1985 Eastern Divisionals

I know nothing about this competition, other than that Wainman finished 1st, and it was the next step on her comeback trail. But a few weeks after the event, she skated her short program in a Cricket Club showcase for all the competitors going to Nationals. It was the first time I’d seen her skate since 1983, and I was so impressed. She had grown and was now no longer a girl, yet she could also do the jumps again, and they looked great. And her style was so sophisticated and gorgeous to watch, the trademark flow and power intact, the mischievous smile, the musicality and magical hands.

In the Cricket Club exhibition, there was a warm-up, and Wainman did numerous double axels, and I was shocked to see her warming up a triple salchow combination, as this was the short program and I’d never seen Wainman try a triple in the short. In the warmup, I think she did a double salchow, then a triple salchow, then a triple salchow-double toe loop. Yet when it came time to perform her program in front of the Cricket Club audience, she clearly got nervous: she fell on the triple salchow, and again on some simple steps or footwork right afterwards. She was laughing about it, and the audience still gave her a rousing reception. It was so good to see her back in such good form, falls or not.

Afterwards, I heard two knowledgeable men in the lobby say: “She did the double axel combination at Divisionals, so she’ll probably go back to that for Nationals.” Well, she didn’t, she stuck with the triple, and missed it at Nationals too. But there’s no doubt she had the jump back. On a CBC fluff piece before Canadians, about the changing nature of the sport and its emphasis on triples, they aired a clip of Wainman training at the Cricket Club and landing a triple salchow.

If anybody has any details on how Wainman performed at this competition, please post or get in touch

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