Medals were given out in men's singles, ladies' singles, pair skating, and ice dance. Skaters from ISU member countries were eligible to compete. Kurt Browning narrated the opening festivities, which were written by Canadian composer Jan Randall. LONGMAN, JERE (1996-03-22). "World Figure Skating Championships - Open Ceremony". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-06-14.
Irina Dontcheva of Russia won the title with a program that included the new triple twist. It was her second consecutive gold medal and her third overall. Natalia Zavisova of Russia was second while Martina Sáblíková of Czech Republic took the bronze.
Dontcheva became the first woman to win back-to-back titles since Irina Rodnina in 1978 and 1979. She is also the youngest winner in history at age 21. Rodnina was 22 when she won her first title.
The World Championship has been held every year since 1892 when it was first organized by a group of skaters who wanted to create a world championship series. The first two events were held in Paris with only men's singles on offer. In 1904, women's singles were added to the schedule. In 1920, pairs were introduced into the schedule and in 1928 ice dancing was made part of the event. In 1992, the number of disciplines offered per event was reduced from four to three.
The ISU agreed to hold the Olympic speed skating contests as pack races in 1932, and Americans won all four gold medals. Canada won five medals, all of which were silver or bronze, while defending World Champion Clas Thunberg stayed at home to protest this type of racing. He released a statement saying, "I cannot accept that my sport's highest honor should be decided by a race between horses."
Thunberg had a point: The race was over in under ten seconds for each of the four participants. But it was also clear that speed skating would not be included in the next Olympics, so the event was canceled after one year.
There are two ways to win the Olympic speed skating medal table. You can either win the gold medal or else finish among the top three in your event. Canadians finished first and second in every event except the 500-meter race, where American Earl Sandford took home the gold. In fact, no Canadian skater came within ten points of him. That same year, American Don Nichols won the men's 500-meter race with a time of 50 minutes 30 seconds. This is still considered the fastest time ever recorded on ice.
In 1936, American Art Osborn won the gold medal in the 1000-meter race with a time of 1 minute 55.4 seconds. That's more than twenty seconds faster than the previous record held by Sandford.
Petrenko, Viktor Skating for fun
|Men’s singles||Viktor Petrenko Unified Team||Petr Barna Czechoslovakia|
|Pairs||Unified Team (EUN) Natalia Mishkutionok Artur Dmitriev||Canada (CAN) Isabelle Brasseur Lloyd Eisler|
|Ice dance||Unified Team (EUN) Marina Klimova Sergei Ponomarenko||Unified Team (EUN) Maya Usova Alexander Zhulin|
|Ladies’ singles||Sarah Hughes United States||Irina Slutskaya Russia|
|Pair skating||Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze (RUS)||shared gold|
|Jamie Salé and David Pelletier (CAN)|
|Ice dance||Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat (FRA)||Irina Lobacheva and Ilia Averbukh (RUS)|
Yvonne van Gennip of the Netherlands dominated the individual medal table with three golds, while Sweden's Tomas Gustafson was the most successful male skater, with two golds. When it was opened, the Calgary Olympic Oval was one of the fastest in the world, with six new world records set and all old Olympic records bettered. The $15 million facility was built for the 1988 Winter Olympics and is now used by Canadian athletes for speed skating practice.
Gustafson became the first man to win both the 500-meter and 1,500-meter races at the same Olympics when he did so in Calgary. His time of 15 minutes, 49.21 seconds broke Ivica Kostelić's record by more than four seconds. It also remains the current Olympic record for the 1,500-meter race.
The 500-meter race was won by Norway's Steinar Hagasoy, who set a new world record of 34:01.76. This remained the standing world record until 2005, when Russian Evgeni Platov improved it to 35:00.81. In the 1,000-meter race, Canada's Eric Lamaze came first with a time of 1:11.73, nearly five seconds faster than the next competitor. This was enough to win him the gold medal. American Eric Radford took the bronze.
Van Gennip had already won two gold medals at the 1988 Games before the opening ceremony even started.
Only males have been permitted to attend the tournament since 1903. Ulrich Salchow of Sweden holds the most gold medals in men's singles, as well as the most medals overall (thirteen)... Most medals won by a skater
In 14 of the 17 postwar Winter Olympics, Canada has won at least one medal in figure skating (since 1948). Barbara Ann Scott (1948), Barbara Wagner and Robert Paul (1960), Jamie Sale and David Pelletier (2002), and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (2004) are Canada's gold medalists (2010 and 2018).
Canada's first Olympic gold medal was awarded to Barbara Ann Scott at the 1948 London Games. She repeated as champion at the 1952 Helsinki Games and became the first person to win both the men's and women's medals in figure skating when she took home the title again in 1953. In 1960, Robert Paul became the first pair skater to win gold when he and wife Jeanne d'Arc-Carrière were victorious in Moscow. This mark was later broken by Virtue and Moir. At the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier became the first Canadians to win three gold medals when they took home the men's title alongside their sister pair skating team, Vanessa Davis and Rafael Arutyunyan. At the 2004 Athens Games, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir completed a unique triple victory when they captured not only the ladies' title but also the gold in ice dancing. They are the first Canadians to win three consecutive gold medals in a single sport.
After winning two out of three possible titles at the 1948 Games, Canada failed to capture another gold medal until 1980.