Before the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the USSR, East and West Germany were two different countries. Katarina Witt represented the former, the one under the control of the Soviets. She has made history as the first female competitor since 1936 to achieve back-to-back wins in the Ladies’ singles at the Winter Olympics.
Her first success was in 1984 at Sarajevo, and her second was four years later at Calgary. As you can see in the picture, Witt not only showed off incredible moves, but she also had a striking style, with a studded leather jacket that made her look super cool.
Katarina Witt – Now
While the Berlin Wall didn’t physically come down until 1994, by 1989, it had already fallen in spirit. For Witt, that meant she could pursue other walks of life outside of figure skating, which is exactly what she did. She appeared in “Playboy Magazine” and published a memoir in 2005 titled “Only With Passion.”
In 2013, ESPN aired a biopic about Katarina’s life before and after the unification of Germany. Witt also attempted to help Munich’s bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, but in the end, it was Pyeongchang, South Korea, that hosted it. Katrina has been involved with some men over the years, but it seems that settling down has never been a priority for her. She prefers to put her time into charity work.
What better way to make a name for yourself in the Olympics than to win when you’re only fifteen? Such was the case of Tara Lipinski, who won gold at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan. Not only was she fifteen, but she was also the youngest ice skater ever to win an Olympic gold medal.
But it wasn’t enough for Lipinski to take home the gold – she also became the World Champion of figure skating in 1997 and was a champion in both the 1997 and the 1998 Champion Series Final. So many achievements at such a young age really show Lipinski’s natural talent.
Tara Lipinski – Now
And they were right! After blowing the competition out of the water for years, Lipinski left the competitive ice skating world and began to tour with shows such as “Stars on Ice” and “Champions on Ice.” Eventually, she hung up her skates and joined fellow figure skater and friend Johnny Weir as a commentator for figure skating competitions on NBC.
The pair has been credited for helping to bring the sport to younger audiences. While Alysa Liu eventually broke Lipinski’s record, winning gold at thirteen, this skater is still known for making ice skating history.
Nicole Bobek competed alongside Lipinski and Michelle Kwan. The three women were expected to win all the figure skating competitions for the United States. Scott Hamilton said that Bobek lights up a building like no one else, and despite her difficult time getting to the Olympics, Bobek was a front-runner for medals in the Ladies’ singles competitions.
But, things did not turn out the way she expected. When Nicole headed onto the ice in the 1998 Winter Olympics, she thought she was ready for anything, but something unexpected hit her hard.
Nicole Bobek – Now
During her routine in the Olympics, Bobek fell and suffered from a severe hip injury. This fall meant she also fell all the way to the seventeenth place with no way to climb back. Now that she’s past her figure skating years, Bobek has changed quite a lot.
She has a deep passion for Circus performing. One of her most notable performances was in 2015 when she showed off her hoop skills at a skating show hosted by none other than Nancy Kerrigan. Now Bobek teaches power skating, which is a conditioning program for skaters of all kinds. She also teaches edge skills to junior hockey players.
As one of the most awarded figure skaters in recent years, Sasha Cohen’s biggest “setback” came at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, when she failed to take home the gold medal. Cohen is a three-time World Championship medalist but somehow missed out on making the U.S. team for the third time in a row in 2010.
She then decided to retire from competitive skating, stating that she no longer had a clear sense of purpose or direction. Leaving the world of elite athletics often makes people wonder what their next step should be. Cohen would have to make some tough decisions in the next few years of her life.
Sasha Cohen – Now
Once done with figure skating, Cohen decided to dabble in some new fields. She’s tried her hand at acting, appearing in an episode of “CSI: NY,” the movie “Blades of Glory,” (as herself), and was even in “Sharknado 5: Global Swarming” as “Olympic Ice Skater.”
She’s also worked as a correspondent at the Academy Awards, and in 2016 she received a degree in political science from Colombia University. In the same year, she received a high amount of praise for being inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame. But what comes after fame?
By the end of the 90s, Michelle Kwan was an admired and well-known figure-skater. She quickly became the star of the U.S. figure skating team, a consummate contender when it came to Olympic medals. Her Olympic debut in 1998, at the age of eighteen, garnered her a silver medal.
Kwan won the bronze in 2002, but she wanted to win a gold medal. Her five World Championships didn’t give her much Olympic success, but they have turned her into a household name. Unfortunately, a severe injury in 2006 brought her Olympic career to a halt.
Michelle Kwan – Now
Kwan had an injury that had made it impossible for her to perform in Turin’s 2006 Winter Olympic Games. Ending her Olympic career was one of the hardest things she’d ever done, but it didn’t stop her from moving. She dedicated her time to her education at the University of Denver as well as Tufts University.
After that, she became a coordinator for Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. She has worked for the U.S. Department of State Education as well as for the Cultural Affairs Bureau. She has had an eventful personal life as well, marrying White House National Security Staff member Clay Pell.
The biggest triumph of Peggy Fleming’s career came in 1968, at the Winter Olympics in Grenoble. She won the gold for the United States in the Ladies’ singles competition. It was the only gold the U.S. won in that entire figure skating tournament, making Peggy a valuable asset to the U.S team.
Throughout the entirety of her career, Fleming has won the figure skating World Championship three times. But Peggy isn’t just a winner on the ice. In 1970 she married her high school sweetheart, and the two are still together to this day. If that’s not a win, we don’t know what is.
Peggy Fleming – Now
It’s been half a century since Fleming made us all proud at the Winter Olympics, but what has been going on in her life since that victory? She had a breast cancer scare but pushed past it, she and her husband Greg had a pair of sons, and now she even has grand children.
Peggy and her husband now live in Denver, Colorado, but before they did, they had a vineyard and winery in California. At its peak, the winery sometimes sold up to two thousand cases a year. Eventually, Peggy and Greg’s vineyard was closed. They now get to enjoy their retirement together.
Torvill & Dean
Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean are two of the most well-known figure skaters to come out of the United Kingdom. Often referred to as just “Torvill and Dean,” the pair had a noteworthy career. Out of the eighteen competitive medals they won, sixteen were gold.
They were a part of one of the greatest moments in the sport’s history during the 1984 Winter Olympic games. They became the highest-scoring figure skaters of all time, with twelve perfect 6.0s to their combined names. No one else has ever done such a thing, and it’s unlikely anyone – or two – ever will. Where on Earth could they go from here?
Torvill & Dean – Now
Though they rest in the pantheon of great figure skaters, Lillehammer’s final Olympic competition only netted them a bronze medal. Still, the pair remained ambassadors for the sport even after their retirement.
They spent some time touring with “Stars on Ice” and then went to the Sarajevo games in 2014 to recreate the Bolero – the same routine that won them the gold at the 1984 Winter Olympics. Even though it’s been so long since their time in the spotlight came to an end, their incredible story still encourages people to strap on a pair of skates and hit the ice.
Oksana Baiul was only sixteen years old when she won the gold at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. For that, she became an immediate heroine to the people of Ukraine. Somehow, this competitive little kid beat the legendary American skaters — Katarina Witt, Nancy Kerrigan, and Tonya Harding.
Baiul won the Ladies’ singles World Championship in the previous year, but it was still surprising when she managed to take out these three giants. You can’t help but love it when an underdog wins and turns into a success story overnight.
Oksana Baiul – Now
Baiul returned to Ukraine as a hero to all, but things didn’t go as planned for a little while. After her triumph at the Olympics, Baiul struggled with alcohol issues. Eventually, she managed to overcome these issues.
She went on to perform in live shows such as “Cold as Ice” and made numerous reality TV appearances, including the skating show “Master of Champions.” She even had a role in the thirteenth season of “The Apprentice.” In 2018 she starred in a biopic about a different figure skater, the Norwegian Sonja Henie – appropriately titled “SONJA – Queen of Ice.”
If you ever look up highlights from figure skaters in the Winter Olympics, you’re bound to see French figure skater Surya Bonaly performing a one-bladed backflip. This backflip was so beautifully executed that it made everybody in attendance gasp in amazement. Bonaly pulled off the unbelievable move, even though it is illegal in Olympic competitions.
She is the only figure skater to have performed such a move while at the Olympics, and she did it to spite off the judges, which she believed had a bias against her. While she hasn’t achieved any Olympic success, she did win the French Championship a staggering nine times. Seriously, look at that flip-up. You’ll be glad you did!
Surya Bonaly – Now
Nowadays, Bonaly isn’t thumbing her nose at judges anymore. She now guides the next generation of figure skaters, so she has to do things by the book. She currently coaches in the state of Minnesota.
Not only is she working hard to teach others how to pull off her incredible moves, but she’s also a hard-working activist who is heavily involved with causes she sees as righteous. Surya has always been ready to speak out when she thinks something is wrong, which is why she’s a vegetarian and has appeared in a variety of different ads for PETA.
In the world of figure skating, Elvis Stojko is almost as famous as the actual Elvis Presley. He was the first athlete in the entire sport to ever achieve a quadruple-triple combo, which is when a skater completes four revolutions followed by another jump with three revolutions.
He was quite the character in the world of skating as he wore heavy metal-inspired costumes and had plenty of aggressive moves. Stojko was often ridiculed for this and was told that he should find his feminine side. The skater responded by saying he didn’t have one. Keep rocking, Elvis!
Elvis Stojko – Now
Today, Stojko is still a performer. He performs with his wife, who is also a former figure skater – Gladys Orozco. But Stojko has also branched out a great deal since his time in the Olympics. The skater regularly puts time into hobbies such as go-kart racing and kung-fu. He’s even appeared on Broadway, playing Billy Flynn in the classic musical “Chicago.”
He appeared in the Canadian version of “Stars on Ice,” and from 1994-1998 and in 2002, he had his very own Canadian show: “The Elvis Tour of Champions.” Since 2015, Stojko has played the lead in the skating show “’Twas That Night” in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Tai Babilonia & Randy Gardner
Figure skating pairs require being able to work together very closely. This means they should have a certain level of intimacy and maturity not everyone has. This is why many ice skaters choose to work alone. That being said, Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner had a strong working connection from an early age.
The pair made history in 1979 when they became the first U.S. champions in almost two decades. But, sadly, Gardner suffered a terrible groin injury, which prevented the two from being able to participate in the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Tai Babilonia & Randy Gardner – Now
Despite not being able to try their hand at winning Olympic gold together, Babilonia and Gardner are still close friends. They even recently celebrated fifty years of professional partnership at the Ice Theater of New York.
Babilonia coaches from time to time. Gardner is not only a choreographer but has also starred in his own show “Go Figure: The Randy Gardner Story.” Both Tai and Randy enjoy their friendship a great deal and are happy they’re still able to hang out and work together, even if they don’t have as many opportunities as before.
Philippe Candeloro will always be remembered for what he did, but he will also forever be remembered for what he didn’t do. This talented skater won bronze at both the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics, but during one of his performances, while spinning around, he slipped and fell to his knees.
While the action was a mistake, it appeared to many watchers to be a perfectly executed – and entirely unique – move. The move, now intentional, became Canderloro’s signature move. The mishap didn’t bother the skater all that much because it has given him unexpected fame.
Philippe Candeloro – Now
After his time on the ice ended, Philippe Candeloro turned to the world of broadcasting and sports journalism. But, his career on the air was damaged by controversy when, during one performance, he said that Japanese figure skater Shizuka Arakawa, and Olympic champion, was worth “a bowl of rice.”
Widespread uproar buried him, and he quickly apologized for the remarks. Candeloro narrowly escaped death in 2015, when, tragically, a helicopter he was going to take collided with another helicopter, resulting in ten total deaths. Luckily for him, he’s still alive to this day.
While he was, once, a World Champion of figure skating, Brian Orser’s biggest moment came during the “Battle of the Brians,” when his biggest rival, Brian Boitano, defeated him. But Orser had the last laugh, winning the gold in 1987 at the World Championships in Cincinnati. He was also a silver medalist in the Winter Olympics in 1984 and 1988.
In both competitions, he missed the gold by a narrow margin. The first time, it was to Scott Hamilton, and the second, it was to Brian Boitano. It’s a shame to be so good at your sport but never truly win, just because there’s always a better Brian.
Brian Orser – Now
Despite the disappointment of never taking home the coveted gold, Orser has moved on. He’s now a well-known figure skating coach who helps others get their own successes instead of mulling over his own failures. After seventeen years of touring, he realized, in his own words, that he needed to grow up.
His determination has paid off. He went on to coach Japanese skater Yuzuru Hanyu, who ended up winning gold at the Olympics. Orser came out as gay in 1998. Currently, he is in a relationship with Rajesh Tiwari. Rajesh Tiwari also directs the Brian Orser Foundation.
If you know anything about Scott Hamilton, you’d know that he loved to do backflips. It was a defining feature of his career, mostly because it was something that he could do so well. Unfortunately for Hamilton, the move was illegal in U.S. competitions and at the Olympics. Despite being hampered in this way, Hamilton was, first and foremost, a professional.
He managed to win four World Championships. If that wasn’t enough, he also won four consecutive U.S. Championships. Those happened between 1981 and 1984, and then in 1984, he capped off his own record-setting career with a gold medal performance at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
Scott Hamilton – Now
Many of the figure skaters on this list have made appearances on “Stars on Ice,” but did you know that it was actually Hamilton himself who founded the program? In 1997 he defeated cancer, proving that there’s nothing that can stop him.
Hamilton’s height has always been an interesting fact about him – he stands at only five-foot-four. This is because of a childhood condition, which has also caused him to have cancer. Since then, Hamilton has founded the CARES initiative, which focuses on cancer research. He’s also been an ambassador for the Winter Olympics since 2018.
Kitty and Peter Carruthers
Few American figure skating pairs can boast the same amount of success as this brother-sister team from Massachusetts. Back in 1984, the Carruthers dominated their Soviet opponents when they won the silver medal – despite the fact that Kitty Carruthers was suffering from tendinitis at the time.
When they learned that they had won the silver medal, the brother and sister were so overwhelmed they embraced each other for a full minute as the crowd cheered. While it might be strange to think of a brother and sister working together so much, it’s actually relatively common when it comes to figure skating.
Kitty and Peter Carruthers – Now
Peter Carruthers is now married and has two children. He works as a broadcaster for several different skating events. Kitty works as a coach in Houston. While they are no longer a double-bill act, the siblings still have a close relationship and often reunite for special occasions.
They most recently participated in a TV special in 2013, where they skated together again. Kitty and Peter both still love skating, and while they can no longer dazzle audiences with their moves, the pair still appreciates their time on the ice. Even though being a professional ice skating duo can be tough, they both say they truly enjoyed their time on ice.
While Viktor Petrenko might not have had the incredible career of some of the other performers and athletes on this list, his career is special for one reason: he represented not one but two countries in the Olympics. He represented the Soviet Union before its dissolution.
Once the Union split up, he was able to represent his country of birth, Ukraine. It during his time with the Unified team that he achieved the most success in his career — in 1992, at Winter Olympics in Albertville, Petrenko took home the gold medal and made his country proud.
Viktor Petrenko – Now
Petrenko has retired from figure skating, but his love for the sport is still obvious to everyone. He still has a deep passion for ice skating and has remained involved with it in a number of ways. The Ukrainian star is now coaching numerous figure skaters, including ones who are already champions in their own rights.
He has even coached a few people you’ll find on this list. Some of his most famous students are Oksana Baiul, who won gold two years after Petrenko did, and Johnny Weir, who was a three-time champion. You have to be a true lover of a sport in order to pass it down to the next generation.
Janet Lynn, originally from Chicago, caught the hearts of millions of figure-skating fans around when, in 1972, she slid onto the ice rink at the Sapporo Olympics. While she only took the bronze medal home with her, she also had a great time.
During her career, Lynn also had a long-running streak of being the United States national champion – a staggering five times. Her accolades don’t end there – she has also won the silver at the 1973 World Championships in Bratislava. She might have never taken the top spot on the podium, but nobody can deny her skills.
Janet Lynn – Now
After her Olympic experience, Janet Lynn moved to professional skating and got a deal with “Ice Follies” for an outstanding 1.5 million dollars. At one point, Janet Lynn was the highest-paid female athlete on the planet; how cool is that?
Lynn is not only a talented skater but also a spiritual person. She’s a Christian who gives motivational lectures and is involved in a number of conservative initiatives. She’s even had an appearance on television, starring in the made-for-TV movie “The Snow Queen.” She appeared alongside John Curry.
Not only was Shizuka Arakawa the second figure skater from Japan to take home a medal after performing at a figure skating competition, but she was also the very first Japanese skater to win gold. The first name on that shortlist was Midori Ito, who won the silver medal back in 1992.
But, unlike Midori, Arakawa has managed to win it all at the 2004 World Championships in Dortmund. Being the first person to win gold for your country is a great honor, and it’s something no one can ever take from Arakawa. After winning the World Championships, she also participated in the Winter Olympics in Turin.
Shizuka Arakawa – Now
Arakawa is another competitive skater who has made a smooth transition to professional figure skating. Beyond that, Shizuka Arakawa also appears on Japanese TV to commentate on figure skating. She’s even experimented with being on the other side of the camera by creating her own show, “Friends on Ice.”
Arakawa also took part in the ABC series “Thin Ice,” skating alongside Olympic silver medalist Stephane Lambiel. She received yet another Olympic honor when she was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, which she did with all the poise in the world.
Irina Slutskaya doesn’t like to sit still. After winning the World Championship in 2002, she did it again. This time it was her home city of Moscow. She’s one of the most decorated Russian figure skaters of all time, and that’s really saying something.
She’s collected two Olympic medals, six World Championship medals, nine European Championship medals, and nine medals from the Grand Prix Final. With fourteen medals weighing her down, you’d think it would be a little more difficult for her to pull off a triple lutz-triple loop combo – but she was actually the first woman in the world to do it.
Irina Slutskaya – Now
Though she was given the opportunity to perform for the Champions on “Ice show, “Irina Slutskaya decided to return home to Russia after an extended period in the U.S. Once she returned to her home country, she took to hosting a variety of reality shows on national television, such as “Stars on Ice,” and “Ice Age.”
A few years after, she starred in “Hot Ice,” a Russian soap opera about figure skating. She was an ambassador for the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014. She was married twice, first to Sergei Mikheev and then to Alexei Govyrin. She has a total of three adorable children.
Meryl Davis & Charlie White
As one of the most well-known and beloved figure skating pairs in recent history, there’s nothing that Davis and White can’t accomplish together. They have won Olympic gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics, where they also took bronze in the team event.
They have a huge number of championships and medals, and they have also crowned World Champions on two separate occasions. Not only did they achieve a high amount of success, but they did it over a long amount of time – the two are the longest-lasting figure-skating pair to come out of the States, competing together for more than ten years.
Meryl Davis & Charlie White – Now
While the two don’t compete together anymore, there are still plenty of ways to see Davis and White together on the ice. They announced that they weren’t going to compete any longer in 2017, but they still perform together in a number of different shows. While the two have been attached at the hip since they started skating, they never became romantically involved.
They both have relationships with others. After dating him for six years, Davis got engaged to retired figure skater Fedor Andreev. White has been married to Tanith Belbin since 2015. The two still work together to create some stunning figure skating programs.
Before Shizuka Arakawa won the gold medal for Japan, it was Midori Ito who was setting the international stage for victory for the Empire of the Rising Sun. Ito, who hails from the city of Nagoya, was the first female figure skater ever to achieve seven triple jumps in one competition. But having that small accolade wasn’t enough for Ito.
Not only did Ito win the 1989 World Championships, but she also went on to win the silver at the Winter Olympics three years later. She is also one of the most winning names in the NHK, an international competition hosted in Japan every year.
Midori Ito – Now
When her career competing for figure-skating titles came to an end in the mid-90s, Midori Ito kept herself busy in a wide variety of ways. She was the one who lit the Olympic torch in the Winter Olympics in 1998 in Nagano. However, Ito would later return to competitive figure skating in 2011.
She got to second place in the ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition Two years in a row, which is amazing, but we know she wanted more. In 2003, her career as a competitive figure skater reached its highest level when she was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
You probably already know about Kristi. She’s a figure skater who dominated both the singles and pairs competitions, no matter where she went. Not only did she take home the gold in the 1992 Winter Olympics, but she also became a World Champion in both 1991 and 1992. She won National Championships in 1989 and 1990, skating with her pairs partner Rudy Galindo.
Yamaguchi was one of the most famous names in the figure-skating world in the early nineties and was part of the reason the sport became so much more popular. Yamaguchi has been inducted into both the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.
Kristi Yamaguchi – Now
During the nineties, Yamaguchi was one of the primary performing members of “Stars on Ice” and has spent a lot of time on professional tours. The former figure skater has also tried her hand at philanthropy and established the “Always Dream Foundation” in 1996. The charity’s main goal is to give children better literacy chances from an early age.
Yamaguchi was also the first figure skater to appear on “Dancing with the Stars.“ She was a part of the show’s sixth season, together with partner Mark Ballas. They actually won the entire season. In 2011, she even wrote a children’s book titled “Dream Big, Little Pig!”
1976 was the year of Dorothy Hamill. It was the year this amazing figure skater won the World Championship as well as struck it big in the Ladies’ singles event at the Winter Olympics in Austria. Her Olympic triumph was a benchmark moment for the Olympics since it was the last time someone who won gold during the Winter didn’t hit a triple jump.
Hamill is known for having come up with her own move, which she called the “Hamill Camel.” It’s a camel spin that evolves into a sit spin, and if you are not sure what that means, look it up; it’s spectacular.
Dorothy Hamill – Now
Just like many other members of this list, Hamill turned to professional figure skating once she was done competing and winning gold medals. She made a keynote performance on the show “Broadway on Ice” and was also part of the sixteenth season of “Dancing with the Stars.”
However, after only two episodes, she had to pull out of the competition because of a nasty injury – she suffered from nerve damage to her leg and back. But she has since bounced back and has had plenty of performances in different shows, including Randy Gardner’s documentary “Go Figure: The Randy Gardner Story.”
Sarah Hughes is one of the youngest athletes to have competed in figure skating. She made her mark on the ice at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The year was 2001, it was the World Championships in Vancouver, and Sarah won the bronze medal.
But she knew she had even more in her, and she took her sport to the next level when she appeared, a year later, at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. She took the gold medal, while two other members of our list, Irina Slutskaya and Michelle Kwan, took second and third.
Sarah Hughes – Now
Following her success at the Olympics, Sarah Huges enrolled at Yale University, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies with a concentration in U.S. politics and communities. That’s right; she won a gold medal before she was even in college. During that time, she took a break from her studies to tour with “Stars on Ice.”
It wasn’t until 2009 when she would finally complete her undergraduate studies. Hughes received another huge honor when she found out she was going to join the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
It only took six years for Weir to go from lacing up his skates for the first time to winning the 2001 World Junior Championship. Weir went on to win the U.S. Figure Skating Championship for three consecutive years. With such an impressive beginning, it’s no surprise that Weir ruled the 2004 – 2006 Championships.
One of his biggest achievements was in 2008, when he helped Team U.S. win the bronze medal at the World Championships. That was the only medal that Team U.S. won that year. He’s also been in two Olympic competitions, but despite his success in most other figure-skating competitions, he never earned an Olympic medal.
Johnny Weir Now
After he decided enough winning was enough, Weir stepped off the ice and stepped into the commentator’s booth with good friend Tara Lipinski. The duo has been successful interpreters for a large number of figure-skating shows.
Thanks to their success with the sport, Weir, and Lipinski have also worked on more mainstream events, such as the Academy Awards. In 2011 Weir surprised the world by coming out as gay. Since then, he has criticized the biopic about famous figure skater Tonya Harding, “I, Tonya.“ This was probably because he was a good friend of Nancy Kerrigan and couldn’t forgive Harding.
For whatever else she accomplishes or does, Debi Thomas will always be remembered as the very first African-American to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. It was in the 1988 games in Calgary, and she won the bronze medal.
However, this historic moment didn’t surprise many people in attendance. Thomas had already been in the top in the World Championships before. She got to the top spot in 1986. Thomas is also known for her on-ice rivalry with a fellow member of this list –Katarina Witt. This rivalry was dubbed “Battle of the Carmens” by the media.
Debi Thomas – Now
While she was still performing on the Olympic stage, Debi Thomas decided to enroll at Stanford University. Even though she was still young, she decided to end her competitive figure skating career at twenty-one. She graduated from Stanford and then moved on to medical school, choosing to become an orthopedic surgeon.
While Thomas thought that everything was going smoothly, she had actually gained a reputation for being a difficult doctor to work with, which is why she established her own private practice. That helped her for a bit, but sadly she ended up filing for bankruptcy.
Brian Boitano made a name for himself in the eighties as an elite figure skater. He won the World Championships in 1986 and 1988 and also won gold during the Winter Olympics in Calgary in 1988. By all accounts, it was a banner year. He was one half of the “Battle of the Brians,” along with Brian Orser.
While Boitano did turn professional, he eventually returned to figure skating. He participated in the 1994 Winter Olympics, but he wasn’t as successful, only getting to sixth place. What was next for Brian Boitano? It might come as a little bit of a surprise.
Brian Boitano – Now
The real question is, what hasn’t Brian Boitano done? He’s had plenty of notable career moves, including acting in the Emmy Award-winning movie “Carmen on Ice.” Weirdly enough, he actually starred in the movie alongside his longtime rival, Brian Orser.
He’s also had his own show on the Food Network. In the show, Boitano shows how to make food like Carne Asada, hot Italian sausage panini, and more, often with other figure skaters as guest stars. His knowledgeable and humorous approach to cooking helped make the show popular.
Nancy Kerrigan is one of the most famous names in figure skating, though not exactly for her skills on the ice. After the World Championships in 1991, Kerrigan continued winning. She won the silver three years later at the games in Lillehammer.
But, without a doubt, the reason you recognize her name is that she was the victim of a hit planned by her figure-skating rival and fellow team member Tonya Harding. In reality, it was the ex-husband of Harding who executed the hit, where he used a police baton to bash Kerrigan’s landing knee. Ouch!
Nancy Kerrigan – Now
Thankfully, Kerrigan’s leg healed well, and her life has remained relatively free of drama since the attack. She’s made a couple of appearances in movies, such as “Blades of Glory,” and was also one of the titular stars on the twenty-fourth season of “Dancing With the Stars.”
In 2018 Kerrigan became a correspondent for “Inside Edition.” Her most recent appearance on the screen was on the sitcom “Fresh Off The Boat.” Kerrigan has three children with her husband Jerry Solomon, who used to be her agent before they married in 1995.
Tonya Harding is the other half of the unforgettable Harding-Kerrigan storyline. Just like her rival Kerrigan, Tonya Harding burst onto the scene in 1991, making history when she was the first U.S. female skater to perform a triple axel jump. Of course, all of Tonya’s achievements were overshadowed by the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, planned by Harding’s ex-husband.
Harding herself wasn’t at fault, but she eventually pled guilty to conspiracy in order to hinder prosecution. After the incident, Tonya was banned from competing in the United States, but she found a new career that has shocked many people.
Tonya Harding – Now
With the end of her skating career, Tonya Harding turned to, of all things, professional boxing. However, her career in the ring was even more short-lived than the one she had on the ice, winning three matches and losing three more. She is married to Joseph Price, her third marriage, and the two have a son together. She’s worked as a painter and a deck builder.
Enough time has passed for the story of the attack on Nancy Kerrigan to be made into a critically-acclaimed biopic called “I, Tonya,” which stars Margot Robbie as Harding. Harding herself still skates three times a week but has no plans to compete ever again.
Rudy Galindo was a great skater that had plenty of great achievements. But, his finest hour came when he was paired up with Kristi Yamaguchi. The duo won the 1988 World Junior Championships. Then, in 1989 and 1990, they won the U.S. National Championships.
Despite being so successful together, the due split up shortly after. But, even without Yamaguchi, Galindo climbed to the top. In his performance in the 1996 U.S. Championships, he executed eight triple jumps. Galindo has proved that he has the athletic ability and professional skills to make it big in both the singles and pairs competitions.
Rudy Galindo – Now
While being an amazing skater, Galindo is actually one of the few people on this list who has never competed in the Winter Olympics. He did make history as the first openly gay and Latino U.S. Champion.
He’s made a name for himself in professional shows such as “Nutcracker on Ice.” Now Galindo is a figure-skating coach at his original rink in San Jose, helping to cultivate the next generation of talented ice skaters. In 2000, Galindo revealed that he was HIV positive. He joined the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and was elected to the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2012.
David Pelletier & Jamie Salé
The story of David Pelletier and Jamie Salé is a remarkable one. Together, their careers are full of incredible highs that make them a memorable pair. In the 2001 World Championships, the two took gold in the pairs competition, and in 2002 they made a repeat performance for the top spot at the Winter Olympics.
Then, a judging scandal has led to an unusual result; the two had to share their gold medal with Russians Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze. Most people believe the Canadian pair deserved it more, but either way, the scandal forced a change in the Winter Olympics’ scoring system.
David Pelletier & Jamie Salé – Now
After winning their gold medal at the Olympics, Pelletier and Salé decided to go professional. Not only that, but their partnership expanded from the professional to the personal. On Christmas Day, 2004, the two got engaged to each other, and one year later, they got married.
Two years after that, they welcomed little Jesse Joe Pelletier into the family. Sadly, in 2010 the two decided to get a divorce, but they remained skating partners until they retired in 2012. Pelletier has also appeared on the third season of “Battle of the Blades,” while Salé served as a judge on the fourth season.