|Peggy with her Olympic gold medal won in Grenoble, France, 1968. I love this shot of her!|
Since the figure skating events at the Sochi Olympics are underway this week and next, I can’t help but think of skating dresses I have loved on ladies’ singles competitors in past Olympics. It is a very short list.
|Peggy Fleming in Grenoble, France, 1968, in her Olympic dress.|
Two dresses which I find iconic and emblematic of simpler times in the sport of figure skating were the green dress worn by Peggy Fleming when she won her gold medal in 1968 in Grenoble, France (I wasn’t born then but I have always loved pictures of Peggy from that time), and Dorothy Hamill’s red dress which she wore when she won her gold medal in Innsbruck, Austria in 1976. Note how they are nearly identical in style, with jeweled neckline and sleeve cuffs, in solid colors, with no other embellishment.
|Dorothy Hamill in Innsbruck, Austria, with her 1976 Olympic gold medal. Adorable!|
The only other skater whose Olympic dresses I loved was Nancy Kerrigan.
I thought this neon yellow dress she wore during her short program at the 1992 Olympic games in Albertville, France was terrific. She won a bronze medal that year.
|Nancy in her short program at the 1992 Olympics. Photo by Rick Stewart.|
At the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, I adored the black and white dress she wore for the short program, with its black velvet bands at the bodice, sheer sleeves which ended in a beaded cuff, and the open back. Elegant and gorgeous!
|Nancy at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer. Photo by Getty Images.|
|I love the black and white, sheer sleeves, and the open back. Photo source.|
And that stunning champagne-colored dress she wore for her long program is the most gorgeous skating costume I have ever seen. It sparkled from every angle and was glorious. I remember being blown away when Nancy took to the ice for her freeskate wearing that dress. I still love it, twenty years later!
|My favorite skating dress of all time. Nancy Kerrigan, Lillehammer, 1994. Photo by Chris Cole.|
Both of Nancy’s dresses that year were by Vera Wang, who did an outstanding job designing for her. Nancy won the silver medal at the Lillehammer Olympics.
I feel like skating dresses reflect their time and the fashions of the day, to some degree, though there can be wide differences in looks depending on the skater’s personal style, country of origin, and the music she is skating to.
As for the Sochi games, I have seen a few dresses I’ve liked but my favorite so far has been the red and gray dress worn by 15-year-old Russian skater Yulia Lipnitskaya. I give high marks to the red and gray dress she wore for the long program in the team event. She skated to John Williams’ score for the movie Schindler’s List and gave a heart-stopping performance.
|Yulia Lipnitskaya. Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe.|
|This dress combines tailoring with softness. Perfection! Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Europe.|
I loved everything about the dress she wore, from the color, to the combination of tailored bodice and chiffon skirt with its thin edge of beading, the very subtle use of sequins, and the sheer gloves.
|Photo by Matthew Stockman.|
Have a look at this dress and this girl because by the night of February 20, 2014, when the ladies skate their long programs, Yulia could very well become the ladies’ Olympic champion. It will be well-deserved!
|Photo by Matthew Stockman.|
Do you recall any standout dresses on women, American or not, who competed in the Olympic figure skating ladies’ singles championship?