Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pic of the Week: American Legends

Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner are perhaps the most famous U.S. Pairs skaters for their achievemnts not only on the ice, but their lives off the ice.

Their competitive achievements are many including a top 5 finish at the 1976 Olympics, 5 consecutive U.S. Championship wins, a bronze medal at the 1978 World Championships, and a win at the 1979 World Championships. Tai and Randy acheived their success through the help of their coach, John Nicks. They were the overwhelming favorites to win Gold at the 1980 Olympics but disaster struck when Randy pulled his groin muscle and the team was forced to withdraw from the Olympics right off the warm-up.

After retiring from competitive skating and touring as professionals, Tai became addicted to drugs and alcohol and her life spun out of control. Tai underwent treatment and rehab and Tai and Randy made their competitive re-debut as professionals in 1996.

Randy, after touring, became a choreographer for Ice Shows and was the principal choreographer for Champions on Ice for many years. Randy has also done several speaking engagements discussing his career, life, and homosexuality.

Tai and Randy captured the hearts of America and to this day are amongst the most beloved U.S. Skaters of all time.

UPDATE: Check out this cool little bit over at lifeskate about Randy Gardner!

1 comment:

Susan from said...

I did a "Catching up with...Randy Gardner" post and he was a very cool person to work with, very professional and prompt. He also found out he was adopted 10 years ago and is writing about it as part of his autobiography, coming out towards the end of the year. Can't wait, they were one of my favorite pairs to watch.