Linda Fratianne

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Linda Fratianne
Personal information
Country represented United States
Born(1960-08-02) August 2, 1960 (age 53)
Height5' (152 cm)
Former coachFrank Carroll
Retired1980
 
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Linda Fratianne
Personal information
Country represented United States
Born(1960-08-02) August 2, 1960 (age 53)
Height5' (152 cm)
Former coachFrank Carroll
Retired1980
Olympic medal record
Women's figure skating
Competitor for  United States
Silver1980 Lake PlacidSingles

Linda Sue Fratianne (born August 2, 1960 in Los Angeles-Northridge, California, U.S.) is a former American Olympic figure skater known for winning four consecutive U.S. Championships (1977–1980) as well as being a silver medalist in the 1980 Winter Olympics.

Personal life[edit]

Linda Fratianne's father was the former Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Fratianne, who died in 2002. Her mother was Virginia Fratianne. Her parents were divorced.

From 1988 to 2001, Linda Fratianne was married to ski racer Nick Maricich. They have a daughter, Ali (b. 1991). Fratianne currently lives and coaches in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Career[edit]

Throughout her figure skating career, Fratianne was coached by Frank Carroll.

Fratianne became the first female skater to land two different types of triple jumps (toe loop and salchow) in her free skating programs in 1976 at the U.S. National Championships. At the World Figure Skating Championship in Tokyo, Japan in 1977, she won her first world title by upsetting the favorite going into the Championship: East Germany's Anett Pötzsch. Although Fratianne fell on her triple salchow jump in her free skating routine, the judges considered she was better overall than Pötzsch.

In 1979, Fratianne was able to regain her world title, which she had lost to Pötzsch in 1978 in Ottawa, Canada.

Her chief rivals were Anett Pötzsch (East Germany), Emi Watanabe (Japan), and Dagmar Lurz (West Germany). Like Watanabe, her compulsory figures were significantly weaker than her free skating; consequently, she frequently placed well below Pötzsch and Lurz in the compulsories, forcing her to attempt to overcome her deficiencies through strong short and free programs. In the short and free programs, Fratianne never placed lower than Pötzsch or Lurz between 1977 and 1980 in any competition. However, since the rules at the time placed much weight on compulsory figures, she was only able to win a major title twice.

Linda Fratianne in 1980 (on the left)

At the 1980 Winter Olympics, Fratianne placed third in the compulsory figures, first in the short program, and second in the free skate to place second overall, while Pötzsch took the gold with 1st in figures, 5th in the short program, and 3rd in the free skate. There have been persistent allegations that Fratianne was "robbed" of the gold medal by a conspiracy among Eastern-bloc judges, but in fact only two of the nine judges on the panel were from Eastern-bloc countries and only the judges from Japan and the USA placed Fratianne first. All others placed Pötzsch first, mainly due to her substantial lead in the compulsory figures.

The officials were:

Judging
Anett PötzschLinda Fratianne
Compulsory Figures46.04 points9 places1st rank42.76 points27 places3rd rank
Short Program39.76 points37places4th rank41.44 points11 places1st rank
Free Program103.20 points24 places3rd rank104.10 points17places2nd rank
Total189.00 points11 places1st rank188.30 points16 places2nd rank

After the 1980 Winter Games, Fratianne turned professional and, at the 1980 world championships, won the bronze medal behind Anett Pötzsch and Dagmar Lurz from West Germany.

In 1981, the scoring system in figure skating was modified to combine the results of the compulsory figures, short program, and free skating by adding placements instead of carrying over raw scores. This made it less likely that skaters could build up a huge lead in the compulsory figures. This decision was made long before the 1980 Winter Olympics.

After the 1980 season, Fratianne retired from competitive skating and performed in touring shows, including ten years as a lead skater of Disney on Ice. In 1993, she was inducted into the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

Results[edit]

Event1973–741974–751975–761976–771977–781978–791979–80
Winter Olympics8th2nd
World Championships5th1st2nd1st3rd
Skate Canada International1st
NHK Trophy2nd
Richmond Trophy3rd
U.S. Championships7th2nd1st1st1st1st

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