Yagudin, Shen and Zhao headline World HOF classOther electees include Olympic champion Schuba, legendary coach Mishin
Olympic champions Alexei Yagudin, Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao, and Trixi Schuba have been elected to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame Class of 2017, nominating chair Lawrence Mondschein announced Monday. They are joined in the class by coach Alexei Mishin and choreographer Sarah Kawahara.
Considered by many to be the greatest compulsory figure skaters of all time, Schuba won the gold medal at the 1972 Olympic Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan. She is also a two-time (1971-72) world champion, two-time (1971-72) European champion and six-time (1967-72) Austrian champion.
In just six senior seasons, Russia's Yagudin won the 2002 Olympic gold medal, four world championships (1998-2000, '02), three European titles (1998-99, 2002) and two Grand Prix Final gold medals (1998, 2001). His performance at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics is regarded as one of the greatest ever in the sport's history.
Shen and Zhao captured the title at the 2010 Vancouver Games, China's first Olympic gold medal in any skating discipline. They are the first Chinese pairs team to medal at an ISU event (gold at 1997 Skate Canada), the world figure skating championships (silver in 1999) and the Olympics (bronze in 2002), as well as the first Chinese pair to win a world championship (2002) and an Olympic gold medal.
Mishin's students have won two Olympic individual gold medals (Alexei Urmanov, 1994; Evgeni Plushenko, 2006), five world titles, 10 European crowns and 22 Russian championships. Considered a pioneer in the area of jumping, he created a training system for multi-rotation jumps and designed training devices still used around the world.
A noted choreographer and director, Kawahara has won two Primtime Emmys, one for Scott Hamilton: Upside Down (1997) and another for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2002 Olympic Games. In addition to Hamilton, Kawahara has choreographed programs for Michelle Kwan, Kristi Yamaguchi, Dorothy Hamill and countless other world and Olympic champions.
Also elected to the World Hall of Fame this year were 1936 Olympic bronze medalist and coach Vivi-Anne Hultén of Sweden; 1908 Olympic pairs silver medalists Phyllis Wyatt Johnson and James Johnson of Great Britain; Switzerland's Hans-Rudi Mauch, better known as "Mr. Frack" of the ice skating comedy team of "Frick and Frack;" and three-time world silver medalist Werner Rittberger of Germany, inventor of the loop jump.