#Unearthed: An Eighteenth Century Skating Treatise

When you dig through skating history, you never know what you will unearth. In the spirit of cataloguing fascinating tales from skating history, #Unearthed is a once a month 'special occasion' on Skate Guard where fascinating writings by others that are of interest to skating history buffs are excavated, dusted off and shared for your reading pleasure. From forgotten fiction to long lost interviews to tales that have never been shared publicly, each #Unearthed is a fascinating journey through time. This month's 'buried treasure' is an eighteenth century treatise on skating penned by penned by Johann Christoph Friedrich GutsMuths, an educator at the Schnepfenthal institution. First published in German in the late eighteenth century, it was translated to English for the 1800 book "Gymnastics For Youth Or A Practical Guide To Healthful And Amusing Exercises: For The Use Of Schools".

"SKATING" (JOHANN CHRISTOPH FRIEDRICH GUTMUTHS)

I come to an exercise, superior to every thing, that can be classed under the head of motion. Like the bird sailing through the air with wing unmoved, the skater now glides along as if impelled by the mere energy of volition; now gracefully wheeling in all the intricate curves fancy can conceive, he wantons securely on the slippery surface, that the unpractised foot dares not tread; anon the rapidity and ease with which he glides along astonish us. I know nothing in gymnastics that displays equal elegance; and it excites such divine pleasure in the mind of the performer, that I would recommend it as the most efficacious remedy to the misanthrope and hypochrondriac.

Pure air, piercing, bracing cold, promotion of the circulation of the different fluids, muscular exertion, the exercise of such various skillful movements, and unalloyed mental satisfaction, must have a powerful influence, not only on the corporal frame of man, but also on his mind likewise. To this every male and female skater will assent. Frank wishes, that skating were introduced into universal practice, as he knows no kind of motion more beneficial to the human body, or more capable of strengthening it. 'The Dutch ladies' he adds, 'have energy enough to brave the frost with agile foot, while our tender things are knotting in close rooms by the fire-side.' Campe particularly recommends it in the following words. 'I know not a more pleasant, or more beneficial exercise; and every child of eight or ten years old, boy or girl, may and ought to learn it.' Yet half our youths hardly know even what skating is.

This exercise has been considered as hazardous, because it exposes to falls; but I am persuaded, that it is less dangerous than many others; than riding for example: for a man fares much better when he depends on his own dexterity alone than when he has to contend with the strength and humours of a vicious animal. I have personally had a great deal of experience of both these exercises; and not, notwithstanding I did not learn skating till late in life, never found myself in danger from this, though my life has been risked more than once from the other. More than forty boys and young persons have been taught to skate under my inspection, yet I never saw any accident happen to one of the number. While learning, they have had several falls as I had myself: this is unavoidable; but they soon acquired the art of falling, or of carrying themselves so as to come down without injury, when they found they could not keep their feet. The breaking of the ice, and danger of drowning, have nothing to do with the exercise itself, but are consequences of the extremely defective attention we pay to youth.

Anonymous German engraving, c. 1720-1775. Photo courtesy National Library of Spain.

The acquisition of this art is by no means difficult to those who begin at an early age. All that is necessary is to see that the skates are well made; to take care that they are fastened as securely to the feet as possible, in the most commodious manner, without pinching them; and diligently to inculate the grand, indispensible rule for beginners: always to incline the body forwards, that the skater may not fall on his back. With this rule the learner may be left to his own dexterity; every thing else he will found out of himself, with very little instruction.

If we did not manage our children so wretchedly in the cradle, and when they learn to walk, as is almost universally done; but allowed them the free use of their limbs, even while at the breast, they would prove very different creatures, with respect to bodily qualifications. I have such a boy before me, who, before he was a twelve month old, ran about the pavement in the court; and who, in in his seventh year, was an adept at all gymnastic exercises, in proportion to his bigness, almost without the trouble of learning. This boy had almost learned to skate in the course of an hour after he began. I know too others, whom I must exclude from this exercise, or they would fracture their skulls in twenty minutes...

Grown persons, who possess no degree of activity, will do well to practice skating at first with a chair, till the muscles of the legs have acquired sufficient strength to support them on two slender irons without twisting the ankles.

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.

In His Element: The Dr. James Koch Story

Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine

"It may be said that the ISU, by steadily refusing to let their Championships be coupled with the Olympic Games, have remained masters in their own house and are completely independent of other institutions. It is, therefore, not a matter of importance to them whether the Olympic Games continue to exist or not. But for purely financial reasons the Winter Games need the attraction of the skating events. As long as the Winter Games continue to exist we all have in those years in which The Games are held, with these and the ISU World Championships, which latter take place after The Games, a twofold and welcome opportunity of seeing skaters from all parts of the world assembled to take part in big competitions." - Dr. James Koch, "Skating" magazine, 1960

James Koch was born October 2, 1904 in Chur, the capital of the Graubünden canton, less than two hours from Davos and St. Moritz in eastern Switzerland. As a young man, he studied chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Science and Technology in Zürich, earning his D.Sc. After spending a year at Oxford University in England doing research work he returned to his native Switzerland, taking a job at the Chemische Industrie Basel (C.I.B.A. Specialty Chemicals), a massive chemical concern in Basel.

There was much more to James than his expertise as a chemist. He spoke several languages and in his spare time enjoyed attending plays and operas. His interests in science and art seemed a perfect fit for another of his passions - figure skating. Long-time ISU Honorary Secretary Georg Hasler recalled, "At Coire there is a splendid natural ice rink, and in his youth Dr. Koch was a keen figure skater, excellently advised by his teacher of mathematics, who was an expert skater and acted as amateur instructor at the club. During the years he spent at Zürich and Oxford skating activities had to be dropped, but were resumed when Dr. Koch settled at Basel, where a huge open-air artificial ice rink had been constructed in 1933. Dr. Koch took the different Swiss tests, and then became Chairman of the Technical Committees, first of the Basel Club and afterwards the Swiss Skating Association." One of James' closest friends in the skating world was Werner Groebli - better known to North Americans as Mr. Frick, of Frick and Frack.

Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine

James served as secretary of Schweizer Eislauf-Verband from 1947 to 1953, during which time he judged at two World Championships and acted as the assistant referee of the pairs event at the 1948 Winter Olympic Games. He was appointed a member of the ISU's Figure Skating Committee in 1949. It was the first time he'd even attended an ISU Congress.


In early 1953, Kenneth Macdonald Beaumont, chair of the ISU's Figure Skating Committee, resigned unexpectedly. James was named the Committee's acting chair. At the ISU Congress that followed that year's European and World Championships, he was elected Vice-President for figure skating. That October, when Herbert J. Clarke resigned as the ISU President, James began his fourteen year reign as the ISU's President. Shortly after his election, Georg Hasler remarked, "Owing to his education and experience, Dr. Koch has a broad international outlook, one not limited only to Swiss affairs. He is broad-minded, possesses a distinct sense of humour, can size up people thoroughly and quickly, and is not at all likely to be taken in. His extensive knowledge of languages will be of great advantage to him."


During James' reign as ISU President, he tackled internal corruption, judging controversies and delicate political situations, such as an increased number of skaters attempting to defect from behind the Iron Curtain at major ISU Championships. In her book "Cracked Ice", Sonia Bianchetti Garbato wrote, 'Credit must be given to the then President of the ISU, James Koch, and to the Council for their courage and determination to inflict the maximum penalty on [corrupt officials Hans Grunauer and Adolf Rosdol] to restore credibility to the judging system and public confidence in it." 

Article from "The Vancouver Sun", published in advance of the 1960 World Championships

James saw the rise of television and the first European Championships in ice dance. Not one to be intimidated, he threatened to take the 1961 World Championships away from Czechoslovakia if the Jelinek's were given trouble. When the Czechoslovakian organizers of those Championships wanted to go ahead with the event after the Sabena Crash, his response was firm. "The tragedy is too enormous to go on with the Championships," he said. "It is impossible to hold them. There would be no joy in such a Championship." At the last ISU Congress James presided over, it was voted that all future ISU Championships would be held in indoor rinks.

James resigned as the ISU's President in 1967 after severe arthritis forced him to undergo a hip replacement surgery. He was briefly succeeded by Ernest Labin, then France's Jacques Favart. He passed away on June 16, 1982 at the age of seventy-eight, after being in ill health for some time. His massive collection of skating pins and medals were donated to the World Figure Skating Museum and he was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall Of Fame in 1994.

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.

Twice Back Centre Change, Three, Meet: The Humphry Cobb Story


"The skater should aim at travelling noiselessly and lightly, stealing smoothly over the ice without jar or necessary friction. He should never skate, so to speak, as if he were a dead weight, but while in motion he should always have a certain feeling of elasticity." - Humphry Cobb, "Figure Skating In The English Style", 1913

The son of Elizabeth (Sharpe) and Henry Peyton Cobb, Humphry Henry Cobb was born July 12, 1873 in the London borough of Paddington. He and his many siblings were raised at Wealdstone House, Harrow On The Hill, which employed a staff of five domestic servants. His father was a solicitor and banker who served as a Liberal Member of Parliament under Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone. His great uncle was Reverend Edgar Stogdon, the longtime vicar of Harrow.

As a young man of means and social standing growing up in the late Victorian era, Humphry had access to England's elite sporting circles. He first made his mark as an athlete on the cricket field, playing for the Middlesex and West Herts Cricket Clubs. He also served as the captain of the Rosslyn Park Rugby Football Club, enjoyed boxing and swimming and was an early motoring enthusiast. However, his most important contributions to English sport were arguably on the ice.

Top (left to right): B. Spring Rice, E.D.P. Pinks, T. Nutall. Bottom (left to right): Dr. E.N. Lemon, L. Courvoisier and Humphry Cobb at Morgins, 1914

During the Edwardian era, Humphry made a name for himself in Switzerland as a leading exponent of English Style figure skating. He regularly participated in or judged the numerous English Style contests for cups and trophies held at winter resorts and earned the first class badge of the National Skating Association. He also served as President of the Grindelwald Skating Club.

In 1913, Humphry penned the book "Figure Skating In The English Style", which was described as "the number one practical bible of its day" for English Style skating. He followed the book up with a section on figure skating in Will Cadby's book "Switzerland In Winter (Discursive Information For Visitors)" the following year.

Humphry's theories on figure skating were infuenced by Henry C. Lowther, the Monier-Williams brothers, Edward Frederic Benson and H.J. Houghton, his predecessor as President of the Grindelwald Skating Club, who developed a patent English Style skate for Francis Wood & Son's. In an era when the Continental Style of skating was becoming immensely popular, Humphry was decidedly conservative in his views on skating and he was not alone in his views. With conviction, he wrote, "Power, which should, of course, be ultimately aimed at, must be acquired by degrees. To endeavour to force it merely results in a rough, scrambling performance, scraped turns, and a general want of steadiness. He should always skate within himself, that is, just as powerfully as he can, consistently with good skating, and not be led away by the popular fallacy that size and speed necessarily imply the latter, or seek for the applause which these qualities, in spite of all defects, never fail to elicit from the ignorant."


Humphry married his wife Edith Muriel Stogdon in 1908 and took up residence at The City, Harrow Weald. Five years later, his sister married into a title - the Baroness Ilkeston. During The Great War, Humphry was a Captain with the Oxfordshire and Bucks Light Infantry. He served in Mesopotamia and was wounded in the British advance on Flanders. He was sent to the Royal Free Hospital in London to recover, where had an operation to remove shrapnel from his side. His brother Kenneth had already been killed in battle in Gallipoli.


After the War, Humphry worked on the stock exchange and returned to the ice with a greater passion than ever for skating. He has been credited as playing an integral role in a "renaissance of the English Style" at Morgins, Switzerland in the roaring twenties. Winter sport enthusiast Arnold Lunn (rather dramatically) wrote, "English skating gradually faded from the ice rinks of the Alps, and might have disappeared completely, but for the fact that Morgins offered an asylum to the faithful. [Humphry] Cobb, the Moses of Anglican skating, led the chosen people out of the bondage of Egypt to the promised land of Morgins, where the law and prophets were honoured up to the very outbreak of the Second World War." 

In 1925, Humphry was one of the four members of the Bear Skating Club's winning team in the National Skating Association's Competition for the Challenge Shield for Combined Figure Skating. 
He served as Chairman of the National Skating Association's Ice Figure Committee from 1924 to 1926 and donated the Humphry Cobb Cup for junior competition in the English Style to the Association in 1925. Historian Dennis Bird noted, "He also invented a snow bicycle, made of wood with artificial sleds. It was really the prototype of the modern ski-bob, and he used it regularly at Morgins in Switzerland." In the thirties, Humphry took up rugby again, rejoining the Rosslyn Park team after a thirty-four year absence. His doctor suggested that playing again would "keep his muscles supple".

During World War II, Humphry mourned the loss of his son Patrick, who was killed on a motor gun-boat in the English Channel. Less than a decade later, on December 13, 1949, he passed away in Rye, Sussex. His passion for skating can be best remembered by his beautiful statement: "There can be few more pleasurable sensations... to mortal man than that experienced by a skater when moving at high speed on a long bold curve on a large level surface of ice. Every muscle in the body feels at rest, and the glorious sense of perfect balance combined with the joy of rushing through the air with the minimum of friction can only be, as it has so often been, compared to flying."

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.

Radio Rockers: The Charles Maclurcan Story


"Don't forget to wound up the cat and put the clock out." - Charles Maclurcan's sign-off on his radio show

The son of Hannah (Phillips) and Daniel Maclurcan, Charles Dansie Maclurcan was born on August 2, 1889 in Brisbane, Australia. His father was a master mariner and his mother was Australia's first 'celebrity cookbook' writer. "Mrs. Maclurcan's Cookery Book: A Collection Of Practical Recipes Specially Suitable For Australia" was a household staple and her buffets, which catered to the smart set, were extremely popular. As a child, Hannah Maclurcan survived the tidal wave caused by the eruption of Mount Krakatoa.

The Wentworth Hotel in 1901

The Maclurcan's took over the management of the famous Wentworth Hotel in Sydney in 1901. Charles' father passed away two years later, transferring the lease to his mother.

Photo courtesy Paul Wilson, Archivist at Museum Of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney

As a young man, Charles was educated at the Downs Grammar School in Toowoomba. He left school at the age of thirteen to work as an apprentice with the Empire Electric Light Company. By the time he was twenty, he had opened his own electrical engineering business (poaching the company he apprenticed with's clients) and an automobile dealership, Maclurcan-Lane Motors. He owned a Renault landaulette before automobile licenses were even issued in Australia and received a speeding ticket in 1912 for driving 24 miles per hour. He was fined four pounds by a horrified judge who exclaimed, "Great Scott! That's the speed of an express train!"


Charles was first introduced to figure skating on skiing trips to Mount Kosciuszko. He made several trips to Switzerland during the late Edwardian era with his sister Joan, where he pursued the art more seriously. He entered a waltzing contest in Davos in 1909, finishing an impressive second with his partner and by passing an admission test, officially earned membership with the Internationaler Schlittsschuh-Club Davos. In the years that followed, he passed the Bronze, Silver and Gold Tests of the National Skating Association, making history as one of the first Australians to successfully complete all three tests. At the age of nineteen in 1912, Charles won the Victoria State 'gents' junior title. Around this time, the National Ice Skating Association of Australia was established in Melbourne and this title would have been considered by members of that association as a national title. However, largely owing to disagreements regardingspeed skating contests, the Melbourne association and the Sydney club operated independently of one another and didn't always recognize one another's achievements.
Photo courtesy National Library Of Australia

Charles gave numerous exhibitions and taught skating with Claude Langley at the Sydney Glaciarium in the post-War years and was one of a handful of skaters who contributed to the education of Australian skaters in school figures. He and Dr. Cyril MacGillicuddy helped bridge the gap between the two organizations and brought the National Skating Association's tests to Sydney, helping raise the standard of skating considerably. Charles founded the Figure Skating Club of New South Wales in 1915, a successor to Dunbar Poole's Glaciarium Figure Skating Club. He didn't fight in The Great War due to poor eyesight, instead helping with ship to shore radio transmissions. He married his wife Winifred in 1917. The couple had three sons.

Photo courtesy Paul Wilson, Archivist at Museum Of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney

Charles continued his sojourns to Switzerland in the roaring twenties. He attended the 1928 Winter Olympic Games in St. Moritz, taking photographs and videos which are now in the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. During this visit to Europe, he became acquainted with many important figures in the skating world, including Ulrich Salchow, Ethel Muckelt and Jack Ferguson Page, Howard Nicholson and T.D. Richardson.

Three years later, Charles became the first President of the newly-reorganized National Ice Skating Association of Australia. That year, the first officially recognized Australian Championships were held, with skaters and judges from both Victoria and New South Wales participating. The next year, the organization joined the International Skating Union. Throughout the thirties, he was a perennial judge at the Australian Championships and one of the only people in the country for some time qualified to preside over Gold tests.


In 1937, Charles also became the new manager of the Wentworth Hotel when his mother retired. When he took over the hotel, it was nearly bankrupt. He wisely decided to borrow money to build fifty more guest rooms. The hotel thrived. His 1946 book "Wentworth: A Link In Australia's History" chronicles his family business's fascinating story.

Photo courtesy Paul Wilson, Archivist at Museum Of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney

Perhaps most famously, Charles was one of the pioneers of radio in Australia. He operated one of the country's first wireless stations on top of the Wentworth Hotel's flat roof using a homemade transmitter. His good friend Cyril Dodson Lane, an Australian ice hockey pioneer who died in Gallipoli during The Great War, helped him install it. He had his first taste of wireless communication "in and about" 1910, when he travelled to England aboard the Nordeutscher Lloyd liner Bremen and was allowed by the wireless operator "to listen to the few wireless Morse signals that were then floating around in the ether". He was granted experimental license #10 and for some time after the Great War, he was the only Australian to possess such a license. In 1910, he made history as the first Australian to use wireless to communicate with a ship at sea. A founding member of Wireless Institute of Australia, he was famous for his one-and-a-half hour Sunday night 'concerts' on his 2CM station. Upwards of three thousand Australians listened to his show. Charles played the latest gramophone records, gave recitations of children's stories and provided listeners instructions on radio matters. Back in those days, listeners had to build their own receivers and there were many requests for instruction on the process. Radio was a confusing and sometimes scary prospect for many people in those days. Once a woman wrote to him asking, "Tell me, Mr. Maclurcan, can you honestly say that disease is not spread by radio? Anyway, I'm keeping my grandchildren away from the loudspeaker until I know one way or the other."

Photo courtesy Paul Wilson, Archivist at Museum Of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney

In 1921, Charles made an trip to America to study how far communications could be made. As a result of his experiments, he was later able to establish communication from his station in Strathfield to San Francisco. In 1922, his station 2CM was issued the first broadcast license in Australia. He made history again that same year as the first Australian to achieve wireless communication with New Zealand using (according to "The Sun") "less power than required for a torch." That same year, he was asked to provide music for a dance at the Engineers' Hall in Moore Park, transmitting music from his home in Strathfield eight miles away. There was some of a meteor storm the night of the dance that caused a distortion of the music. The next day, the morning newspaper read, "This fooling with the secrets of the stars may provoke an etheric catastrophe. Last night, certain strange noises arrived that may be the prelude of a stentorian voice from the Milky Way telling us to quit fooling with things that do not concern us. Those inchoate formless mutterings [from Maclurcan's radio transmitter] could have come from only one place. They were the voiceless yearnings of revolt from the damned in Hades. The atmospheric electric storm that silently thundered through distracted space had for one awful moment lifted the lid."


During the roaring twenties, Charles also made the first direct contact with England, sending a message of greeting to His Majesty King George V. He penned articles on wireless communication for Sydney newspapers, earning sixpence a line. He almost died in 1926 when, while making an adjustment to his radio while talking to an amateur radio enthusiast in Buckinghamshire, England, he was electrocuted and thrown across the room with a four thousand volt charge. After several hours of unconsciousness, he woke up with heart palpitations and a bad burn on his wrist and collapsed into bed. He retired his radio station in 1930, having made contact by radio with people on five continents.

A whole book could be really be written about Charles' accomplishments. A 1952 feature in the Australian magazine "People" noted that at one point or another in his life "he has been a garage proprietor, car importer, electrical engineer, modelmaker, radio mechanic and operator, boiler attendant, sailor, photographer, philatelist, skier, figure skater, hotel proprietor, racing motor cyclist, historian and businessman. He had always been a profound negation of the old adage of doing one thing well, since he has, without exception, made a success of everything he has ever done."

Photo courtesy Paul Wilson, Archivist at Museum Of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney

Sadly, Charles suffered a serious heart attack in 1952 that left him quite frail. After years of suffering with heart disease, he passed away in Sydney, Australia on October 26, 1957 at the age of sixty-eight. He was named an honorary life member of the Wireless Institute, the Royal Australian History Society, Institution of Radio Engineers, Kosciusko Alpine Club and the National Ice Skating Association of Australia. Three years after his death, his son Donald served as the Chef de Mission of Australia's team at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games in Squaw Valley.

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.

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 was unable to compete because she had to have an appendectomy. 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.

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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