Friday, February 19, 2010

Great Moments in Olympic Skating, Part 2

Now that Evan Lysacek of the United States has won the gold medal in Men's Figure Skating, here's a look back at my all-time favorite men's figure skating performance, Paul Wylie skating to "Henry V" at Albertville in 1992.

Wylie, a Harvard grad, was not favored to do particularly well -- he had never placed higher than 9th in previous international competitions -- but he poured his heart and his considerable talent into his performance and took home the silver medal. His jumps and spread eagles are absolutely exhilarating. This performance is what great skating is all about.

Wylie's surprise performance and medal were so inspiring that the U.S. Olympic Committee awarded him the 1992 Olympic Spirit Award, which has only been given to a handful athletes who demonstrate "the special spirit of Olympism, courage and achievement at the Olympic and Paralympic Games."

In addition, Wylie has always been a class act who is a great representative for the sport. He earned an MBA from Harvard and now lives in North Carolina, where he has worked with Billy Graham and coaches skating.

Previously: A look back at Pairs and Ice Dancing.


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