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’80 skaters reunite for Olympic anniversary

‘Dream On’ show, skaters’ discussion are among events for 40th

Linda Fratianne skates in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. The 5-foot, 1-inch American won a silver medal at those games. (Provided photo — UPI, via Enterprise)

LAKE PLACID — Most people remember the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics for the “Miracle on Ice” hockey team. However, that year’s U.S. Olympic ice skating team also walked away with two medals; Linda Fratianne won silver, and Charles Tickner won bronze.

At 7 p.m. tonight, these skaters and more will be a part of a 40th anniversary figure skating show at the Olympic Center. The show, called “Dream On,” will allow the audience to “flash back to a lot of memories from 40 years ago” according to ORDA Director of Communications Jon Lundin. The event will consist of live performances during dinner, a multimedia presentation, and a discussion with 11 skaters from the 1980 Olympic team.

Skating in the show will be Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy Leduc, the current U.S. pairs champions; Ryan Bradley, 2011 U.S. champion; and Madison Chock and Evan Bates, 2020 U.S. ice dance champions. The opening number will be performed by the Skating Club of Lake Placid.

Along with Fratianne and Tickner, the discussion after the show will feature the 1980 Olympic flag bearer and host of today’s events, Scott Hamilton, as well as Sandy Lenz Jackson, David Santee, Sheryl Franks, Caitlin Carruthers Conrad, Michael Botticelli, Lisa-Marie Allen, Stacey Smith and Tai Babilonia, whose story also made Olympic history.

Babilonia and her partner Randy Gardner were favored to win a medal in pairs skating 1980 Winter Olympics. However, Gardner suffered a sudden injury, and they had to withdraw from the competition. During their warm-ups, he tried to perform a few spins and lifts, but they all went uncompleted. According to a Washington Post article from the time, Gardner had groin pains for almost two months before the Olympics. The warm-ups only made it worse, and Gardner walked away with a severely pulled muscle instead of the gold.

With so many memories from the past coming forward in this event, Lundin hopes that there can also be “new memories that they (the audience) can create.” He believes tonight’s events will be a “nice way to pay tribute.”

General admission tickets for $19.80 are available at Whiteface.com or LakePlacid40.com, by phone at 518-523-3330 and at the Olympic Center Box Office.

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