1984 Central Ontario Sectionals

This was the first competition in Wainman’s cautious comeback attempt, after 1.5 years away from competition following the debacle of the 1983 Nationals. It also marked her return to competition under the coaching of Ellen Burka, the renowned disciplinarian with whom she had achieved her early success at the Cricket Club. She finished 1st, defeating Meredith Owen, another Cricket Club skater. Wainman won the figures, short and long programs. In the long program, she landed three double axels, according to a report in The Globe and Mail. A double salchow was purposely scaled down from a triple owing to an injury. This report was hugely encouraging to fans of Wainman — the fact that she had landed three double axels was nothing short of a miracle. In an interview, Wainman said when she returned to the ice after a prolonged layoff, she had to lose a lot of weight and relearn everything. She said it took her maybe a month to get back her double axel. When I interviewed the choreographer David Wilson, who used to train with Wainman, he said he remembered watching her struggle to relearn the double axel, skating around and around in circles and doing lots and lots of single axels. He also said certain Cricket Club skaters were less than kind watching her try to come back, especially as many of the younger skaters had surpassed her in terms of technical ability. Wainman said she just blinders on and ignored everyone around her.

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