1980 Skate Canada

Wainman’s Skate Canada debut was also greatly anticipated. Canadian skating fans are very knowledgeable, and they were anxious to take a closer look at their budding superstar and monitor her progress since Dortmund. Her performance, if not sensational, was solid, early-season stuff. Wainman finished second to Elaine Zayak, the 15-year-old American jumping sensation, who was ranked 11th in the world and included seven triples in her long program. The bronze medalist was Austria’s Claudia Kristofics Binder, who was ranked 5th in the world. Wainman also finished ahead of Sandra Dubravcic of Yugoslavia, who had placed 12th in the Worlds, and the American Rosalynn Sumners, the then World Junior Champion who would go on to win the 1983 Worlds. Wainman finished 2nd in the figures, 5th in the short program and (I believe) 3rd in the long program for 2nd overall.

In her short program, she fell on the double-axel portion of her double axel-double loop combination. But her other double axel was beautiful. The CTV commentator Otto Jelinek remarked that she fell on the double axel in the combination because she was thinking about the double loop. In an interview afterwards, she said she would only attempt one triple in the long program, but would possibly do two, and she would attempt five double axels. In the end, she tried and fell on a triple salchow, but landed four beautiful double axels, including two in succession and one ending in a spiral. Debbi Wilkes remarked: “She’s really ticking off those double axels.” At the time, Wainman’s triples were not consistent enough to put into her program in great numbers, and the double axel was her go-to jump for boosting her technical marks.

Wilkes remarked that Wainman had been having trouble with the triple salchow in warmup and practice. Wainman in an interview afterwards said she had still expected to pull it off in the actual competition. She also said that her goal was to get more triples, and that she was working on a double loop-triple cherry combination for her short program. For whatever reason, she would never try a triple toe in competition again; I gather it was becoming more difficult for her around this time. Nonetheless, her long program was strong enough to gain a rousing response from the fans in Calgary; her performance was fast, energetic and vivacious. The trademark Wainman smile was out in full force. I recall that Rosalynn Sumners landed three or four triples in her long program and had relatively high marks, so I am deducing that she beat Wainman in the long program, even though she didn’t place on the podium.

Here’s her short program, followed by her long program below

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