fame for her skating feats?

The "Carmen" that took the gold in 1988, Witt won two consecutive Olympic gold medals and countless other international competitions.

In which decade was Dorothy Hamill known as "America's Sweetheart"?

She captured the public eye with her gold medal placement at the 1976 Olympics and worlds competitions. After her career, she toured extensively with Ice Capades.

Which figure skater was well-known for his love of glitter and glamour, often showcasing elaborate costumes in competition?

American Johnny Weir learned to skate on the "Amish corn fields" behind his house and rocketed to stardom just a few years later. He collected numerous medals, including several national championships and world titles. He frequently makes public appearances with friend and fellow skater, Tara Lipinski.

Chen Lu, known for her mastery of triple jumps, won two bronze medals for which country?

She was the first figure skater to win an Olympic medal for China, and held her own amidst many skating greats. She now works to provide government-independent skating rinks so more Chinese individuals can learn to skate.

Nancy Kerrigan overcame the knee injury from her attack to win which medal at the 1994 Olympics?

Ukraine's Oksana Baiul narrowly earned the gold above American Nancy Kerrigan. Afterward, Kerrigan moved on to pursue family life and performed in various shows and movies.

Through 2014, who is the youngest Winter Olympic gold medalist ever?

Lipinski was only fifteen years old when she claimed the gold at the 1998 Winter Olympics. She's since developed a successful career as a sports analyst and actress.

Which of the following is true about Scott Hamilton?

Not only was American Scott Hamilton a joy to watch on the ice, but he's dedicated his life to bringing joy to others through his foundation and other works. A true survivor, he's navigated the difficult road of a champion and that of a cancer patient. Sadly, in 2016 he was once again diagnosed with a brain tumor, but so far his outlook is positive.

Which skater is famous for her portrayal of the black swan from "Swan Lake"?

Ukraine's Oksana Baiul skated to a dramatic "Swan Lake" short program before taking gold at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer. The music is now extremely popular with skaters at every level.

At the 2002 Olympics, Alexei Yagudin...

The Russian's record-breaking performances easily earned him Olympic gold. He was also the second youngest man ever to win the World Championship in men's skating.

Whose performance in the Grenoble Olympics was seen as the return of America in the figure skating world?

After the entire U.S. figure skating team perished in a 1961 plane crash, American skating took time to rebound internationally. Fleming heralded America's return to the playing field with a gold medal in 1968.

Todd Eldredge was a National Champion for the U.S. how many times?

Eldridge competed for two whole decades before hanging up his skates. He earned six World medals, six National Championship titles, and three trips to the Olympics.

Which beloved American skater won a bronze at the 1988 Olympics while attending Stanford full-time to become a doctor?

Thomas claimed a World title, an Olympic bronze, and several national titles. She is often remembered for her rivalry with East Germany's Katarina Witt, dubbed the "Battle of the Carmens."

Which man was the first to complete the "treacherous" double axel in competition?

One of the greatest figure skaters of all time, America's Dick Button was constantly creating new moves in figure skating and continued to push the boundaries of existing moves. He claimed two Olympic gold medals during his time as an amateur competitor.

Which ladies skater vaulted from fourth place after the short program to win gold at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics?

Most were predicting a win for fan-favorite Michelle Kwan, and after placing fourth in the short program, the American Sarah Hughes wasn't seen as a threat. But she came back with a flawless free skate that nabbed her the gold!

Why did Kristi Yamaguchi start skating?

Skating was initially therapeutic for her club feet, but it quickly became Yamaguchi's passion. She grabbed the gold medal in the 1992 Olympics, in addition to many other accomplishments.

Who was Jamie Sale's partner in pairs skating?

The Canadian pair captured hearts around the globe with their beautiful skating and the community was thrilled when they ultimately received the 2002 Olympic medal they had lost due to judges' collusion.

Which rebellious skater performed a backflip at the 1998 Olympics, even though the move was banned?

France's Surya Bonaly chose to perform the illegal move despite the points she would lose, and the crowd loved her for it. She's the only skater to master an impressive single-foot landing for the backflip.

Timothy Goebel was the first American to do what?

Goebel successfully landed the quad salchow in competition and won bronze in the 2002 Olympics.

Which famous skater competed in both men's singles and in pairs with Kristi Yamaguchi?

Galindo and Yamaguchi grabbed the national title in pairs twice before concentrating on their solo skating. Galindo went on to grab the gold in U.S. Men's and a bronze at World in 1996.

Which of these teams married after competing together?

Each couple has a sweet love story to accompany their athletic success, although Gordeeva was sadly left a widow when Grinkov collapsed of a coronary disease in 1995.

Which skater was known for completing his lutz jumps with one arm over his head?

American Brian Boitano was the inventor of the "tano" lutz, in which the skater gracefully extends one arm in an arc above his or her head while rotating the jump.

Which American skater beat out Russia's Plushenko for gold in the 2010 Olympics?

The United States' Evan Lysacek and his coach, Frank Carroll, worked hard to rack up points in the then-fresh International Judging System. His technically sound program was enough to overcome the points Plushenko earned by landing quads.

Who partnered with American ice dancer Ben Agosto, winning five U.S. championships and an Olympic silver?

Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto were the American judge's favorites for years, due to their exquisite execution and grace. They've continued to skate in shows after retiring from competition.

Which figure skater placed on the podium in all but one of his competitions?

Russia's Evgeni Plushenko, ever the competitor, returned from two retirements to medal in international skating events. He thrilled crowds with his quads and was eventually forced to retire due to injuries.

Sasha Cohen was especially famous for...

American Sasha Cohen is remembered for her beautiful spirals and spins, in which she demonstrated exceptional grace and flexibility. She won the silver at the 2006 Olympic Games.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Canadian ice dancers, came back from retirement in 2017 to win their...

The pair have won three World Championships and were the first Canadian team to win an Olympic gold in Canada. They've skated together for nineteen years and counting!

Which Olympic gold medalist went on to become an accomplished surgeon, Harvard Medical School lecturer, and leader in multiple MIT initiatives?

Dr. Albright currently serves as the director of MIT Collaborative Initiatives, one part of her hugely successful career after she hung up her skates. Her skating accomplishments were nothing to sneeze at, though - she was the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in ladies' skating.

What did Elvis Stojko overcome to win silver in the 1998 Olympics?

The poor man couldn't even take pain killers to get through practice and his performance, out of the fear that he'd fail a drug test. During his free skate, the Canadian's injury worsened, but he finished the performance for a hard-won silver medal.

Which figure-skating superstar won three Olympic gold medals and ten World Championships in a row?

Norwegian Sonja Henie is considered by many to be skating's original superstar. She annihilated the competition and went on to become a movie star, capitalizing on her success.

Michelle Kwan, a true American favorite, won how many national titles?

She has nine national gold medals in figure skating and holds several Olympic and World medals to boot. One of skating's most popular figures, she earned a substantial sum for endorsements and show appearances before acting as a public diplomacy ambassador during the Bush and Obama administrations.

Brian Orser was troubled for years by his narrow loss to Brian Boitano at the 1988 Olympics. He experienced catharsis when which of his students won the 2010 Olympic gold medal?

South Korea's Kim Yuna was one of the first students he took on at the Toronto club where he teaches. He's had an extremely successful career as a coach, bringing more than one student to gold.

Which big-personality skater was the first man ever to land a quad in competition?

Canada's Kurt Browning, well known for his funny exhibition programs and exploding personality, was also a tough competitor. He claimed four world titles and participated in three Olympics.

Which of these skaters came back from retirement to win the silver medal in the 2014 Olympics?

South Korea's Kim Yuna overcame an extended break from the sport and an injury to deliver breathtaking performances at the Olympic games. She lost the gold to Russia's Adelina Sotnikova in a controversial decision that had many fans outraged.

Which Japanese skater was known especially for her triple axel?

Asada, who just retired in 2017, has been a top competitor for years but never snagged an Olympic gold. She did lay claim to an Olympic silver and many other international victories.

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