Linda Fratianne

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Linda Fratianne
Personal information
Country represented  United States
Born (1960-08-02) August 2, 1960 (age 54)
Height 5' (152 cm)
Former coach Frank Carroll
Retired 1980
Olympic medal record
Women's figure skating
Competitor for  United States
Silver 1980 Lake Placid Singles

Linda Sue Fratianne (born August 2, 1960 in Los Angeles-Northridge, California, U.S.) is a former American Olympic figure skater known for winning four consecutive U.S. Championships (1977–1980) as well as being a silver medalist in the 1980 Winter Olympics.

Personal life

Linda Fratianne's father was the former Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Fratianne, who died in 2002. Her mother was Virginia Fratianne. Her parents were divorced.

From 1988 to 2001, Linda Fratianne was married to ski racer Nick Maricich. They have a daughter, Ali (b. 1991). Fratianne currently lives and coaches in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Career

Throughout her figure skating career, Fratianne was coached by Frank Carroll.

Fratianne became the first female skater to land two different types of triple jumps (toe loop and salchow) in her free skating programs in 1976 at the U.S. National Championships. At the World Figure Skating Championship in Tokyo, Japan in 1977, she won her first world title by upsetting the favorite going into the Championship: East Germany's Anett Pötzsch. Although Fratianne fell on her triple salchow jump in her free skating routine, the judges considered she was better overall than Pötzsch.

In 1979, Fratianne was able to regain her world title, which she had lost to Pötzsch in 1978 in Ottawa, Canada.

Her chief rivals were Anett Pötzsch (East Germany), Emi Watanabe (Japan), and Dagmar Lurz (West Germany). Like Watanabe, her compulsory figures were significantly weaker than her free skating; consequently, she frequently placed well below Pötzsch and Lurz in the compulsories, forcing her to attempt to overcome her deficiencies through strong short and free programs. In the short and free programs, Fratianne never placed lower than Pötzsch or Lurz between 1977 and 1980 in any competition. However, since the rules at the time placed much weight on compulsory figures, she was only able to win a major title twice.

Linda Fratianne in 1980 (on the left)

At the 1980 Winter Olympics, Fratianne placed third in the compulsory figures, first in the short program, and second in the free skate to place second overall, while Pötzsch took the gold with 1st in figures, 4th in the short program, and 3rd in the free skate. There have been persistent allegations that Fratianne was "robbed" of the gold medal by a conspiracy among Eastern-bloc judges, but in fact only two of the nine judges on the panel were from Eastern-bloc countries and only the judges from Japan and the USA placed Fratianne first. All others placed Pötzsch first, mainly due to her substantial lead in the compulsory figures.

The officials were:

  • Wolfgang Kunz (FRG=West Germany)
  • Ludwig Gassner (Austria)
  • Kinuko Ueno (Japan)
  • Charles U. Foster (USA)
  • Radovan Lipovscak (Yugoslavia)
  • Leena Vainio (Finland)
  • Giorgio Siniscialcio (Italy)
  • Ingird Linke (GDR=East Germany)
  • Markus Germann (Switzerland)
  • substitute judge was Sergei Kononykhin (Soviet Union)
  • referee: Benjamin T. Wright (USA)
  • assistant referee: Donald H. Gilchrist
Judging
Anett Pötzsch Linda Fratianne
Compulsory Figures 46.04 points 9 places 1st rank 42.76 points 27 places 3rd rank
Short Program 39.76 points 37places 4th rank 41.44 points 11 places 1st rank
Free Program 103.20 points 24 places 3rd rank 104.10 points 17places 2nd rank
Total 189.00 points 11 places 1st rank 188.30 points 16 places 2nd rank

After the 1980 Winter Games, Fratianne turned professional and, at the 1980 world championships, won the bronze medal behind Anett Pötzsch and Dagmar Lurz from West Germany.

In 1981, the scoring system in figure skating was modified to combine the results of the compulsory figures, short program, and free skating by adding placements instead of carrying over raw scores. This made it less likely that skaters could build up a huge lead in the compulsory figures. This decision was made long before the 1980 Winter Olympics.

After the 1980 season, Fratianne retired from competitive skating and performed in touring shows, including ten years as a lead skater of Disney on Ice. In 1993, she was inducted into the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

Results

Event 1973–74 1974–75 1975–76 1976–77 1977–78 1978–79 1979–80
Winter Olympics 8th 2nd
World Championships 5th 1st 2nd 1st 3rd
Skate Canada International 1st
NHK Trophy 2nd
Richmond Trophy 3rd
U.S. Championships 7th 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st

External links

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