1985 Canadian Figure Skating Championships

This was Canada’s first look at the reborn Tracey Wainman, and it was an impressive showing. After she won the figures in Moncton, several articles heralded her comeback and recounted the story of the child prodigy and her rise and fall from grace. They were slightly premature in celebrating her return to glory, however. True, she skated a brave and beautiful, jazzy short program, with a gorgeous double axel that showed how her former nemesis was once again her great weapon. But she fell on a triple salchow, which was incredibly gutsy of her to include in her short, yet brought down her marks. Still, her artistry, class, flow and charisma were second to none. In a great Canadian judging scandal, however, she was placed only 8th in the short program. The marks were in the 4.0s, one judge actually gave her a 4.0. You could sense the hurt and surprise in Wainman’s eyes when she saw the marks. Even Debbi Wilkes expressed her bewilderment at the low marks, saying the judges were being “unduly harsh”, penalising her “because she is Tracey Wainman”.

In the long program, she was pure class, all dressed in black, and showing her newfound maturity. It wasn’t perfect. She once again fell on the triple salchow, which she had landed successfully in the warmup, and popped two out of her four planned double axels; the second part of her double axel-double axel sequence turned into a single waxel, and the fourth planned double axel was also singled. Still, as the Globe and Mail noted, she landed two double axels and the crowd roared. “Each time it was a victory,” wrote Beverley Smith. The judges placed her 5th in the long, and she finished fourth overall. A very respectable and promising showing for her first Canadians in two years. As she said, “after finishing seventh and missing a year, I have to be realistic.”

It was great to see her back in top form though, and you got the sense this comeback would continue. Here’s her SP, one of my favourite performances. If anyone has video of her LP, please post


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