The Seventies

U.S. Figure Skating celebrated its 50th anniversary. The association’s headquarters moved to its current home of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Computers started being used to tabulate results. Dorothy Hamill became known as “America’s sweetheart.” Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner won Worlds, a first for U.S. pairs in 29 years. Flaming Leaves International, which later became Skate America, debuted in Lake Placid, New York. Ice dance made its Olympic debut.

This year, U.S. Figure Skating is celebrating its centennial anniversary as it recognizes those members, clubs and fans who have given so much to U.S. Figure Skating over the past 100 years. This page honors the top athletes of the 1970s whose competitive achievements defined the decade. Learn more about the athletes from the last 100 years below, and check out the Centennial Celebration section of our website for more content.

20s | 30s | 40s | 50s | 60s | 80s | 90s | 2000s | 10s 


The Seventies – Moving forward

Janet Lynn
Lynn carried the torch for the U.S. after Peggy Fleming retired, earning five consecutive U.S. titles from 1969 to 1973. Considered one of the most gifted freestyle skaters of all time, Lynn earned an Olympic bronze medal in 1972 and collected two World medals in 1972 (bronze) and 1973 (silver).

Olympic bronze medalist – 1972
Olympian – 1968, 1972
World silver medalist – 1973
World bronze medalist – 1972
U.S. champion – 1969, ’70, ’71, ’72, ’73

Dorothy Hamill
Hamill hit her stride in the mid-1970s, capping off her career in 1976 by winning the U.S., World and Olympic titles. She also earned the World silver medal in 1974 and 1975. Hamill, known during her Olympic run as “America’s sweetheart,” is credited with creating a new skating move called the Hamill camel and starting a pop culture sensation with her bobbed hairstyle.

Olympic champion – 1976
Olympian – 1976
World champion – 1976
World silver medalist – 1974, ’75
U.S. champion – 1974, , ’75, ’76

Linda Fratianne
After Hamill, Fratianne stepped into the limelight, winning the U.S. title from 1977 to 1980. She collected World medals of every color, claiming the title in 1977 and 1979. She earned the Olympic silver at the 1980 Games in Lake Placid, New York, missing gold by a fraction of a point. Fratianne also became known in part for her statement costumes that were accessorized.

Olympic silver medalist – 1980
Olympian – 1976, ’80
World champion – 1977, ’79
World silver medalist – 1978
World bronze medalist – 1980
U.S. champion – 1977, ’78, ’79, ’80

Tim Wood
Wood won three consecutive U.S. titles. He held the World title in 1969 and 1970, and earned the Olympic and World silver medal in 1968. With Peggy Fleming, Wood helped rebuild U.S. figure skating into national prominence again after the plane crash in 1961.

Olympic silver medalist – 1968
Olympian – 1968
World champion – 1969, ’70
World silver medalist – 1968
U.S. champion – 1968, ’69, ’70

Charles Tickner
Tickner put the U.S. men back on top of the World podium — Tim Wood was the last U.S. man to win a World title in 1970 — with his victory in 1978. He also earned the Olympic bronze medal in 1980 and held the U.S. title from 1977 to 1980.

Olympic bronze medalist – 1980
Olympian – 1980
World champion – 1978
World bronze medalist – 1980
U.S. champion – 1977, ’78, ’79, ’80

Kenneth Shelley
Shelley is a four time U.S. champion (three in pairs and one in men's) and two time Olympian. In 1972, he became the first American in the post-war era to qualify for the Olympics in two disciplines. He won his three pairs titles and two World bronze medals with JoJo Starbuck.

Olympian – 1968 (pairs with Starbuck), 1972 (men's and pairs with Starbuck)
Worlds bronze medalist (with Starbuck) – 1981, '72
U.S. men's champion – 1972
U.S. pairs champion (with Starbuck) – 1970, '71, '72

Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner
Babilonia and Gardner won the second of only two World pairs titles for the United States, in 1979. They remain one of the most decorated pairs in U.S. history with five U.S. titles and three World medals (one gold, two silvers). The team was favored to win the 1980 Olympic title but had to withdraw due to a groin injury to Gardner that was re-aggravated before their Olympic short program.

Olympians – 1976, ’80
World champions – 1979
World bronze medalists – 1977, ’78
U.S. champions – 1976, ’77, ’78, ’79, ’80

Judy Schwomeyer and James Sladky
Schwomeyer and Sladky held the U.S. ice dance title from 1968 to 1972. The duo earned four World medals from 1969 to 1972, three bronzes and one silver. They are credited with their coach Ron Ludington for creating the Yankee Polka compulsory dance. In 1968, they took part in an unscored ice dance demonstration event at the Olympics.

World silver medalists – 1970
World bronze medalists – 1969, ’71, ’72
U.S. champions – 1968, ’69, ’70, ’71, ’72

Colleen O’Connor and Jim Millns
O’Connor and Millns won the first Olympic ice dance medal for the United States in 1976, the first time the event was competed at the Games. The duo also won two World medals in 1975 (silver) and ’76 (bronze), and three U.S. titles from 1974 to 1976.

Olympic bronze medalists – 1976
Olympians – 1976
World silver medalists – 1975
World bronze medalists – 1976
U.S. champions – 1974, ’75, ’76

Other U.S. World medalists in the 1970s

Julie Holmes – 1970, bronze; ’71, silver

Other U.S. champions in the 1970s

John Misha Petkevich – 1971
*Gordon McKellen – 1973, ’74, ’75
Terry Kubicka – 1976

Melissa Militano and Mark Militano – 1973
Melissa Militano and Johnny Johns – 1974, ’75

Ice Dance
Mary Karen Campbell and Johnny Johns – 1973
Judy Genovesi and Kent Weigle – 1977
Stacey Smith and John Summers – 1978, ’79

*Gordon McKellen was banned from U.S. Figure Skating effective July 2001.


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