World Figure Skating announces U.S. Hall inductees
Wylie and Eldredge lead the 2007, '08 classes, respectively
|Todd Eldredge will perform in Smucker's presents "Hot Ice, Cool Sounds," set for Oct. 18 in Youngstown, Ohio. (Getty Images)|
Janet Gerhauser Carpenter
Janet Gerhauser Carpenter is the only woman in U.S. Figure Skating to have participated in the Olympic Winter Games as a competitor (Oslo 1952), team leader (Sarajevo 1984) and an Olympic judge (Calgary 1988 and Salt Lake City 2002).
As a singles skater, Gerhauser Carpenter was a junior silver medalist. Her real skating fame, however, came at the fours event (two pairs skating in unison) and with pairs. Gerhauser Carpenter skated to three U.S. Fours Championship titles in 1947, '48 and '50 with partners Marilyn Thomsen, Marlyn Thomsen and John Nightingale. They were the second "St. Paul Four" team to win a national title. This fours pair skated in the later years of the famed summer St. Paul Pops Concerts held from 1936-1959.
In addition, Carpenter was the 1950 U.S. junior pairs champion and the two-time U.S. pairs silver medalist in 1951 and '52 with Nightingale. This pair competed at the world championships in 1951 and '52 and placed sixth at the 1952 Olympic Winter Games. "Marching into the Olympic Stadium as an Olympic competitor takes your breath away," Gerhauser Carpenter said in summing up this experience.
Following amateur competition, Gerhauser Carpenter became a successful national coach. She had been a high-test judge before becoming a coach and ultimately decided to return to judging. She had to work her way up the judging ladder again to the status of national, then international judge, becoming an International Skating Union (ISU) World and Olympic judge in 1983. Gerhauser Carpenter explained that being on the judging panel in 1988 for the "Battle of the Brians" (Brian Boitano and Brian Orser) and giving a 6.0 as her last international mark in 2002 were ultimate moments for her as a judge.
In her administrative positions at U.S. Figure Skating, Gerhauser Carpenter has served on the Board of Directors, World Figure Skating Museum committee and chair of the World Hall of Fame electors.
When asked what being inducted into the U.S. Hall of Fame in Saint Paul means to her, Gerhauser Carpenter explained that her family and life-long skating friends will be able to attend. "The Xcel Energy Center is almost the exact spot where John Nightingale and I trained for the Olympics, and where I first started judging for the Saint Paul Figure Skating Club. My skating life will have come full circle," she said. The University of Minnesota graduate currently resides in Minnetonka, Minn., with her husband Norm and has three grown children.
The 1992 Olympic silver medalist began skating at age three in Texas after watching his two older sisters on the ice. At age 11, his family moved to Denver, Colo., where Wylie trained with Carlo Fassi for nine years and worked with two of Fassi's other students, John Curry and Robin Cousins.
In 1979, Wylie won the novice title at the U.S. Championships. In 1981, he won the junior title at the U.S. Championships and went on to win the world junior championships that same year.
At the same time Wylie was building a successful career as a singles skater, he was also skating pairs with partner Dana Graham. This pair won the junior title at the 1980 U.S. Championships. They skated senior pairs at the 1981 U.S. Championships before the partnership ended.
Concentrating again on his singles career, Wylie decided to restructure his skating technique in 1985 and began to train with Evy and Mary Scotvold. They helped coach Wylie to three silver and two bronze medals at the U.S. Championships from 1988 to 1992. He demonstrated his artistic style as a member of three U.S. world teams (1988,'90 and '91) and two Olympic teams (1988, '92). The most memorable skating moment, according to Wylie, was his 1992 Olympic Winter Games performance in Albertville, France. "Against all odds, I delivered the best performance of my career when all the chips were down. There was so much personal drama in it for me," Wylie stated.
Wylie acknowledged that his career changed overnight after winning the Olympic silver medal. "That particular credential enabled me to experience the professional career I could only have dreamed of," he said. Wylie's highly successful professional career from 1992-'98 included winning the 1992 U.S. Open Professional Championship and the 1993 World Professional Skating Championships. Wylie also toured with "Stars on Ice" during these years, which he described as a particularly satisfying experience with an incredible "family" of performers and an international flair.
When asked about his feelings of being inducted into the U.S. Hall of Fame, Wylie stated, "As a young skater in Dallas, Texas, I never dreamed of the career I had as a skater. I am so thankful to my parents, to my coaches and my sponsor for believing in me."
Wylie received both his undergraduate and graduate degree from Harvard University and has continued his involvement with skating through an Evening with Champions to benefit the Jimmy Fund, commentating for ESPN and even a bit of coaching. He currently resides in North Carolina with his wife, Kate, and two daughters.
Charles A. DeMore
Charles DeMore began his skating career at the Cleveland Skating Club. The former ice dancer passed the pre-silver ice dancing tests and attended numerous Lake Placid dance weeks.
He is best known for his many years of administrative work for the U.S. Figure Skating Association. He served as co-chair of the U.S. Championships in Cleveland in 1964. In 1968, he was appointed a national accountant and was the chief accountant for the 1974 U.S. Championships in Providence, R.I. He was a member of the U.S. Figure Skating Executive Committee (current Board of Directors) from 1966-'78. He was also the chair of the Amateur Status Committee (1968-1971) and International Committee (1971-1974).
DeMore was the vice president of U.S. Figure Skating from 1974-'76 and president from 1976-1980. During his presidency, DeMore was instrumental in leading the relocation of U.S. Figure Skating headquarters from Boston, Mass., to Colorado Springs, Colo., which included property acquisition, financing and construction of the headquarters in its present location. DeMore currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife, Elaine, and has one grown daughter.
A three-time Olympic competitor whose amateur career spanned almost 20 years, Todd Eldredge won his first major medal as the novice silver medalist at the 1984 U.S. Championships. He then continued his quick meteoric climb, which included winning the 1985 novice title and 1987 junior title at the U.S. Championships.
Over the next 12 years, Eldredge won eight medals at the senior level of the U.S. Championships, including six golds (1990, '91,'95, '97, '98 and 2002); six world championship medals (1991,'95,'96,'97,'98 and 2001), including gold in 1996; and competed in three Olympic Winter Games (1992, '98 and 2002). When asked to pick his most memorable performance out of all the U.S. and world championships, Eldredge stated, "Without a doubt, it would be the 1996 World Championships free skate. It was a great skate and the biggest breakthrough and comeback performance for me." Throughout his competitive career, Eldredge was coached by Richard Callaghan.
As a three-time Olympic competitor, Eldredge saw many changes in the sport from 1992 to 2002, including the restructuring in 1994, which allowed professionals to reinstate and compete as eligible skaters at worldwide competitions.
When asked about his feelings about being inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame, Eldredge stated, "I am happy to be joining many of the greatest skaters in a place that can honor all of our past achievements. It is also a great reward for my parents because the sacrifices they made for my career will be shared by the many people who visit the Museum and Hall of Fame each year. I think all the parents and various other people who've helped all the members of the Hall of Fame deserve to be recognized for their role in all of our achievements." For the Massachusetts native, this special recognition goes to the community of Chatham that banded together in 1983 and raised funds over the years to help Eldredge pursue his skating career.
Eldredge is currently in the last year of his "Stars on Ice" contract, which began in 2002. When asked about his future plans, Eldredge said that he hopes to possibly renew his contract for a couple of years, as he still enjoys performing for worldwide audiences, and as long as his body can withstand the physical demands of the sport. He would also like to get into commentating, part-time coaching or perhaps become a technical specialist. Eldredge currently lives in Michigan with his wife, Megan.