Ice Network

Fauver savors memories from time as Olympian

Five-time U.S. pairs medalist proud of legacy he left behind in skating
  • Ice Network on Facebook
  • Ice Network on Twitter
Bill Fauver, pictured here with daughter Thobie, enjoys reminiscing about his own Olympic experience whenever the Winter Games roll around. -Courtesy of Bill Fauver

Five-time U.S. pairs medalist and two-time Olympian Bill Fauver holds nothing but prideful memories when he looks back on his skating career.

After he and former partner Lea Ann Miller competed at the 1984 Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo, they embarked on a string of remarkable opportunities: from skating with John Curry's company at the Metropolitan Opera House to touring with renowned ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. They were also an integral part of Stars on Ice when the tour first opened.

Before there were spotlights, there was Olympic ice. Fauver's two Olympic experiences were eight years apart, coming in 1976 and 1984. In '76, he and then partner Alice Cook were a somewhat unknown pair, so they were a bit surprised when they earned a spot on Team USA.

"The '76 Olympics were, for me, overwhelming," Fauver said. "We were very fortunate to be there. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, but we were not seasoned competitors."

The Games in Innsbruck, Austria, were the first Olympics after the tragic events of the 1972 Olympics in Munich, where 11 members of the Israeli team were killed by Palestinian terrorists.

Fauver remembers the security being extremely tight.

"At night, they would actually let the police dogs roam freely, so you were basically locked in," he recalled.

At the conclusion of the 1976 season, Cook decided to retire to attend college, while Fauver set about finding a new partner. He ultimately teamed with Miller and trained at the Broadmoor with John Renn, a former dancer. They fared well at the 1979 U.S. Championships, but an injury hampered their training leading into the 1980 U.S. Championships, and they did not make the Olympic team.

After relocating to Delaware to train at the Skating Club of Wilmington, they made the U.S. podium each year from 1981-84, consistently finishing in the top 10 at the world championships.

"The '84 Games were more sophisticated," Fauver said. "There were triple throws and triple twists. In '76, there was the occasional triple throw. By '84, you had to have one. The standards kept coming up and up.

"It was a more enjoyable competition for us because we were more experienced than Alice and I had been," he added. "It wasn't a great skate, but it was a great experience and I learned a lot from it."

Since that time, Fauver has lived in several places on the East Coast, including in New England, where his mother, Ann Fauver, resides and still judges into her 90s. A desire to spend more time with his daughter, Thobie, 19, eventually brought Fauver back to Nashville, where he coaches skaters of all ages and works on various business projects.

With the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang just months away, Fauver, 63, said it's exciting to see what the athletes will bring. He will be watching with his girlfriend, a classically trained guitarist from Russia who is a big skating fan and an adult skater.