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Linda Fratianne lives! :D I had always wondered what had happened to her.

Some interesting quotes regarding the Olympic Pairs figure skating controversy and the debate surrounding the judging and her narrow loss in the 1980 Olympics. Read on!

Skaters have mixed reaction to Sale and Pelletier's gold medal
By NANCY ARMOUR
AP Sports Writer
February 15, 2002


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Now that Jamie Sale and David Pelletier have a gold medal, Liz Manley wonders if maybe she should ask for one, too.

Manley was only joking, but there are plenty of skaters worried that Friday's decision will throw their sport into even greater turmoil -- if that's possible. Skating's history is littered with dozens of people wronged by politics and biased judges.

Will they be clamoring for their just reward now, too?

``I think this kind of a situation is going to have repercussions in other disciplines,'' said Ivan Rezek, coach of the Czech pairs team that finished eighth. ``Everyone will cry out asking for a gold medal.''

Scott Hamilton wasn't so sure.

``It's not so much a can of worms, but it could open a can of sour grapes,'' the 1984 gold medalist said. ``This is a special set of circumstances, an extraordinary set of circumstances.''

The International Olympic Committee awarded Sale and Pelletier a gold medal after the French judge in Monday night's pairs final admitted she was pressured by her own federation to put the Russians first. This was a clear case of misconduct, said Ottavio Cinquanta, head of the international skating union.

But Manley could try to make a similar argument. She won the free skate in 1988 but settled for the silver behind Katarina Witt because she was only fourth in compulsory figures.

And how about Linda Fratianne, who ``won'' a silver medal in 1980 under circumstances similar to Sale and Pelletier's.

``Is this going to cause a million athletes to come forward and say, 'Where do I get my gold medal?''' Manley asked. ``I'm happy with the decision, but at the same time I have to say the other side of me is scared on where it's going to lead.''

Fratianne said she has mixed feelings about the decision. She's thrilled for Sale and Pelletier, but at the same time, it brings back all the hurt and devastation she's tried to block out since 1980.

``One of the questions I'm always asked is, `How would your life be different if you'd won the gold medal?' I'll never know that, and I said earlier that Jamie and David will never know that,'' Fratianne said from her home in Ketchum, Idaho.

``I'm so happy for them that they now can experience what it's like to have a gold medal.''

Fratianne will always have to wonder.

As the reigning world champion, she went to the Lake Placid Games as the gold-medal favorite. Instead she wound up with the silver in what most believe was yet another judging scandal.

Fratianne has been told by many people over the years that judges conspired along geopolitical lines to keep her from winning the gold medal. An East German, Annette Poetzsch, won the gold. Fratianne's mother even overheard two international judges in a bathroom say before the competition began that Fratianne was going to get the silver medal.

``My life has gone on and my life is full,'' Fratianne said. ``But it's hard to look back and not think, `What if we yelled a little louder?' `What if I could have found some proof?'

``For someone to go back 22 years and prove something, it would be so hard to do.''

So far, no one's trying. And reaction from athletes and fans around the Olympics was solidly in Sale and Pelletier's favor. When it was announced that the Canadians had been awarded the gold medal, a huge cheer went up from the crowd of 16,000 at the snowboarding finals.

American luger Clay Ives, who competed in the 1994 and 1998 games for Canada, was thrilled when he heard the news.

``That's great!'' said Ives, who won bronze in luge doubles on Friday. ``I'm a proud Canadian as well. But this doesn't have to do with citizenship or anything. It's all about fairness.''

Teammate Chris Thorpe agreed.

``If there was some type of vote swapping, I think it's great,'' he said. ``Great for them for awarding them the gold and keeping it as fair as possible.''

Fratianne has never met Sale or Pelletier, but she's glad they had the opportunity to have their wrong righted. When she saw Sale crying on the medals podium Monday night, she began crying, too, knowing all too well what the Canadians were feeling.

Fratianne was so devastated by not winning the gold that she wrapped her silver medal in tissue paper and stuffed it under her bed. It stayed there for 18 years.

Not until her daughter, Ali, asked to see it four years ago did she pull it out.

``I don't want to come across as a spoiled brat who's ungrateful to have a silver medal,'' she said. ``But it's such a bittersweet memory for me. I felt like I let my family down, (coach) Frank Carroll, my country. There was just a lot of incredible emotions.

``On the flip side, I know just like Jamie and David that I did everything possible in my power as an athlete to go out and skate. ... I'm just elated for them.''
 

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Yes! I saw her on CNN the other night! I was amazed by her "Big Hair", but other than that, she looked good. She was with Stars On Ice for about 10 years from what I gather.
 

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Oh, I missed that. :( Would have loved to have seen her big hair...lol.

I didn't think she ever skated again after being robbed of the gold by the communist block judging. She obviously didn't get a whole lot of endorsements after losing. I was glad to read that she's doing well. :)
 

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Thanks for sharing the info GoSandrine! It was a good article to read..

And yes....I remember her, too! Funny thing though...I certainly do not remember the gold medal winner, Annette whatever the hell her name is....
 

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Yes, Linda! For whatever reason, I had a crush on her back then! Sooooooo many memories!
 
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