The Tall And The Short Of It

Stanislav Zhuk posing with a group of his students, including Marina Cherkasova and Sergei Shakrai

"The man should be heavier than the lady and for appearance's sake, about half a head taller." - Robert Dench and Rosemarie Stewart, "Pair Skating And Dancing On Ice", 1943

When Anna Hübler and Heinrich Burger won the first official World pairs title in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1908, their height difference was quite irrelevant. Their self-choreographed program consisted of a series of spirals, glides, changes of edge, round ice dance patterns and symmetrical and corresponding figures, but didn't include a single jump, throw, twist or overhead lift. As we all know, pair skating was a completely different beast back in the Edwardian era. It really wasn't until the sixties, the era when double twist lifts and throw jumps were popularized, that the sport became introduced to a new phenomenon: the 'flea and gorilla' pair.

Manuela Groß and Uwe Kagelmann 

In the late sixties, the athletic performances of American siblings Cynthia and Ron Kauffman earned them three consecutive bronze medals at the World Championships. Their considerable height difference (thirty three centimeters) added to the drama of dome of their signature moves. Inspired by their success, Eastern bloc countries began concocting partnerships with pronounced differences in height. Irina Rodnina, the queen of pairs skating in the seventies, was twenty four centimeters shorter than her first partner Alexei Ulanov and twenty six centimeters shorter than her second partner Aleksandr Zaitsev. Both partnerships used their height difference to their advantage to perform twist lifts with great effect.

Marina Cherkasova and Sergei Shakrai

Two notable early examples of these 'flea and gorilla' teams were East Germans Manuela Groß and Uwe Kagelmann and Soviets Marina Cherkasova and Sergei Shakhrai. The height and age differences between both teams were startling to many at the time. "Skating" magazine ran an article about Groß and Kagelmann in 1973 with the headline "The Mutt and Jeff Pair", pointing out how their nine inch height difference helped them accomplish the first triple twist lift and throw double Axel. When they were paired, twelve year old Cherkasova and eighteen year old Shakrai had a thirty-five centimeter height difference. This extreme (at the time) contrast earned both pairs Olympic medals. Cherkasova and Shakrai even made their way to the "Guinness Book Of World Records" as the first pairs team in history to perform a quadruple twist in 1978.

In his review of the 1978 World Championships in "Skating" magazine, Frank Nowosad remarked, "It is inconceivable that ice dancing would ever have the judging problems brought on by a 12-year-old child being thrown about by a 20-year old man. Two people performing together implies a relationship and what can be said choreographically about such a large/small situation that now exists with two of the Soviet pairs? Watching them draws out bizarre associations; one being that of a virtuoso juggler tossing about a doll."


Make no mistake... these partnerships were no accident. In his 1978 book " The Big Red Machine The Rise And Fall Of Soviet Olympic Champions", Yuri Brokhin explained that Soviet coach Stanislav Zhuk (coach to Olympic Gold Medallists Irina Rodnina, Alexei Ulanov, Alexander Zaitsev, Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov) began "the creation of a future pair by selecting the female partner. Then he begins his search for the male - usually a boy ten to fifteen inches taller and fifty to sixty pounds heavier than the girl, with obvious native ability."

The ISU responded by developing a controversial new ruling set to curb the 'flea and gorilla' trend. Late ISU historian Benjamin T. Wright recalled, "Large differences in age, height and weight between the partners... would lead to rules (in 1980) which would require penalizing pairs when there was a serious imbalance in their physical characteristics, which would lead to an obvious lack of unison. There were, of course, several pairs of this type... [and] the legislation addressed a generic problem in pair skating, which fortunately, has not been as severe since."

In the figure skating world of today, extreme height differences are definitely not uncommon... and whether you like the aesthetic of this trend or not, we have the Russians and East Germans largely to thank for starting it all.

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating and archives hundreds of compelling features and interviews in a searchable format for readers worldwide. Though there never has been nor will there be a charge for access to these resources, you taking the time to 'like' on the blog's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard would be so very much appreciated. Already 'liking'? Consider sharing this feature for others via social media. It would make all the difference in the blog reaching a wider audience. Have a question or comment regarding anything you have read here or have a suggestion for a topic related to figure skating history you would like to see covered? I'd love to hear from you! Learn the many ways you can reach out at http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/p/contact.html.

A Lifetime Of Ice: The Roger Turner Story


"I believe that young men and women who possess the drive and the ability to learn figure skating are realistic. What they want in an instructor is knowledge, trust, confidence and companionship. They want somebody who will laugh with them when they fail, inspire and give them strength in their search for excellence, and sympathize and understand in defeat. If the pupil sees in his teacher something he intuitively seeks to find, the door of adjustment and response is wide open." - Roger Turner, "Skating" magazine, 1969

The son of Jacob and Mary (Corliss) Turner, Roger Felix Turner was born March 3, 1901 in the affluent Boston, Massachusetts suburb of Milton. Roger and his younger brother Jacob Jr. both knew the word 'ice' by the time they were toddlers. Their father made his living as a successful ice dealer, employing dozens of migrant workers from Canada to cut thousands of tons of ice from local ponds during the winter, haul it away with horses, pack it in white pine sawdust and deliver their chilly haul to businesses and individuals for the purpose of refrigeration. Roger's mother Mary turned the family home into a boarding house. The family's four servants provided room, board and hot meals to the hard-working men who lived with them... Jacob Turner's employees.

Roger Turner. Right photo courtesy "Skating Through The Years".

Roger took up figure skating seriously at the unusually late age of twenty on one the few frozen ponds in Milton that his father's men didn't chop up for ice blocks. He soon joined the Skating Club Of Boston. However, much of his time was devoted to burying his nose in dusty books. After attending public schools in Milton, he attended Peekskill Military Academy in New York and Suffolk Law School. After graduating, he was admitted to the bar in 1926, the same year he won his first major competition, the U.S. junior men's title. The fact that Roger was even to find time to advance so quickly as a skater during this period was quite remarkable, for he was busy practicing law as well as running the family ice business for a time after his father's death. In what little free time he had, he served as a lay reader at the local Episcopal church and flew small planes.

Top: The 1928 U.S. Olympic team: Roger Turner, Maribel Vinson, Beatrix Loughran, Sherwin Badger, Theresa Weld Blanchard and Nathaniel Niles. Bottom: Roger Turner.

In 1927, Roger claimed the silver medal behind Nathaniel Niles in the senior men's event at the U.S. Championships in New York City and earned a coveted spot on the 1928 U.S. Olympic team. Though relatively inexperienced, he placed a credible tenth at those Games in St. Moritz, the highest ranked of the three American men who participated. At the World Championships that followed in Berlin, he placed an even more impressive fifth. He then went on to win his first of an incredible six U.S. senior men's titles in New Haven.

Roger's 'secret weapon', as it were, was an (ir)regular diet. In 1937 Maribel Vinson Owen wrote, "Roger... is addicted to prunes as his staple training food. He insists on them throughout the winter, and during two European campaigns, even though the rest of us 'rode' him unmercifully, he somehow managed to procure them with unfailing regularity."

Photo courtesy Walpole Historical Society

Jimmie Madden, Frederick Goodridge and Roger Turner at the 1929 U.S. Championships. Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine.

In 1929, Roger claimed the silver medal behind Canada's Bud Wilson at the North American Championships in Boston and in 1930 and 1931 was runner-up at the World Championships behind Austria's Karl Schäfer. Though he wasn't even close to the Viennese master on any judge's scorecard in the free skating, his figures were exemplary and he was overjoyed with his international showing. Skating historian Gunnar Bang recalled, "The question is whether any happier silver medallist every existed". Interestingly, during this period Roger was also the USFSA's Vice-President.

Photos courtesy "Skating" magazine

Though happy with his results, Roger was none to thrilled about the direction figure skating was taking during the era he competed. To be specific, he wasn't pleased with all of the jumping. Quoted from a review of the 1931 World Championships in Mary Louise Adams' wonderful book "Artistic Impressions", he remarked, "It would be unfortunate if the exponents of the Art should require an indelible image on their minds of acrobatics - stunts performed by a disharmonic nature - rather than a free an harmonious expression... There is danger... if perverted minds predominate, of losing much of the glory and fineness of the present style, and figure skating, like the Russian ballet, which has given way to a coarser school, would decline."

Photos courtesy "Skating" magazine

Although that pair of silver medals would be Roger's last at the World Championships, his skating successes didn't end there. In 1932, he became only the third skater in America to pass the Gold (Eighth) test; the first two being Theresa Weld Blanchard and Nathaniel Niles. He placed an impressive sixth at the 1932 Lake Placid Olympics and won the silver medal at the 1937 North American Championships. He tried his hand at both pairs skating and ice dancing, winning the 1934 U.S. junior pairs title with Polly Blodgett and competing in the Waltz and Fourteenstep competitions at the U.S. Championships with both Polly and Clara Rotch Frothingham. After winning the 1938 Eastern men's title, Roger finally decided to put an end to his competitive career at the age of thirty-six. It's worth noting that although he and Polly placed second at the 1936 U.S. Championships, the USFSA didn't include them in that year's Olympic team. Instead, Grace and James Lester Madden - who were out due to injury - were named in one of the USFSA's first examples of 'body of work' style Olympic team selections. 

1933 sketch of Roger Turner skating. Courtesy "Skating" magazine.

After his competitive career ended, Roger still found time while practicing law to remain incredibly involved in figure skating. Prior to the second World War, he served as chairman of the USFSA's Standards and Tests Committee. His signature could be found on all of the blue test papers issued in the thirties.

James Lester Madden, Grace Madden and Roger Turner

During the War, Roger served as an air raid warden and taught American Red Cross first aid and water safety to both civilians and military personnel. He also found time to serve as chairman of the failed Moving Pictures Committee, which aimed to take videos of each school figure that could be used as educational guides for skaters. It was a fitting project for Roger, as he was a keen photographer.


Both Roger and his wife Louise (Lambert) were long-time members of both the Skating Club Of Boston and Skridsko Club of Massachusetts and Roger served as national level judge. In 1957, he was one of the founders of the Cape Cod Skating Club in Hyannis, Massachusetts. He was also a father of two and a would-be politician, losing a bid for Republican Senator in the Second Norfolk District in the primaries to Robert Bowie in 1948. In 1982, he was honoured by the USFSA as an Honorary National Judge, the first person to receive this distinction. Two years prior to the honour, he had penned an instructional book for coaches called "Edges". He later penned two more books - "Polished Steel" and "Ringo Flamingo".

Turner's Pond. Photo courtesy Dan Haacker, Milton Historical Society

Roger resided in the small Norfolk County town of Walpole for the rest of his life, volunteering with the Old Colony Council of Boy Scouts and Appalachian Mountain Club. He devoted considerable time to an effort to develop the Boy Scouts Of America's Explorer Winter Olympic Games, which included a figure skating competition in 1971 and the Country Skating Club, which held one of the first skater development clinics using monies from the USFSA's Memorial Fund. On his Elm Street property was Turner's Pond, once the source of ice for the family business and later, a popular skating spot for locals.

Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine

After living his entire life surrounded by ice, Roger passed away on October 29, 1993 at his home in Walpole of heart failure at the age of ninety-two. The following year, he was inducted posthumously into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall Of Fame, alongside the late Maribel Vinson Owen (whose funeral he served as an usher at) and Geddy Hill, Janet Lynn, Carlo Fassi and JoJo Starbuck and Kenneth Shelley. Figure skating today may be the absolute antithesis of the sport that he dreamed of back in 1931 when he won his second World medal, but the skating world wouldn't have been the same without his involvement.

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating and archives hundreds of compelling features and interviews in a searchable format for readers worldwide. Though there never has been nor will there be a charge for access to these resources, you taking the time to 'like' on the blog's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard would be so very much appreciated. Already 'liking'? Consider sharing this feature for others via social media. It would make all the difference in the blog reaching a wider audience. Have a question or comment regarding anything you have read here or have a suggestion for a topic related to figure skating history you would like to see covered? I'd love to hear from you! Learn the many ways you can reach out at http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/p/contact.html.

The 1940 Canadian Figure Skating Championships

Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine

Food rationing had begun in England and in Nazi Germany, Luftwaffe Colonel Hermann Göring had taken control of most of the War industries. Submarines were sunk; airplanes grounded. Behind drawn curtains, they tapped their toes to gramophone records of Dolly Dawn's "At Sundown", dreaming of a time when the sky wasn't so grey and gloomy.


The year was 1940 and the Canadian skating community was really only just starting to feel the effects of World War II. Though some patriotic skaters were already engaged in War work or in military training, many skating clubs were actually seeing significant increases in membership due to the Canadian government's 'Sports-As-Usual' campaign, which encouraged people to get involved in sports and recreation "in times of strain such as these" to get 'fighting fit'.

The 1940 Canadian Figure Skating Championships, held at the Minto Skating Club in Ottawa on January 19 and 20 of that year, were the last Canadians to be held under the auspices of the Amateur Skating Association Of Canada. That autumn, the organization would become the CFSA. There was a marked reduction in entries from the West in 1939, with all of the skaters (save one) coming from the Toronto Skating Club, Granite Club, Minto Skating and Montreal Winter Club. Four out of the six judges at the event were former Canadian Champions - Douglas Henry Nelles, John Z. Machado, Norman V.S. Gregory and Melville Rogers.


How did things play out that January in Ottawa? Let's take a trip back in time and look at the stories and skaters that shaped the first Canadian Championships to be held during World War II.

THE JUNIOR COMPETITIONS

In a three-two split of the judging panel, Shirley Halsted and Michael Kirby took top spot in the junior pairs event over their training mates Margaret Wilson and Peter Killam. Montreal's Helen Malcolm and Peter Stranger took the bronze.

Sixteen year old Denis Ross of the Minto Skating Club capitalized on a decisive lead in the figures to win the junior men's crown over Toronto's Michael Kirby and John Milsom, with first place ordinals from four out of five judges. Minto Club member Joan Parkins praised Ross for his "spins and jumps together with his excellent foot-work... [and] plenty of dash" but noted that Michael's "free skating is if anything more exciting to watch than Ross's as his jumps are high and very spectacular."

Montreal's Audrey Joyce was the winner of the junior women's figures, but she couldn't fend off a prodigious eleven year old from Ottawa named Barbara Ann Scott in the free skating and had to settle for second. Barbara Ann's performance included three Axels in a row and a double Salchow.

Yousuf Karsh photograph of Barbara Ann Scott taken three days after she won the Canadian junior women's title. Photo courtesy Library And Archives Canada.

Barbara Ann had been only fifth the year prior in her first bid for the title and had been heartbroken when one of the judges actually laughed at her during the school figures. In her book "Skate With Me" she recalled, "[It] broke my heart, but I went back on the ice for the three-minute free skating determined to give him nothing to laugh at but my size, which I couldn't help... It seems strange to me now that I couldn't understand that being so young and small did make a difference in people's attitude toward me. Then I couldn't see how I was different from the others. We all did the same work at practice sessions; we all kept strict training; we all gave up the usual companionships and other interests that keep children and young people occupied so that we might advance in skill and make good showings in competition."

THE PAIRS, DANCE AND FOURS COMPETITIONS

There was only one entry in the fours event and the Toronto four of Ruth Hall, Elizabeth Chambers, William Calder and John Milsom took the title by default. It was the third year in a row that the Toronto four had placed first, but Ruth was the only returning member from the winning 1939 team.

There were two dance events in 1940 - the Waltz and the Tenstep. A field of seven was whittled down to four teams with an elimination round and both events were won by Minto couples - Aidrie and Donald B. Cruikshank repeated as Waltz winners, with Mrs. Elmore Davis and Melville Rogers taking the Tenstep. Melville, a former Canadian Champion in singles, pairs and fours, had the distinction of being the only skater to be both a judge and competitor in 1940.

Norah McCarthy and Ralph McCreath. Photo courtesy "Skating Through The Years".

Toronto's Ralph McCreath had won the Canadian pairs title the past four years in a row - the first three years with Veronica Clarke and the latter time with Norah McCarthy. In 1940, Ralph and Norah easily bested Christine Newson and Sandy McKechnie and Eleanor O'Meara and Donald Gilchrist with unanimous first place marks... but their performance was not without incident. Ralph slashed Norah's leg during the performance but they continued on despite her injury.

THE MEN'S COMPETITION

After winning a record nine Canadian men's title, Montgomery 'Bud' Wilson had turned professional and the men's event in 1940 marked the changing of the guard. As Ralph McCreath had been runner-up to Bud in 1938 and 1939, no one was really surprised when he took the lead in the figures in Ottawa, but how much of a lead it was certainly turned heads. Seventy two points was nothing to scoff at!


Ralph could easily have played it safe in the free skating and still won, but he went out and gave one of his finest performances ever, dazzling the audience with his speed, high-flying jumps and confidence. Joan Parkins remarked, "With all the ease in the world his Axel, double loop and Salchow jumps took him off the ice at breath-taking height and in these he alighted on the ice as light as a feather." He earned top marks for his performance and Donald Gilchrist and Wingate Snaith had to settle for second and third.

THE WOMEN'S COMPETITOR


Norah McCarthy

Seventeen year old Mary Rose Thacker of Winnipeg was the defending Canadian and North American Champion and the only skater west of Ontario to compete in Ottawa in 1940. She took a decisive lead of over twenty points in the figures.


In the free skating, Mary Rose looked like she was on her way to defending her Canadian title until she fell on one of her jumps. Norah McCarthy came out and landed her Axels and 1936 and 1938 Canadian Champion Eleanor O'Meara, only fourth in figures, gave one of her finest performances to win the free skate. Reporter Walter Gilhooly recalled, "Eleanor O'Meara... gave, perhaps, the most appealing of all the ladies' singles performances. A knockout in dark red velvet, Eleanor skated with the utmost grace and free skating was really a revelation."

Mary Rose Thacker and her mother being greeted at the train station upon her return to Manitoba

Norah McCarthy and Mary Rose Thacker each had two first place ordinals and two seconds, but Douglas Henry Nelles had Eleanor O'Meara first overall over Norah and Mary Rose... and it was that one third place that put Norah over Mary Rose. Eleanor settled for the bronze, ahead of Norah's sister Tasie and the Wilson sisters (Virginia and Eleanor) from Toronto. Tommy Shields recalled, "Judge Nelles' marks throughout the competition differed sharply from the other four. Experts could guess fairly confidentially what the average of the four would be, but never could forecast his. When he did award a five, which was not often, it was the signal for cheers from skaters and spectators. No doubt he called them as he saw them, but there was rarely any similarity to the marks of his colleagues... When the results were announced, there was a gasp of surprise and an appreciable moment of silence before Toronto supporters found their voices to cheer... Mary Rose took her defeat like a champion. There was no sign in her demeanor which would show how she must have felt her disappointment." Mary Rose told "Winnipeg Tribune" reporter Tony Allan, "If you fall in the free skating, you can't expect to win. Miss McCarthy skated very well, and I'm afraid I gave one of my bad performances."

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating and archives hundreds of compelling features and interviews in a searchable format for readers worldwide. Though there never has been nor will there be a charge for access to these resources, you taking the time to 'like' the blog's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard would be so very much appreciated. Already 'liking'? Consider sharing this feature for others via social media. It would make all the difference in the blog reaching a wider audience. Have a question or comment regarding anything you have read here? Have a suggestion for a topic related to figure skating history you would like to see covered? I'd love to hear from you! Learn the many ways you can reach out at http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/p/contact.html.

If Pewter Medals Were A Thing

America has the unique distinction of being perhaps the only country to award the fourth-place finishers in major competitions a pewter medal. The quaint tradition started in the mid-eighties and to date hasn't caught on elsewhere in the world. In today's blog, we'll take a look at who the pewter medallists would have been had the tradition been taken up at the Canadian, European and World Championships and Olympics. You'll see some familiar names - and some not so familiar ones too!

FOURTH-PLACE FINISHERS AT THE CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

Year

Men

Women

Pairs

Ice Dance

1947

(none)

Gloria Lillico

(none)

Diane Jones and Trevor Owen

1948

(none)

Vevi Smith

(none)

(none)

1949

Norris Bowden

Marlene Smith

(none)

(none)

1950

(none)

Maureen Senior

(none)

Geraldine Fenton and Dick McLaughlin

1951

Donald Tobin

Barbara Gratton

(none)

Doreen Leech and Norman Walker

1952

(none)

Barbara Gratton

(none)

Mary Diane Trimble and David Ross

1953

Alan Anderson

Vevi Smith

(none)

(none)

1954

(none)

Dawn Steckley

(none)

(none)

1955

(none)

Sonja Currie

(none)

Heather West and Bill McLachlan

1956

Dick Rimmer

Karen Dixon

(none)

(none)

1957

Dick Rimmer

Pamela Willman

(none)

(none)

1958

(none)

Sandra Tewkesbury

(none)

(none)

1959

(none)

Margaret MacDougall

(none)

Vivian Tutton and Gilles Vanasse

1960

(none)

Dianne Frith-Smith

(none)

Marijane Lenny and Karl Benzing

1961

(none)

Frances Gold

(none)

Carole Holliday and Brian Baillie

1962

Bill Neale

Patricia Cook

Elinor Flack and Phillip McCordic

Marilyn Crawford and Blair Armitage

1963

Gregory Folk

Valerie Jones

Alexis and Chris Shields

Marilyn Crawford and Blair Armitage

1964

Bill Neale

Valerie Jones

Susan and Paul Huehnergard

Lynn Matthews and Byron Topping

1965

Toller Cranston

Roberta Laurent

(none)

Joni Graham and Don Phillips

1966

Toller Cranston

Karen Magnussen

(none)

Joni Graham and Don Phillips

1967

David McGillvray

Linda Carbonetto

(none)

Dale Newmarch and Bryce Swetnam

1968

Toller Cranston

Cathy Lee Irwin

Mary Jane Oke and Victor Irving

Sandi Kattler and Bryce Swetnam

1969

Patrick McKilligan

Alana Wilson

Nancy and Steven Dover

Patricia and Derry Allen

1970

Paul Bonenfant

Mary McCaffrey

(none)

Brenda Sandys and James Holden

1971

Ron Shaver

Mary McCaffrey

Linda Tasker and Allen Carson

Linda Roe and Kevin Cottam

1972

Patrick McKilligan

Daria Prychun

Linda Tasker and Allen Carson

Judy Currah and Keith Caughell

1973

Patrick McKilligan

Julie Black

Lindy Watts and Don Fraser

Shelley MacLeod and Bob Knapp

1974

Stan Bohonek

Heather Moore

Candy Jones and Don Fraser

Debbie and John Dowding

1975

Ted Barton

Susan MacDonald

(none)

Lorna Wighton and John Dowding

1976

Kenneth Polk

Barbara Terpenning

Janet and Mark Hominuke

Debbie and Randy Burke

1977

Jimmy Szabo

Susan MacDonald

(none)

Debbie and Randy Burke

1978

Kevin Hicks

Janet Morrissey

Sharon Hallett and Craig Pearce

Debbie and Randy Burke

1979

Gary Beacom

Peggy McLean

Andrea Derby and Jim Sorochan

Joanne French and John Thomas

1980

Brian Orser

Deborah Albright

Mary Jo Fedy and Tim Mills

Kelly Johnson and Kris Barber

1981

Gary Beacom

Charlene Wong

Katherina Matousek and Eric Thomsen

Gina Aucoin and Hans Peter Ponikau

1982

Gary Beacom

Tracey Wainman

Melinda Kunhegyi and Lyndon Johnston

Karyn and Rod Garossino

1983

Kevin Parker

Liz Manley

Melinda Kunhegyi and Lyndon Johnston

Karen Taylor and Robert Burk

1984

Dennis Coi

Charlene Wong

Lynda and John Ivanich

Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay

1985

André Bourgeois

Tracey Wainman

Penny Schultz and Scott Grover

Kim Campbell and Michael Farrington

1986

Kevin Parker

Charlene Wong

Christine Hough and Doug Ladret

Michelle McDonald and Michael Farrington

1987

Neil Paterson

Dianne Takeuchi

Laureen Collin and John Penticost

Penny Mann and Richard Perkins

1988

Michael Slipchuk

Patricia Schmidt

Laureen Collin and John Penticost

Jo-Anne Borlase and Martin Smith

1989

Norm Proft

Dianne Takeuchi

Michelle Menzies and Kevin Wheeler

Penny Mann and Richard Perkins

1990

Norm Proft

Karen Preston

Michelle Menzies and Kevin Wheeler

Penny Mann and Richard Perkins

1991

Brent Frank

Karen Preston

Michelle Menzies and Kevin Wheeler

Dara Bailey and Rock LeMay

1992

Patrick Brault

Lisa Sargeant

Michelle Menzies and Kevin Wheeler

Martine Patenaude and Eric Massé

1993

Sébastien Britten

Tanya Bingert

Jamie Salé and Jason Turner

Martine Patenaude and Eric Massé

1994

Marcus Christensen

Tanya Bingert

Marie-Claude Savard-Gagnon and Luc Bradet

Marie-France Dubreuil and Tomas Morbacher

1995

David Pelletier

Angela Derochie

Marie-Claude Savard-Gagnon and Luc Bradet

Marie-France Dubreuil and Tomas Morbacher

1996

Jeffrey Langdon

Cathy Belanger

Jodeyne Higgins and Sean Rice

Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe

1997

Ravi Walia

Keyla Ohs

Jodeyne Higgins and Sean Rice

Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon

1998

Jean-François Hébert

Annie Bazinet

Michelle Menzies and Jean-Michel Bombardier

Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon

1999

Jayson Dénommée

Nadine Gosselin

Nadia Micallef and Bruno Marcotte

Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon

2000

Ravi Walia

Nicole Watt

Jacinthe Larivière and Lenny Faustino

Brenda Key and Ryan Smith

2001

Sean Wirtz

Marianne Dubuc

Valérie Marcoux and Bruno Marcotte

Josée Piché and Pascal Denis

2002

Jayson Dénommée

Nicole Watt

Valérie Marcoux and Bruno Marcotte

Josée Piché and Pascal Denis

2003

Ben Ferreira

Michelle Currie

Valérie Marcoux and Craig Buntin

Josée Piché and Pascal Denis

2004

Fedor Andreev

Annie Bellemare

Utako Wakamatsu and Jean-Sébastien Fecteau

Josée Piché and Pascal Denis

2005

Ben Ferreira

Amanda Billings

Elizabeth Putnam and Sean Wirtz

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

2006

Christopher Mabee

Meagan Duhamel

Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay

Chantal Lefebvre and Arseni Markov

2007

Shawn Sawyer

Cynthia Phaneuf

Utako Wakamatsu and Jean-Sébastien Fecteau

Lauren Senft and Leif Gislason

2008

Vaughn Chipeur

Lesley Hawker

Kyra and Dylan Moscovitch

Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier

2009

Kevin Reynolds

Diane Szmiett

Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers

Andrea Chong and Guillaume Gfeller

2010

Shawn Sawyer

Diane Szmiett

Mylène Brodeur and John Mattatall

Kharis Ralph and Asher Hill

2011

Kevin Reynolds

Alexandra Najarro

Mylène Brodeur and John Mattatall

Kharis Ralph and Asher Hill

2012

Elladj Baldé

Alexandra Najarro

Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch

Kharis Ralph and Asher Hill

2013

Elladj Baldé

Amélie Lacoste

Brittany Jones and Ian Beharry

Alexandra Paul and Mitch Islam

2014

Elladj Baldé

Véronik Mallet

Natasha Purich and Mervin Tran

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier

2015

Roman Sadovsky

Roxanne Rheault

Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro

Nicole Orford and Thomas Williams

2016

Nam Nguyen

Véronik Mallet

Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro

Alexandra Paul and Mitch Islam

2017

Nicolas Nadeau

Larkyn Austman

Brittany Jones and Joshua Reagan

Carolanne Soucisse and Shane Firus

2018

Elladj Baldé

Alaine Chartrand

Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch

Carolanne Soucisse and Shane Firus

2019

Joseph Phan

Larkyn Austman

Lori-Anne Matte and Thierry Ferland

Haley Sales and Nikolas Wamsteeker

2020

Joseph Phan

Alicia Pineault

Justine Brasseur and Mark Bardei

Haley Sales and Nikolas Wamsteeker

As you'll notice, I started this table in 1947 and not in the Edwardian era when the Canadian Championships were first held. I settled on this year as it was the first year an ice dancing competition was held. I excluded several senior events that are no longer held, such as fours and waltzing competitions.

Many of the fourth-place finishers listed were at one point or another Canadian Champions. For others, a fourth-place finish at Canadians might have been the highlight of their career. 

Several skaters finished fourth at Canadians multiple times. Elladj Baldé holds the record for the most fourth-place finishes in the men's event with four (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2018). Toller Cranston, Patrick McKilligan and Gary Beacom finished fourth three times. Charlene Wong holds the record for the most fourth-place finishes in the women's event with three (1981, 1984 and 1986). 

Ice dancing teams Debbie and Randy Burke and Penny Mann and Richard Perkins each finished fourth at Canadians three times, but they don't hold the record for the most fourth-place finishes by a pairs skater or ice dancer at Canadians. Neither do Josée Piché and Pascal Denis, who narrowly missed out on a medal four times in a row from 2001-2004. 

Michelle Menzies finished fourth at Canadians for an entire Olympic cycle (1989-1992) with her partner Kevin Wheeler and then narrowly lost out on an Olympic spot in 1998, finishing fourth with Jean-Michel Bombardier. Marie-France Dubreuil also finished fourth at Canadians five times, twice with Tomas Morbacher and three times with Patrice Lauzon.

It's an interesting coincidence that Elladj Baldé, Charlene Wong, Michelle Menzies and Marie-France Dubreuil all hailed from Quebec!

FOURTH-PLACE FINISHERS AT THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

Year

Men

Women

Pairs

Ice Dance

1891

Josef Nowy

(none)

(none)

(none)

1892

Carl Kaiser

(none)

(none)

(none)

1893

Tibor von Földváry

(none)

(none)

(none)

1894

Georg Zachariades

(none)

(none)

(none)

1895

(none)

(none)

(none)

(none)

1898

(none)

(none)

(none)

(none)

1899

Martin Gordan

(none)

(none)

(none)

1900

Johan Peter Lefstad

(none)

(none)

(none)

1901

(none)

(none)

(none)

(none)

1904

Martin Gordan

(none)

(none)

(none)

1905

Kurt Dannenberg

(none)

(none)

(none)

1906

Bror Meyer

(none)

(none)

(none)

1907

Per Thorén

(none)

(none)

(none)

1908

(none)

(none)

(none)

(none)

1909

Karl Ollo

(none)

(none)

(none)

1910

John Keiller Greig

(none)

(none)

(none)

1911

Ivan Malinin

(none)

(none)

(none)

1912

(none)

(none)

(none)

(none)

1913

Harald Rooth

(none)

(none)

(none)

1914

Ernst Oppacher

(none)

(none)

(none)

1922

Werner Rittberger

(none)

(none)

(none)

1923

Kaj af Ekström

(none)

(none)

(none)

1924

Otto Preißecker

(none)

(none)

(none)

1925

Georges Gautschi

(none)

(none)

(none)

1926

John Ferguson Page

(none)

(none)

(none)

1927

Ernst Oppacher

(none)

(none)

(none)

1928

Ludwig Wrede

(none)

(none)

(none)

1929

Herbert Haertel

(none)

(none)

(none)

1930

Herbert Haertel

Lilly Weiler

Olga Philipovits and Resző Dillinger

(none)

1931

Marcell Vadas

Vivi-Anne Hultén

(none)

(none)

1932

Hugo Distler

Hilde Holovsky

Margaret and Kenneth Ord Mackenzie

(none)

1933

Jean Henrion

Hilde Holovsky

Violet Supple and Leslie Cliff

(none)

1934

Leopold Linhart

Megan Taylor

Lucy Gallo and Resző Dillinger

(none)

1935

Jackie Dunn

Maxi Herber

Ilse and Erich Pausin

(none)

1936

Felix Kaspar

Liselotte Landbeck

Eva Prawitz and Otto Weiß

(none)

1937

Freddie Tomlins

Hedy Stenuf

Violet and Leslie Cliff

(none)

1938

Horst Faber

Maxi Herber

Piroska and Attila Szekrényessy

(none)

1939

Edi Rada

Hanne Niernberger

Erika Bass and Béla Barcza

(none)

1947

Arthur Apfel

Jeannette Altwegg

Denise Fayolle and Guy Pigier

(none)

1948

Ede Király

Jiřína Nekolová

Jennifer and John Nicks

(none)

1949

Carlo Fassi

Jiřína Nekolová

Bela Zachová and Jaroslav Zach

(none)

1950

Zdeněk Fikar

Jacqueline du Bief

Bela Zachová and Jaroslav Zach

(none)

1951

Michael Carrington

Valda Osborn

Silvia and Michel Grandjean

(none)

1952

Alain Giletti

Erika Kraft

Silvia and Michel Grandjean

(none)

1953

Michael Booker

Helga Dudzinski

Jean Higson and Robert S. Hudson

(none)

1954

Michael Booker

Annelies Schilhan

Vera and Horst Kuhrüber

Bona Giammona and Giancarlo Sioli

1955

Norbert Felsinger

Rosi Pettinger

Liesl Ellend and Konrad Lienert

Fanny Besson and Jean Paul Guhel

1956

Alain Calmat

Rosi Pettinger

Joyce Coates and Anthony Holles

Fanny Besson and Jean Paul Guhel

1957

Alain Calmat

Dianne C. Peach

Liesl Ellend and Konrad Lienert

Bona Giammona and Giancarlo Sioli

1958

Michael Booker

Dianne C. Peach

Marianna and László Nagy

Christiane and Jean Paul Guhel

1959

Alain Calmat

Ina Bauer

Margret Göbl and Franz Ningel

Rita Paucka and Peter Kwiet

1960

Alain Calmat

Karin Frohner

Ludmila Belousova and Oleg Protopopov

Rita Paucka and Peter Kwiet

1961

Peter Jonas

Karin Frohner

Rita Blumenberg and Werner Mensching

Mary Parry and Roy Mason

1962

Peter Jonas

Helli Sengstschmid

Gerda and Rüdi Johner

Mary Parry and Roy Mason

1963

Peter Jonas

Jana Mrázková

Margit Senf and Peter Göbel

Györgyi Korda and Pál Vásárhelyi

1964

Emmerich Danzer

Sally-Anne Stapleford

Sonja Pfersdorf and Günther Matzdorf

Györgyi Korda and Pál Vásárhelyi

1965

Sepp Schönmetzler

Helli Sengstschmid

Sonja Pfersdorf and Günther Matzdorf

Diane Towler and Bernard Ford

1966

Patrick Péra

Hana Mašková

Tatiana Tarasova and Georgi Proskurin

Brigitte Martin and Francis Gamichon

1967

Patrick Péra

Sally-Anne Stapleford

Gudrun Hauss and Walter Häfner

Janet Sawbridge and Jon Lane

1968

Patrick Péra

Zsuzsa Almássy

Margot Glockshuber and Wolfgang Danne

Irina Grishkova and Viktor Ryzhkin

1969

Günter Zöller

Zsuzsa Almássy

Heidemarie Steiner and Heinz-Ulrich Walther

Angelika and Erich Buck

1970

Sergei Chetverukhin

Rita Trapanese

Galina Karelina and Georgi Proskurin

Annerose Baier and Eberhard Rüger

1971

Jan Hoffmann

Sonja Morgenstern

Manuela Groß and Uwe Kagelmann

Tatiana Voitiuk and Viacheslav Zhigalin

1972

Haig Oundjian

Zsuzsa Almássy

Almut Lehmann and Herbert Wiesinger

Hilary Green and Glyn Watts

1973

John Curry

Liana Drahová

Manuela Groß and Uwe Kagelmann

Janet Sawbridge and Peter Dalby

1974

Vladimir Kovalev

Gerti Schanderl

Manuela Groß and Uwe Kagelmann

Janet Sawbridge and Peter Dalby

1975

Sergei Volkov

Liana Drahová

Marina Leonidova and Vladimir Bogolyubov

Irina Moiseeva and Andrei Minenkov

1976

Yuri Ovchinnikov

Isabel de Navarre

Manuela Groß and Uwe Kagelmann

Krisztina Regőczy and András Sallay

1977

Yuri Ovchinnikov

Marion Weber

Manuela Mager and Uwe Bewersdorf

Janet Thompson and Warren Maxwell

1978

Igor Bobrin

Denise Biellmann

Sabine Baeß and Tassilo Thierbach

Janet Thompson and Warren Maxwell

1979

Jean-Christophe Simond

Kristiina Wegelius

Marina Pestova and Stanislav Leonovich

Liliana Řeháková and Stanislav Drastich

1980

Igor Bobrin

Kristiina Wegelius

Sabine Baeß and Tassilo Thierbach

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

1981

Hermann Schulz

Kristiina Wegelius

Birgit Lorenz and Knut Schubert

Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin

1982

Rudi Cerne

Debbie Cottrill

Veronika Pershina and Marat Akbarov

Olga Volozhinskaya and Alexander Svinin

1983

Heiko Fischer

Manuela Ruben

Veronika Pershina and Marat Akbarov

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

1984

Jozef Sabovčík

Kira Ivanova

Larisa Selezneva and Oleg Makarov

Karen Barber and Nicky Slater

1985

Heiko Fischer

Simone Koch

Birgit Lorenz and Knut Schubert

Karen Barber and Nicky Slater

1986

Viktor Petrenko

Natalia Lebedeva

Katrin Kanitz and Tobias Schröter

Kathrin and Christoff Beck

1987

Grzegorz Filipowski

Claudia Leistner

Lenka Knapová and René Novotný

Kathrin and Christoff Beck

1988

Grzegorz Filipowski

Claudia Leistner

Natalia Mishkutenok and Artur Dmitriev

Maya Usova and Alexandr Zhulin

1989

Dmitri Gromov

Simone Lang

Elena Kvitchenko and Rashid Kadyrkaev

Klára Engi and Attila Tóth

1990

Grzegorz Filipowski

Surya Bonaly

Peggy Schwarz and Alexander König

Klára Engi and Attila Tóth

1991

Éric Millot

Joanne Conway

Radka Kovaříková and René Novotný

Klára Engi and Attila Tóth

1992

Viacheslav Zagorodniuk

Simone Lang

Radka Kovaříková and René Novotný

Stefania Calegari and Pasquale Camerlengo

1993

Konstantin Kostin

Tanja Szewczenko

Radka Kovaříková and René Novotný

Angelika Krylova and Vladimir Fedorov

1994

Éric Millot

Maria Butyrskaya

Radka Kovaříková and René Novotný

Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko

1995

Philippe Candeloro

Tanja Szewczenko

Marina Eltsova and Andrei Bushkov

Tatiana Navka and Samuel Gezalian

1996

Steven Cousins

Elena Liashenko

Marina Eltsova and Andrei Bushkov

Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat

1997

Ilia Kulik

Maria Butyrskaya

Sarah Abitbol and Stéphane Bernadis

Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat

1998

Andrejs Vlascenko

Elena Liashenko

Dorota Zagórska and Mariusz Siudek

Irina Lobacheva and Ilya Averbukh

1999

Andrejs Vlascenko

Diána Póth

Peggy Schwarz and Mirko Müller

Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margaglio

2000

Alexandr Abt

Vanessa Gusmeroli

Peggy Schwarz and Mirko Müller

Irina Lobacheva and Ilya Averbukh

2001

Alexandr Abt

Elena Liashenko

Marina Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov

Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas

2002

Stéphane Lambiel

Galina Maniachenko

Dorota Zagórska and Mariusz Siudek

Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas

2003

Ilia Klimkin

Carolina Kostner

Dorota Zagórska and Mariusz Siudek

Elena Grushina and Ruslan Goncharov

2004

Frédéric Dambier

Viktória Pavuk

Julia Obertas and Sergei Slavnov

Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder

2005

Stéphane Lambiel

Júlia Sebestyén

Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy

Galit Chait and Sergei Sakhnovski

2006

Frédéric Dambier

Sarah Meier

Julia Obertas and Sergei Slavnov

Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder

2007

Sergei Davydov

Susanna Pöykiö

Julia Obertas and Sergei Slavnov

Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitski

2008

Sergei Voronov

Júlia Sebestyén

Tatiana Volosozhar and Stanislav Morozov

Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali

2009

Yannick Ponsero

Alena Leonova

Tatiana Volosozhar and Stanislav Morozov

Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat

2010

Michal Březina

Kiira Korpi

Tatiana Volosozhar and Stanislav Morozov

Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat

2011

Kevin van der Perren

Ksenia Makarova

Katarina Gerboldt and Alexander Enbert

Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov

2012

Michal Březina

Polina Korobeynikova

Stefania Berton and Ondřej Hotárek

Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte

2013

Brian Joubert

Valentina Marchei

Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès

Ekaterina Riazanova and Ilia Tkachenko

2014

Michal Březina

Alena Leonova

Stefania Berton and Ondřej Hotárek

Victoria Sinitsina and Ruslan Zhiganshin

2015

Alexei Bychenko

Joshi Helgesson

Valentina Marchei and Ondřej Hotárek

Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin

2016

Florent Amodio

Angelīna Kučvaļska

Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès

Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov

2017

Jorik Hendrickx

Maria Sotskova

Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov

Isabella Tobias and Ilia Tkachenko

2018

Deniss Vasiljevs

Maria Sotskova

Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès

Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte

2019

Kévin Aymoz

Stanislava Konstantinova

Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise

Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov

2020

Daniel Grassl

Alexia Paganini

Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise

Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri

A fourth-place finish at the European Championships was almost like a good luck charm for many skaters. Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, John Curry, Aliona Savchenko, Ludmila and Oleg Protopopov and Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko are just a sampling of the skaters who finished fourth at the Europeans and went on to win an Olympic gold medal. Speaking of Olympic medals, all but one of the fourth-place finishers at the 1984 European Championships won medals at that year's Olympics in Sarajevo.

Zsuzsa Almássy. Photo courtesy "Ice Skate" magazine.

The most fourth-place finishes by an ice dancer at the European Championships is three. Jean-Paul Guhel, Janet Sawbridge and Victoria Sinitsina all earned a total of three fourth's with two partners, while Hungarians Klára Engi and Attila Tóth finished fourth three times in a row from 1989 to 1991. The record for the most fourth-place finishes in the women's event is also three. The three women who achieved it were Zsuzsa Almássy, Kristiina Wegelius and Elena Liashenko. Wegelius' fourth place finishes were consecutive, from 1979 to 1981.

Radka Kovaříková and René Novotný

The record for the most fourth-place finishes in the men's event at the Europeans belongs to France's Alain Calmat. He placed fourth four times - in 1956, 1957, 1959 and 1960. Two pairs teams finished fourth at the Europeans four times: Manuela Groß and Uwe Kagelmann and Radka Kovaříková and René Novotný. As of 2021, Novotný holds the record for the most fourth-place finishes at the Europeans with five, having just missed a medal at the 1987 Europeans with his partner Lenka Knapová.

FOURTH-PLACE FINISHERS AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Year

Men

Women

Pairs

Ice Dance

1896

Nikolai Poduskov

(none)

(none)

(none)

1897

Thidolf Borgh

(none)

(none)

(none)

1898

H.C. Holt

(none)

(none)

(none)

1899

(none)

(none)

(none)

(none)

1900

(none)

(none)

(none)

(none)

1901

(none)

(none)

(none)

(none)

1902

Horatio Tertuliano Torromé

(none)

(none)

(none)

1903

Ernst Lassahn

(none)

(none)

(none)

1904

(none)

(none)

(none)

(none)

1905

Richard Johansson

(none)

(none)

(none)

1906

Karl Zenger

Elsa Rendschmidt

(none)

(none)

1907

Per Thorén

Elsa Rendschmidt

(none)

(none)

1908

(none)

(none)

(none)

(none)

1909

Richard Johansson

(none)

Mimi Grømer and Karl Erikson

(none)

1910

Per Thorén

(none)

(none)

(none)

1911

Andor Szende

(none)

(none)

(none)

1912

Harald Rooth

Gwendolyn Lycett

Hedwig and Hugo Winzer

(none)

1913

Ivan Malinin

Grete Strasilla

Alexia and Yngvar Bryn

(none)

1914

Ernst Oppacher

Thea Frenssen

Thea Frenssen and Julius Vogel

(none)

1922

Martin Stixrud

(none)

Grete Weise and Georg Velisch

(none)

1923

Ernst Oppacher

Ethel Muckelt

Margit and Bjarne Engebretsen

(none)

1924

Jack Ferguson Page

Gisela Reichmann

(none)

(none)

1925

Ernst Oppacher

Kathleen Shaw

Gisela Hochhaltinger and Georg Pamperl

(none)

1926

Werner Rittberger

Elisabeth Böckel

Gisela Hochhaltinger and Georg Pamperl

(none)

1927

Georges Gautschi

Ellen Brockhöft

Hansi Eissert and Georg Pamperl

(none)

1928

Jack Ferguson Page

Constance Wilson

Ethel Muckelt and Jack Ferguson Page

(none)

1929

Jack Ferguson Page

Ilse Hornung

Gisela Hochhaltinger and Otto Preißecker

(none)

1930

Montgomery Wilson

Constance Wilson

Constance and Montgomery Wilson

(none)

1931

Hugo Distler

Maribel Vinson

Lilly (Scholz) Gaillard and Willy Petter

(none)

1932

Marcus Nikkanen

Maribel Vinson

Olga Orgonista and Sándor Szalay

(none)

1933

Erich Erdös

Megan Taylor

Anna-Lisa Rydqvist and Einar Törsleff

(none)

1934

Marcus Nikkanen

Vivi-Anne Hultén

Zofia Bilorówna and Tadeusz Kowalski

(none)

1935

Henry Graham Sharp

Hedy Stenuf

Piroska and Attila Szekrényessy

(none)

1936

Jackie Dunn

Emmy Putzinger

Louise Bertram and Stewart Reburn

(none)

1937

Herbert Alward

Hedy Stenuf

Piroska and Attila Szekrényessy

(none)

1938

Horst Faber

Gladys Jagger

Violet and Leslie Cliff

(none)

1939

Edi Rada

Lydia Veicht

Piroska and Attila Szekrényessy

(none)

1947

Ladislav Čáp

Eileen Seigh

Winnie and Dennis Silverthorne

(none)

1948

Johnny Lettengarver

Jeannette Altwegg

Karol and Peter Kennedy

(none)

1949

Jimmy Grogan

Jiřína Nekolová

Marianna and László Nagy

(none)

1950

Hellmut Seibt

Suzanne Morrow

Elyane Steineman and André Calamé

(none)

1951

Hayes Alan Jenkins

Suzanne Morrow

Elyane Steineman and André Calamé

(none)

1952

Hellmut Seibt

Suzanne Morrow

Frances Dafoe and Norris Bowden

Carmel and Ed Bodel

1953

Ronnie Robertson

Carol Heiss

Silvia and Michel Grandjean

Nesta Davies and Paul Thomas

1954

David Jenkins

Barbara Gratton

Carole Ann Ormaca and Robin Greiner

Barbara Radford and Raymond Lockwood

1955

Alain Giletti

Ingrid Wendl

Carole Ann Ormaca and Robin Greiner

Carmel and Ed Bodel

1956

Charles Snelling

Yvonne Sugden

Carole Ann Ormaca and Robin Greiner

Joan Zamboni and Roland Junso

1957

Alain Giletti

Carole Ann Pachl

Nancy Rouillard and Ron Ludington

Joan Zamboni and Roland Junso

1958

Donald Jackson

Ina Bauer

Joyce Coates and Anthony Holles

Kay Morris and Michael Robinson

1959

Alain Giletti

Ina Bauer

Maria and Otto Jelinek

Margie Ackles and Chuck Phillips

1960

Norbert Felsinger

Regine Heitzer

Margret Göbl and Franz Ningel

Margie Ackles and Chuck Phillips

1962

Donald McPherson

Petra Burka

Debbi Wilkes and Guy Revell

Linda Shearman and Michael Phillips

1963

Karol Divín

Wendy Griner

Gertrude Desjardins and Maurice Lafrance

Janet Sawbridge and David Hickinbottom

1964

Scott Ethan Allen

Nicole Hassler

Vivian and Ronald Joseph

Yvonne Suddick and Roger Kennerson

1965

Nobuo Sato

Christine Haigler

Gerda and Rüdi Johner

Diane Towler and Bernard Ford

1966

Scott Ethan Allen

Valerie Jones

Margot Glockshuber and Wolfgang Danne

Yvonne Suddick and Roger Kennerson

1967

Donald Knight

Valerie Jones

Gudrun Hauss and Walter Häfner

Janet Sawbridge and Jon Lane

1968

Scott Ethan Allen

Trixi Schuba

Tamara Moskvina and Alexei Mishin

Judy Schwomeyer and Jim Sladky

1969

Gary Visconti

Julie Lynn Holmes

Cynthia and Ron Kauffman

Janet Sawbridge and Jon Lane

1970

Patrick Péra

Karen Magnussen

Galina Karelina and Georgi Proskurin

Tatiana Voituk and Viacheslav Zhigalin

1971

Jan Hoffmann

Janet Lynn

Manuela Groß and Uwe Kagelmann

Susan Getty and Roy Bradshaw

1972

John 'Misha' Petkevich

Zsuzsa Almássy

Manuela Groß and Uwe Kagelmann

Janet Sawbridge and Peter Dalby

1973

John Curry

Dorothy Hamill

Almut Lehmann and Herbert Wiesinger

Janet Sawbridge and Peter Dalby

1974

Vladimir Kovalev

Gerti Schanderl

Manuela Groß and Uwe Kagelmann

Irina Moiseeva and Andrei Minenkov

1975

Toller Cranston

Wendy Burge

Irina Vorobieva and Alexander Vlasov

Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov

1976

Toller Cranston

Anett Pötzsch

Manuela Groß and Uwe Kagelmann

Krisztina Regőczy and András Sallay

1977

David Santee

Barbie Smith

Marina Cherkasova and Sergei Shakrai

Krisztina Regőczy and András Sallay

1978

Vladimir Kovalev

Dagmar Lurz

Marina Cheraksova and Sergei Shakrai

Janet Thompson and Warren Maxwell

1979

Charlie Tickner

Dagmar Lurz

Irina Vorobieva and Igor Livoski

Liliana Řeháková and Stanislav Drastich

1980

David Santee

Emi Watanabe

Sabine Baeß and Tassilo Thierbach

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

1981

Fumio Igarashi

Debbie Cottrill

Marina Cheraksova and Sergei Shakrai

Judy Blumberg and Michael Seibert

1982

Brian Orser

Claudia Leistner

Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini

Judy Blumberg and Michael Seibert

1983

Alexandr Fadeev

Katarina Witt

Kitty and Peter Carruthers

Olga Volozhinskaya and Alexandr Svinin

1984

Jozef Sabovčík

Kira Ivanova

Larisa Selezneva and Oleg Makarov

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

1985

Jozef Sabovčík

Anna Kondrashova

Jill Watson and Peter Oppegard

Tracy Wilson and Rob McCall

1986

Vladimir Kotin

Kira Ivanova

Larisa Selezneva and Oleg Makarov

Natalia Annenko and Genrikh Sretenski

1987

Vladimir Kotin

Liz Manley

Larisa Selezneva and Oleg Makarov

Natalia Annenko and Genrikh Sretenski

1988

Grzegorz Filipowski

Claudia Leistner

Gillian Wachsman and Todd Waggoner

Natalia Annenko and Genrikh Sretenski

1989

Alexandr Fadeev

Patricia Neske

Peggy Schwarz and Alexander König

Klára Engi and Attila Tóth

1990

Grzegorz Filipowski

Kristi Yamaguchi

Larisa Selezneva and Oleg Makarov

Susie Wynne and Joseph Druar

1991

Petr Barna

Midori Ito

Elena Bechke and Denis Petrov

Oksana Grishuk and Evgeni Platov

1992

Christopher Bowman

Laetitia Hubert

Elena Bechke and Denis Petrov

Stefania Calegari and Pasquale Camerlengo

1993

Mark Mitchell

Yuka Sato

Radka Kovaříková and René Novotný

Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko

1994

Alexei Urmanov

Marina Kielmann

Mandy Wötzel and Ingo Steuer

Irina Romanova and Igor Yaroshenko

1995

Alexei Urmanov

Michelle Kwan

Marina Eltsova and Andrei Bushkov

Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz

1996

Elvis Stojko

Maria Butyrskaya

Evgenia Shishkova and Vadim Naumov

Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat

1997

Viacheslav Zagorodniuk

Irina Slutskaya

Kyoko Ina and Jason Dungjen

Sophie Moniotte and Pascal Lavanchy

1998

Viacheslav Zagorodniuk

Laetitia Hubert

Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao

Irina Lobacheva and Ilya Averbukh

1999

Elvis Stojko

Tatiana Malinina

Marina Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov

Irina Lobacheva and Ilya Averbukh

2000

Evgeni Plushenko

Vanessa Gusmeroli

Jamie Salé and David Pelletier

Irina Lobacheva and Ilya Averbukh

2001

Timothy Goebel

Maria Butyrskaya

Marina Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov

Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz

2002

Alexandr Abt

Sasha Cohen

Marina Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov

Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas

2003

Chengjiang Li

Sasha Cohen

Qing Pang and Jian Tong

Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov

2004

Stéphane Lambiel

Miki Ando

Marina Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov

Elena Grushina and Ruslan Goncharov

2005

Johnny Weir

Michelle Kwan

Qing Pang and Jian Tong

Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder

2006

Nobunari Oda

Elena Sokolova

Rena Inoue and John Baldwin Jr.

Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas

2007

Tomáš Verner

Kimmie Meissner

Tatiana Volosozhar and Stanislav Morozov

Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder

2008

Daisuke Takahashi

Yukari Nakano

Yuko Kawaguchi and Alexander Smirnov

Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto

2009

Tomáš Verner

Mao Asada

Qing Pang and Jian Tong

Meryl Davis and Charlie White

2010

Michal Březina

Miki Ando

Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov

Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat

2011

Michal Březina

Alena Leonova

Yuko Kawaguchi and Alexander Smirnov

Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat

2012

Brian Joubert

Ashley Wagner

Qing Pang and Jian Tong

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje

2013

Yuzuru Hanyu

Kanako Murakami

Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch

Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte

2014

Maxim Kovtun

Anna Pogorilaya

Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch

Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov

2015

Jason Brown

Gracie Gold

Cheng Peng and Hao Zhang

Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte

2016

Mikhail Kolyada

Gracie Gold

Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov

Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte

2017

Javier Fernández

Karen Chen

Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje

2018

Alexei Bychenko

Carolina Kostner

Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert

Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte

2019

Shoma Uno

Rika Kihira

Cheng Peng and Yang Jin

Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin

2021

Shoma Uno

Karen Chen

Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov

Madison Chock and Evan Bates

I have not included results from the 1882 Great International Skating Tournament in Vienna, nor the women's and pairs events held in conjunction with the early World Championships which haven't been recognized for whatever reason by the ISU. I have also excluded the fourth-place finishers from the first two ice dancing events held at the World Championships in 1950 and 1951. For more information on these, visit Skate Guard's Results page.

At the 1930 World Championships in New York City, Canadian siblings Constance and Montgomery 'Bud' Wilson finished fourth in both of the singles disciplines and teamed up to finish fourth in pairs. It is the only time in history that a pair of siblings placed fourth in every discipline at an ISU Championship, a feat unlikely to ever be matched.


Scott Ethan Allen

The most times a skater finished fourth in either of the singles disciplines at the World Championships was three. Suzanne Morrow was fourth at Worlds from 1950-1952. The four men that finished fourth at Worlds three times are Alain Giletti, Scott Ethan Allen, Ernst Oppacher and Jack Ferguson Page. Page was also fourth in pairs with his partner Ethel Muckelt.


Manuela Groß and Uwe Kagelmann

Four pairs have finished fourth at the World Championships four time: Manuela Groß and Uwe Kagelmann, Larisa Selezneva and Oleg Makarov, Marina Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov and Qing Pang and Jian Tong. Three out of the four pairs were also Olympic Medallists.

Italy's Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte hold the record for the most fourth place finishes at the World Championships by a duo with four (2013, 2015, 2016, 2018) but the ice dancer who finished fourth at the World Championships the most times was Janet Sawbridge. With three different partners, she finished fourth at the Worlds a record five times.

FOURTH-PLACE FINISHERS AT THE OLYMPICS


Year

Men

Women

Pairs

Ice Dance

1908

John Keiller Greig

Elna Montgomery

(none)

(none)

1920

Ulrich Salchow

Phyllis (Squire) Johnson

Theresa Weld and Nathaniel Niles

(none)

1924

Josef Slíva

Theresa Weld Blanchard

Ethel Muckelt and Jack Ferguson Page

(none)

1928

Karl Schäfer

Maribel Vinson

Beatrix Loughran and Sherwin Badger

(none)

1932

Marcus Nikkanen

Constance Wilson Samuel

Olga Orgonista and Sándor Szalay

(none)

1936

Montgomery Wilson

Liselotte Landbeck

Piroska and Attila Szekrényessy

(none)

1948

Johnny Lettengarver

Jirína Nekolová

Yvonne Sherman and Robert Swenning

(none)

1952

Hayes Alan Jenkins

Sonya Klopfer

Jennifer and John Nicks

(none)

1956

Alain Giletti

Yvonne Sugden

Marika Kilius and Franz Ningel

(none)

1960

Alain Giletti

Jana Mrázková

Maria and Otto Jelinek

(none)

1964

Karol Divín

Nicole Hassler

Vivian and Ronald Joseph*

(none)

1968

Emmerich Danzer

Tina Noyes

Heidemarie Steiner and Heinz-Ulrich Walther

(none)

1972

Ken Shelley

Julie Lynn Holmes

JoJo Starbuck and Ken Shelley

(none)

1976

Jan Hoffmann

Anett Pötzsch

Irina Vorobieva and Alexander Vlasov

Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov

1980

David Santee

Denise Biellmann

Marina Pestova and Stanislav Leonovich

Liliana Řeháková and Stanislav Drastich

1984

Rudi Cerne

Tiffany Chin

Sabine Baeß and Tassilo Thierbach

Judy Blumberg and Michael Seibert

1988

Alexandr Fadeev

Jill Trenary

Larisa Selezneva and Oleg Makarov

Natalia Annenko and Genrikh Sretenski

1992

Christopher Bowman

Tonya Harding

Radka Kovaříková and René Novotný

Oksana Grishuk and Evgeni Platov

1994

Viktor Petrenko

Surya Bonaly

Evgenia Shishkova and Vadim Naumov

Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko

1998

Todd Eldredge

Maria Butyrskaya

Kyoko Ina and Jason Dungjen

Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz

2002

Takeshi Honda

Sasha Cohen

Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin

Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz

2006

Evan Lysacek

Fumie Suguri

Qing Pang and Jian Tong

Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder

2010

Stéphane Lambiel

Mirai Nagasu

Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov

Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto

2014

Javier Fernández

Gracie Gold

Qing Pang and Jian Tong

Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat

2018

Boyang Jin

Satoko Miyahara

Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov

Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue

No revelation... but Vivian and Ronald Joseph finished fourth at the 1964 Winter Olympic Games and were later awarded a bronze medal when silver medallists Marika Kilius and Hans-Jürgen Bäumler were stripped of their silver medals over concerns regarding their amateur status. Bronze medallists Debbi Wilkes and Guy Revell were given a silver. Kilius and Bäumler's silver medals were later reinstated by the IOC. 

Qing Pang and Jian Tong

The only singles skater to finish fourth at the Olympics more than once was France's Alain Giletti. He narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in both 1956 and 1960. The only ice dancers to finish fourth at the Olympics twice were Canada's Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz, in 1998 and 2002. The only pair to finish fourth at the Olympics twice were China's Qing Pang and Jian Tong, in 2006 and 2014.

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating and archives hundreds of compelling features and interviews in a searchable format for readers worldwide. Though there never has been nor will there be a charge for access to these resources, you taking the time to 'like' the blog's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard would be so very much appreciated. Already 'liking'? Consider sharing this feature for others via social media. It would make all the difference in the blog reaching a wider audience. Have a question or comment regarding anything you have read here or have a suggestion for a topic related to figure skating history you would like to see covered? I'd love to hear from you! Learn the many ways you can reach out at http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/p/contact.html.