The 1956 European Figure Skating Championships


In early January of 1956, a fire broke out in the television transmitter atop the Eiffel Tower, causing extensive damage. The French legislative election resulted in a coalition government led by former Prime Minister Pierre Mendès France. Dean Martin's "Memories Are Made Of This" topped the music charts and the cost of a loaf of bread was eighteen cents. From the 19 to 21 of that month, many of Europe's best figure skaters gathered at the Palais des Sports in Paris, France for the European Figure Skating Championships.


At the 1955 ISU Congress, the 'powers that be' in international figure skating voted to have a trial of the new 'Finnish System' of judging at the 1956 European Championships. Invented by Walter Jakobsson, the system was essentially an adapted version of the 6.0 system, with the high and low marks dropped. When it was discovered that the announcement for the Championships made no mention of the 'Finnish System', the trial was ultimately postponed. Jakob Biedermann, a Swiss attorney who served as the Chairman of the ISU's Figure Skating Committee, withdrew over the hoopla, believing that if it was decided at the ISU Congress to try the system in Paris, it should have been tried whether it was advertised or not. Let's take a look back at the excitement in Paris!

THE ICE DANCE COMPETITION

Ice dance was a very new discipline at the European Championships and Jean Westwood and Lawrence Demmy had won the European title the first two times it was contested. Their retirement meant that new champions would be crowned in Paris. Twenty-two year old Pamela Weight and nineteen year old Paul Thomas, the runners-up to Westwood and Demmy in Budapest in 1955, seemed their logical successors.

Pamela Weight and Paul Thomas. Photo courtesy "Ice & Roller Skate' magazine.

Weight and Thomas led the way after the compulsories, first on all but the Italian judges scorecard. The Italian judge gave their vote to the second place couple, Bournemouth's June Markham and Courtney Jones, who were making their international debut. Weight and Thomas were students of Len Liggett; Markham and Jones were taught by Miss Gladys Hogg.

The two top British teams were even closer in the free dance, with Weight and Thomas winning over Markham and Jones by eight points in a four-three split of the judging panel. British judge Pamela Davis gave the deciding vote in favour of Weight and Thomas. The third British team, Barbara Thompson and Gerard Rigby, took the bronze over France's Fanny Besson and Jean-Paul Guhel but were eleven points back of Markham and Jones. Pamela Weight had the interesting distinction of being the only woman to win a European dance title while wearing glasses.

THE WOMEN'S COMPETITION

Ingrid Wendl. Photo courtesy Bildarchiv.

As in the ice dance event, the women's title in Paris was up for grabs. Defending champion Hanna Eigel had turned professional to skate with the Wiener Eisrevue. There was no clear favourite but Ingrid Wendl and Erica Batchelor, separated by one point at the 1955 World Championships, were considered contenders as was sixteen year old Yvonne Sugden, a medallist at the previous two European Championships.

Ingrid Wendl posing for photographers. Photo courtesy "Miroir-Sprint" magazine.

The school figures were very close. Yvonne Sugden led after the first four figures by less than two points but was overtaken in the final two by Ingrid Wendl, who had five first place ordinals to Sugden and Batchelor's two. British judge Pauline Borrajo voted in favour of Batchelor, while the Austrian judge of course was one of those who voted for Wendl.

Erica Batchelor, Ingrid Wendl and Yvonne Sugden on the podium at the 1956 European Championships. Photo courtesy Yvonne Sugden, BIS Archives.

With four first place ordinals, Yvonne Sugden won the free skate with an exceptional performance. The Hungarian judge tied her and Wendl, three judges voted for Wendl and the Swiss judge placed
athletic Czechoslovakian skater Jana Dočekalová first in the latter phase of the competition. Wendl's lead in figures gave her the title over Sugden six judges to three. Batchelor, West Germany's Rosi Pettinger and Austria's Hanna Walter rounded out the top five.

Left: Ingrid Wendl smiling for the press. Right: Alice Fischer hobbling along after her performance. Photos courtesy "Miroir-Sprint" magazine.

Five judges placed Jana Docekalová in the top three in free skating, but her disastrous finish in figures (outside of the top twenty) kept her in sixteenth overall. Ina Bauer also performed very well in free skating but ended the competition in an unlucky thirteenth. Swiss skater Alice Fischer placed twelfth, though she badly injured herself during her program and had to be helped off the ice.

THE PAIRS COMPETITION


Sissy Schwarz and Kurt Oppelt. Photo courtesy Bildarchiv.

Budapest's Marianna and László Nagy recaptured the European title they had first won in 1950 the previous year. However, Sissy Schwarz and Kurt Oppelt, the World Silver Medallists hadn't entered. In Paris, Schwarz and Oppelt unanimously won their only European title with a performance that - though not perfect - was considered to have been better than the won that earned them a controversial gold medal at the Olympics that followed in Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Sissy Schwarz and Kurt Oppelt. Photos courtesy "Miroir-Sprint" magazine.

The Nagy's and West Germans Marika Kilius and Franz Ningel tied in ordinal placings but the Nagy's had five seconds to Kilius and Ningel's four. The Hungarian siblings earned the silver by the slimmest of margins and Dr. Nagy celebrated his recent engagement to soon-to-be wife Elisabeth Sebestyén.


British judge Mollie Phillips placed the fourth place English pair, sixteen year old Joyce Coates and seventeen year old Anthony Holles of Liverpool, eighth and the second British pair Carolyn Krau and Rodney Ward fifth. Krau and Ward, the youngest members of the British team in Paris, placed ninth.

Lidia Garasimova and Yuri Kiselev and Maya Belenkaya and Igor Moskvin made history as the first two Soviet pairs to represent their country at the European Championships. They placed eighth and eleventh but brought with them some interesting history. Moskvin had once been coached by Nina Vasilievna Leplinskaya, a former student of 1908 Olympic Gold Medallist Nikolay Panin-Kolomenkin. Michael Booker recalled, "In the lobby of our hotel on Boulevard des Italiens, one would see [the Russian pairs] who had been cabaret dancers practicing their moves with their trainer, a plump woman who later was dubbed 'Fat Anna.' It was a bizarre spectacle with guests coming and going and these three jumping all over the place. Needless to say, it caused great amusement to the rest of us. Arnold Gerschwiler told me that he had been told that they practiced a method of training where they 'imagined' their routines and moves and by doing so enough times it actually helped the final performances.  He of course thought it [to be a load of rubbish]!"

THE MEN'S COMPETITION

Sixteen year old defending European Champion Alain Giletti won the school figures with first place ordinals from six of the nine judges. Karol Divín had two first place ordinals to Michael Booker's one but Booker finished second, some twenty-three points behind Giletti. Nineteen year old Brian Tuck of London, runner-up to Booker in the British Championships, was sixth after figures.

Alain Giletti backstage in Paris. Photo courtesy "Miroir-Sprint" magazine.

Eighteen year old Michael Booker, on special leave from the RAF to compete in Paris, won the free skate but lost the gold medal in a five-four split, with British judge Mollie Phillips voting for the winner Alain Giletti. Booker recalled, "When challenged by Arnold Gerschwiler, my coach - and the Gersches didn't hesitate to challenge judges as they had taught most of them - her response was that she didn't want to look as though she was playing favourites! Perhaps in fact it was revenge, for, in 1953 returning from the European Championships in Dortmund, Germany by train to Davos for the Worlds, as we exited the train I threw my skates over my shoulder hitting her on the head. She spent the next four days in hospital. I was a gay (in the strictly old fashioned sense of the word) and spirited fellow and thought it all a great big joke!"

Alain Giletti performing his Russian split jump. Photo courtesy "Miroir-Sprint" magazine.

Karol Divín took the bronze with a first place ordinal in the free skate from the first Soviet judge to appear at the European Championships. Alain Calmat finished fourth; Tilo Gutzeit fifth. Norbert Felsinger's strong figures managed to keep him in sixth. He had ordinals ranging from eleventh to sixteenth in free skating. Interestingly, no less than ten of the sixteen competitors had at least one top five ordinal in free skating. Brian Tuck dropped to ninth and Igor Persiantsev, Lev Mikhailov and  Valentin Zakharov, the first three men to represent the Soviet Union in an ISU Championship placed twelfth, fifteenth and dead last. It would be nineteen years later Vladimir Kovalev made history as the first Soviet skater to win the European men's title in Copenhagen.

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Sixes Across The Board

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean reacting to a scoreboard full of 6.0's

Not so long ago, a judging system existed where talented young jumpers with as much musical sense as gymnasts didn't receive 9.25's for Interpretation of the Music at the Olympic Games. It wasn't a perfect system by any means, as was evidenced in numerous judging fiascos. Who could forget the Austrian 'calculation office' in the fifties, the Soviet judging ban in the seventies, the 'tap-dancing' judges in the nineties and the Salt Lake City scandal of 2002? That said, the 6.0 judging system managed to accomplish something its successor still hasn't quite figured out - deliver scores that are memorable. Mnemonists, let alone die-hard fans, would struggle to rattle off their favourite skater's TES and PCS scores from the last Olympics. They would certainly remember a shorter and sweeter number that for decades was the benchmark of perfection - a perfect six. Today's blog highlights the skaters who have achieved perfect marks on Olympic ice and at Senior ISU Championships!

Robin Cousins' short program from the 1980 Winter Olympic Games

PERFECT MARKS GIVEN AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES (INCOMPLETE)

Year

Skater

Phase Of Competition

Number Of 6.0's

Notes

1908

Anna Hübler and Heinrich Burger*

Free Skate

7

AUT, GRB (Contents Of The Programme), GER, AUT, ARG, GRB, RUS (Manner Of Performance)

1908

Phyllis and James Henry Johnson

Free Skate

1

AUT (Contents Of The Programme)

1908

Madge and Edgar Syers

Free Skate

2

AUT, ARG (Manner Of Performance)

1932

Emília Rotter and László Szollás

Free Skate

2

HUN (Contents Of The Programme), HUN (Manner Of Performance)

1948

Dick Button

Free Skate

1

USA (Contents Of The Programme)

1960

David Jenkins

Free Skate

1

CZE (Manner Of Performance)

1968

Emmerich Danzer

Free Skate

1

ITA (Artistic Impression)

1972

Janet Lynn

Free Skate

1

SWE (Artistic Impression)

1976

Dorothy Hamill

Short Program

1

ITA (Presentation)

1976

Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaitsev

Short Program

1

CZE (Required Elements)

1976

Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov

Original Set Pattern Dance

1

SOV (Composition)

1976

Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov

Free Dance

1

SOV (Artistic Impression)

1980

Robin Cousins

Short Program

1

CAN (Presentation)

1984

Rosalynn Sumners

Free Skate

1

ITA (Artistic Impression)

1984

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Compulsory Dance #3

3

HUN, GRB, JPN (Combined Score)

1984

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Original Set Pattern Dance

4

HUN (Composition), HUN, ITA, CAN (Presentation)

1984

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Free Dance

12

HUN, GRB, JPN (Technical Merit), HUN, SOV, FRG, GRB, JPN, CZE, ITA, CAN, USA (Artistic Impression)

1988

Brian Orser

Free Skate

1

CZE (Artistic Impression)

1988

Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin

Original Set Pattern Dance

1

FRA (Presentation)

1988

Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin

Free Dance

3

SOV, ITA, FRA (Artistic Impression)

1994

Viktor Petrenko

Free Skate

1

ROM (Presentation)

1994

Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov

Free Skate

1

RUS (Artistic Impression)

1994

Oksana Grishuk and Evgeni Platov

Free Dance

1

RUS (Artistic Impression)

1994

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Original Dance

2

UKR, GRB (Presentation)

1994

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Free Dance

1

GRB (Artistic Impression)

1998

Elvis Stojko

Short Program

1

CAN (Presentation)

1998

Philippe Candeloro

Free Skate

1

FRA (Presentation)

1998

Oksana Kazakova and Artur Dmitriev

Free Skate

1

CZE (Presentation)

1998

Oksana Grishuk and Evgeni Platov

Free Dance

2

ITA, FRA (Presentation)

2002

Alexei Yagudin

Free Skate

3

USA, ROM, AZE (Presentation)


*In figure skating's early days, the Closed Marking System was used. Records from the first five Olympics recorded judge's totals and ordinals for singles events, not their marks in each category. However, published results from the pairs events in 1908, 1924 and 1932 recorded each judge's individual scores. At the pairs event at the 1908 Summer Games in London, all three pairs received at least one perfect mark of 6.0. Anna Hübler and Heinrich Burger received a total of seven 6.0's – including unanimous perfect marks for Manner Of Performance.

Toller Cranston's short program and free skate at the 1974 World Championships. Video courtesy Frazer Ormondroyd.

PERFECT MARKS GIVEN AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (INCOMPLETE)


Year

Skater

Phase Of Competition

Number Of 6.0's

Notes

1930

Karl Schäfer*

Compulsory Figures**

11

AUT (One Perfect Score For Each Figure)

1949

Dick Button

Free Skate

1

USA (Manner Of Performance)

1952

Jacqueline du Bief

Free Skate

1

GER (Manner Of Performance)

1955

Ronnie Robertson

Free Skate

1


1958

David Jenkins

Free Skate

1

Manner Of Performance

1958

Carol Heiss

Free Skate

3


1958

June Markham and Courtney Jones

Free Dance

2

The report in "Skating World" magazine noted "The programme and performance of Courtney Jones and June Markham was outstanding - and some judges produced 6's."

1959

David Jenkins

Free Skate

1

FRA (Manner Of Performance)

1962

Donald Jackson

Free Skate

7

CAN, FRG, HUN (Contents Of The Programme), CAN, CZE, GRB, SOV (Manner Of Performance)

1964

Tommy Litz

Free Skate

1

SOV (Manner Of Performance)

1966

Emmerich Danzer

Free Skate

2

FRG, HUN (Artistic Impression)

1966

Peggy Fleming

Free Skate

1

USA (Artistic Impression)

1966

Ludmila and Oleg Protopopov

Free Skate

1

SUI (Artistic Impression)

1966

Tatiana Zhuk and Aleksandr Gorelik

Free Skate

1

FRG (Technical Merit)

1967

Emmerich Danzer

Free Skate

1

AUT (Artistic Impression)

1968

Peggy Fleming

Free Skate

2

CZE, GRB (Artistic Impression)

1968

Ludmila and Oleg Protopopov

Free Skate

2

FRG, GDR

1968

Diane Towler and Bernard Ford

Free Dance

3

Artistic Impression

1969

Tim Wood

Free Skate

3

USA, FRG, GDR (Artistic Impression)

1970

Tim Wood

Free Skate

3

2 For Technical Merit, 1 For Artistic Impression

1970

Gaby Seyfert

Free Skate

1

GDR (Artistic Impression)

1971

Janet Lynn

Free Skate

2

SUI, ITA (Artistic Impression)

1971

Irina Rodnina and Alexei Ulanov

Free Skate

1

SOV (Artistic Impression)

1972

Sergei Chetverukhin

Free Skate

2

FRA, SOV (Artistic Impression)

1972

Toller Cranston

Free Skate

1

AUT (Artistic Impression)

1972

Janet Lynn

Free Skate

2

HUN, FRG (Artistic Impression)

1972

Irina Rodnina and Alexei Ulanov***

Short Program

2

SOV (Technical Merit), FRG (Artistic Impression)

1973

Toller Cranston

Short Program

1

ROM (Artistic Impression)

1973

Sergei Chetverukhin

Short Program

1

ROM (Artistic Impression)

1973

Ondrej Nepela

Free Skate

1

ROM (Artistic Impression)

1973

Sergei Chetverukhin

Free Skate

1

SOV (Artistic Impression)

1973

Janet Lynn

Free Skate

2

GDR, AUT (Artistic Impression)

1973

Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov

Free Dance

6

One For Technical Merit, Five For Artistic Impression

1974

Toller Cranston

Short Program

2

Artistic Impression, one from CAN

1974

Toller Cranston

Free Skate

2

CAN, FRA (Artistic Impression)

1974

Dorothy Hamill

Free Skate

1

GRB (Artistic Impression)

1974

Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaitsev

Free Skate

1

SOV (Artistic Impression)

1974

Irina Vorobieva and Aleksandr Vlasov

Free Skate

1

SOV

1974

Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov****

Original Set Pattern Dance

1

FRG (Presentation)

1974

Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov

Free Dance

8

SOV (Technical Merit), SUI, POL, USA, HUN, FRG, SOV, CAN (Artistic Impression)

1975

John Curry

Short Program

1

GRB (Artistic Impression)

1975

Yuri Ovchinnikov

Short Program

1

SOV (Artistic Impression)

1975

Toller Cranston

Free Skate

1

HUN (Artistic Impression)

1975

Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaitsev

Free Skate

1

GDR (Artistic Impression)

1975

Colleen O'Connor and Jim Millns

Free Dance

1

USA (Artistic Impression)

1976

John Curry

Free Skate

1

GRB (Artistic Impression)

1976

Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov

Original Set Pattern Dance

2


1976

Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov

Free Dance

10

CZE, SOV, CAN (Technical Merit), ITA, CZE, FRG, AUS, SOV, CAN, AUT (Artistic Impression)

1977

Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaitsev

Free Skate

1

JPN (Artistic Impression)

1979

Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner

Free Skate

1

FRG (Artistic Impression)

1979

Krisztina Regőczy and András Sallay

Free Dance

1

HUN (Artistic Impression)

1980

Robin Cousins

Free Skate

3

SOV (Technical Merit), SWE, SOV (Artistic Impression)

1982

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Original Set Pattern Dance

1


1982

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Free Dance

5

SUI, USA, ITA, JPN, POL (Artistic Impression)

1983

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Original Set Pattern Dance

7

SUI (Composition), ITA, SUI, JPN, USA, CAN, HUN (Presentation)

1983

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Free Dance

9

ITA, SUI, JPN, USA, CAN, AUT, SOV, HUN, GRB (Artistic Impression)

1984

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Compulsory Dance #2

3

HUN, GRB, SUI (Combined Score)

1984

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Compulsory Dance #3

4

HUN, GRB, JPN, SUI (Combined Score)

1984

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Original Set Pattern Dance

9

AUT, SOV, HUN, ITA, USA, GRB, JPN, CAN, SUI (Presentation)

1984

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Free Dance

13

HUN, ITA, GRB, JPN (Technical Merit), AUT, SOV, HUN, ITA, USA, GRB, JPN, CAN, SUI (Artistic Impression)

1985

Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin

Free Dance

2

CAN, FRA (Artistic Impression)

1986

Katarina Witt

Free Skate

2

FRG, GDR (Artistic Impression)

1986

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

Original Set Pattern Dance

1


1986

Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin

Free Dance

3

HUN, SOV, FRA (Artistic Impression)

1986

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

Free Dance

1

SUI (Artistic Impression)

1987

Katarina Witt

Free Skate

1

GDR (Artistic Impression)

1987

Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin

Free Dance

6

AUT, ITA, HUN, POL, FRA, SOV (Artistic Impression)

1987

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

Free Dance

1

FRA (Artistic Impression)

1988

Brian Orser

Free Skate

3

SWE, CAN, SOV (Artistic Impression)

1988

Katarina Witt

Short Program

1

GDR (Presentation)

1988

Katarina Witt

Free Skate

1

BUL (Artistic Impression)

1988

Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin

Original Set Pattern Dance

1

FRA (Presentation)

1988

Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin

Free Dance

2

SOV, FRA (Artistic Impression)

1989

Midori Ito

Original Program

2

ITA, HUN (Technical Merit)

1989

Midori Ito

Free Skate

5

BUL, SWE, ITA, HUN, BEL (Technical Merit)

1989

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

Compulsory Dance #2

1

SUI (Combined Score)

1989

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

Original Set Pattern Dance

2

SOV, CZE (Presentation)

1989

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

Free Dance

6

AUT (Technical Merit), USA, SOV, JPN, FRA, ITA (Artistic Impression)

1990

Kurt Browning

Original Program

1

HUN (Presentation)

1990

Viktor Petrenko

Original Program

2

AUS, AUT (Presentation)

1990

Midori Ito

Free Skate

3

HUN, SUI, ITA (Technical Merit)

1990

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

Original Set Pattern Dance

1

JPN (Presentation)

1990

Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay

Original Set Pattern Dance

2

POL, FRA (Presentation)

1990

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

Free Dance

1

CZE (Artistic Impression)

1990

Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay

Free Dance

5

POL, FRA, USA, CZE, BUL (Artistic Impression)

1991

Viktor Petrenko

Free Skate

1

USA (Artistic Impression))

1991

Petr Barna

Short Program

1

HUN (Presentation)

1991

Kristi Yamaguchi

Free Skate

1

ITA (Artistic Impression)

1991

Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay

Free Dance

1

SUI (Artistic Impression)

1991

Maya Usova and Alexandr Zhulin

Compulsory Dance #2

1

SOV (Combined Score)

1991

Maya Usova and Alexandr Zhulin

Original Set Pattern Dance

1

AUT (Presentation)

1992

Petr Barna

Short Program

1

GER (Presentation)

1992

Viktor Petrenko

Free Skate

2

ROM, AUS (Artistic Impression)

1992

Natalia Mishkutenok and Artur Dmitriev

Free Skate

4

POL, FRA, CZE, CIS (Artistic Impression)

1993

Mark Mitchell

Short Program

1

RUS (Artistic Impression)

1993

Kurt Browning

Free Skate

1

FRA (Artistic Impression)

1994

Elvis Stojko

Free Skate

1

USA (Technical Merit)

1995

Elvis Stojko

Free Skate

1

FRA (Technical Merit)

1996

Michelle Kwan

Free Skate

2

BUL, JPN (Presentation)

1996

Lu Chen

Free Skate

2

FRA, HUN (Presentation)

1997

Elvis Stojko

Free Skate

1

ITA (Technical Merit)

1997

Oksana Grishuk and Evgeni Platov

Original Dance

1

FRA (Presentation)

1997

Oksana Grishuk and Evgeni Platov

Free Dance

2

ITA, GRB (Presentation)

1998

Michelle Kwan

Short Program

1

CAN (Presentation)

1999

Alexei Yagudin

Free Skate

1

POL (Presentation)

1999

Angelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov

Free Dance

1

RUS (Presentation)

2000

Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat

Free Dance

4

FRA, ISR, USA, POL (Presentation)

2002

Alexei Yagudin

Short Program

6

ISU (Technical Merit), ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2002

Alexei Yagudin

Free Skate

2

ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2002

Irina Slutskaya

Short Program

2

ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2003

Evgeni Plushenko

Qualifying Group A

1

ISU (Presentation)

2003

Michelle Kwan

Short Program

1

ISU (Presentation)

2003

Michelle Kwan

Free Skate

2

ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2003

Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao

Free Skate

4

ISU, ISU (Technical Merit), ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2003

Irina Lobatcheva and Ilya Averbukh

Free Dance

1

ISU (Presentation)

2004

Evgeni Plushenko

Free Skate

4

ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2004

Sasha Cohen

Short Program

4

ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2004

Michelle Kwan

Free Skate

6

ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2004

Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin

Short Program

1

ISU (Presentation)

2004

Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao

Free Skate

12

ISU, ISU (Technical Merit), ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU (Artistic Impression)

2004

Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin

Free Skate

1

ISU (Presentation)

2004

Qing Pang and Jian Tong

Free Skate

1

ISU (Presentation)

2004

Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov

Original Dance

1

ISU (Presentation)

2004

Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov

Free Dance

9

ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2004

Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski

Free Dance

2

ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2004

Kati Winkler and Rene

Free Dance

1

ISU (Presentation)


*In 1930, Karl Schäfer was awarded perfect 6.0's for eleven of the twelve compulsory figures by Austrian judge Julius Edhoffer. The editors of "Skating" magazine noted: "Mr. Edhoffer was quite upset when he learned that we criticised him somewhat for giving Schäfer eleven sixes on school figures, and we had a very interesting conversation with him and the Brunets on that subject. He stated that in Germany, Austria and the Scandinavian countries the judges use six to show the best performance on any particular figure and he was much surprised when we told him we felt that our judges considered six perfection and practically never used it. The Brunets said that although six had been used to their knowledge in France, it was not customary and they thought the English regarded it as perfection as we do."

**In 1969, two-time Olympian Per Cock-Clausen noted, "Prior to and just after World War II, good figure skaters seldom received marks below 5.0 in any figure, and sometimes such skaters as Sonja Henie and Karl Schaefer even received a 6.0. But very few skaters ever earned a 5.5 in the free... With the exception of a few post-war skaters such as Jeannette Altwegg, Tenley Albright and Carol Heiss, figure standards decreased.... particularly in the areas of style, circles and clean turns, during recent years judges have rarely come up to a 5.0 in any figure. On the other hand, very few top free skaters ever receive marks below 5.3. Often marks of 5.8 and 5.9 are awarded. Even if free-skating standards have risen and figure standards have declined, the results have been over-emphasized through the marking of most judges." One of the highest marks given in figures at an ISU Championship after the fifties was a 5.2, received by Olympic Gold Medallist Trixi Schuba.

***Irina Rodnina and Alexei Ulanov made history as the first duo to receive a pair of 6.0's in the pairs short program at the World Championships in 1972.

****Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Zaitsev's 6.0-winning OSP in 1974 later became a compulsory dance – the Tango Romantica.


Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay's free dance at the 1990 European Championships

PERFECT MARKS GIVEN AT THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS (INCOMPLETE)


Year

Skater

Phase Of Competition

Number Of 6.0's

Notes

1936

Karl Schäfer

Free Skate

4

AUT, CZE (Contents Of The Programme), AUT, CZE (Manner Of Performance)

1936

Felix Kaspar

Free Skate

2

GER, FIN (Contents Of The Programme)

1961

Marika Kilius and Hans-Jürgen Bäumler

Free Skate

1

Sporting Merit

1965

Ludmila and Oleg Protopopov

Free Skate

1

FIN (Artistic Impression)

1966

Emmerich Danzer

Free Skate

2

Artistic Impression

1966

Ludmila and Oleg Protopopov

Free Skate

2

Artistic Impression

1967

Diane Towler and Bernard Ford

Free Dance

2

FRA, HOL (Artistic Impression)

1969

Gaby Seyfert

Free Skate

4

AUT, GDR, HUN, ITA (Artistic Impression)

1969

Diane Towler and Bernard Ford

Free Dance

1


1970

Gaby Seyfert

Free Skate

3

Artistic Impression

1970

Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov

Free Dance

2


1972

Sonja Morgenstern

Free Skate

1

ITA (Artistic Impression)

1972

Angelika and Erich Buck

Free Dance

1

FRG (Artistic Impression)

1973

Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaitsev

Short Program

3

1 for Technical Merit, 2 for Presentation

1973

Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaitsev

Free Skate

12

4 for Technical Merit, 8 for Artistic Impression

1973

Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov

Free Dance

1

Artistic Impression

1974

Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaitsev

Short Program

3


1974

Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaitsev

Free Skate

11

7 for Technical Merit, 4 for Artistic Impression

1974

Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov

Free Dance

10

2 for Technical Merit, 8 for Artistic Impression

1975

Vladimir Kovalev

Free Skate

1

FRG (Technical Merit)

1975

John Curry

Free Skate

1

FRA (Artistic Impression)

1975

Irina Rodnina and Alexei Ulanov

Short Program

3

Presentation

1975

Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov

Free Dance

3


1976

Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaitsev

Short Program

6

1 for Technical Merit, 5 for Presentation

1976

Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaitsev

Free Skate

1

SUI

1976

Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov

Free Dance

3

Artistic Impression

1976

Irina Moiseeva and Andrei Minenkov

Free Dance

1

Artistic Impression

1977

Robin Cousins

Short Program

1

Artistic Impression

1977

Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaitsev

Free Skate

1

Artistic Impression

1977

Irina Moiseeva and Andrei Minenkov

Free Dance

2

Artistic Impression

1978

Robin Cousins

Short Program

1

AUT (Artistic Impression)

1978

Robin Cousins

Free Skate

1

FRA (Artistic Impression)

1978

Denise Biellmann

Free Skate

1

GRB (Technical Merit)

1978

Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaitsev

Short Program

1


1978

Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaitsev

Free Skate

1

Artistic Impression

1979

Robin Cousins

Short Program

1

FRG (Presentation)

1979

Robin Cousins

Free Skate

2

Artistic Impression

1980

Robin Cousins

Free Skate

3

SOV, YUG, POL (Artistic Impression)

1980

Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaitsev

Free Skate

1

POL (Technical Merit)

1982

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Original Set Pattern Dance

3

GRB, FRA, AUT (Presentation)

1982

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Free Dance

11

3 for Technical Merit, 8 for Artistic Impression

1984

Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev

Free Skate

2

Artistic Impression

1984

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean*

Compulsory Dance (Rhumba)

1


1984

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Original Set Pattern Dance

6

Presentation

1984

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Free Dance

11

3 for Technical Merit, 8 for Artistic Impression

1985

Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin

Free Dance

8

SUI (Technical Merit), AUT, SOV, SUI, FRG, CZE, ITA, FRA (Artistic Impression)

1986

Jozef Sabovčík

Free Skate

1

SOV (Technical Merit)

1986

Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin

Free Dance

4

BUL, SOV, ITA, FRA (Artistic Impression)

1987

Alexandr Fadeev

Free Skate

3

1 for Technical Merit, 2 for Artistic Impression

1987

Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin

Free Dance

5

Artistic Impression

1988

Katarina Witt

Short Program

5

YUG (Technical Merit), YUG, POL, HUN, GDR (Presentation)

1988

Katarina Witt

Free Skate

2

HUN, GDR (Artistic Impression)

1988

Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin

Original Set Pattern Dance

3

HUN, ITA, SOV (Presentation)

1988

Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin

Free Dance

7

HUN, SUI, ITA, CZE, SOV, AUT, FRG (Artistic Impression)

1989

Alexandr Fadeev

Free Skate

4

BUL, YUG, FRA, HUN (Artistic Impression)

1989

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

Free Dance

2

SOV, ITA (Artistic Impression)

1989

Maya Usova and Alexandr Zhulin

Free Dance

1

SOV (Artistic Impression)

1990

Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov

Free Skate

1

YUG (Artistic Impression)

1990

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

Original Set Pattern Dance

1

BUL (Artistic Impression)

1990

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

Free Dance

2

HUN, FRA (Artistic Impression)

1990

Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay

Free Dance

1

FRA (Artistic Impression)

1991

Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay

Free Dance

1

FRA (Artistic Impression)

1992

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

Free Dance

4

AUT, ITA, FIN, CZE (Artistic Impression)

1993

Maya Usova and Alexandr Zhulin

Free Dance

2

UKR, FRA (Artistic Impression)

1994

Viktor Petrenko

Technical Program

2

POL, SVK (Technical Merit)

1994

Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov

Free Skate

4

CZE, RUS, SUI, BLS (Artistic Impression)

1994

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Original Dance

2

GRB, CZE (Presentation)

1994

Oksana Grishuk and Evgeni Platov

Free Dance

3

POL, GRB, GER (Artistic Impression)

1995

Alexei Urmanov

Free Skate

1

GEO (Presentation)

1997

Oksana Grishuk and Evgeni Platov

Free Dance

6

EST, POL, ITA, HUN, AUT, FIN (Presentation)

1997

Oksana Grishuk and Evgeni Platov

Free Dance

6

EST, POL, ITA, HUN, FIN, GER (Presentation)

1998

Philippe Candeloro

Free Skate

1

BEL (Presentation)

1998

Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze

Short Program

1

POL (Presentation)

1998

Oksana Grishuk and Evgeni Platov

Free Dance

4

AUT, LIT, ITA, RUS (Presentation)

1999

Angelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov

Original Dance

1

HUN (Presentation)

2000

Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat

Free Dance

2

FRA, ITA (Presentation)

2001

Evgeni Plushenko

Free Skate

3

ISU (Technical Merit), ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2001

Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze

Free Skate

1

ISU (Presentation)

2001

Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margaglio

Original Dance

1

ISU (Presentation)

2002

Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat

Original Dance

1

ISU (Presentation)

2002

Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat

Free Dance

1

ISU (Presentation)

2003

Evgeni Plushenko

Free Skate

2

ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2003

Irina Lobatcheva and Ilya Averbukh

Original Dance

1

ISU (Presentation)

2003

Irina Lobatcheva and Ilya Averbukh

Free Dance

2

ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2004

Evgeni Plushenko

Short Program

1

ISU (Presentation)

*Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean's 6.0 for the Rhumba in 1984 was the first perfect mark for a compulsory dance at the European Championships.


Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao's free skate from the 2003 Four Continents Championships

PERFECT MARKS GIVEN AT THE FOUR CONTINENTS CHAMPIONSHIPS


Year

Skater

Phase Of Competition

Number Of 6.0's

Notes

2000

Jamie Salé and David Pelletier

Free Skate

1

FRA (Presentation)

2001

Jamie Salé and David Pelletier

Free Skate

1

ISU (Presentation)

2003

Takeshi Honda

Free Skate

5

ISU, ISU (Technical Merit), ISU, ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2003

Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao

Free Skate

3

ISU, ISU (Technical Merit), ISU (Presentation)

2003

Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz

Original Dance

2

ISU, ISU (Presentation)

2003

Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz

Free Dance

5

ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU, ISU (Presentation)

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