Host City: Lake Placid, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Field House International Ice Rink, Lake Placid; Olympic Field House US Ice Rink, Lake Placid
Date Started: February 20, 1980
Date Finished: February 23, 1980
Format: Each judge ranked each skater by Ordinal Placement from first through last place. The Ordinal Placement for each judge was based on Total Points awarded by that judge to the skaters. The tiebreaker in the Short Program was the Required Elements score, and the tiebreaker in the Free Skating was the Artistic Impression score. The points were based on 30% for Compulsory Figures, 20% for the Short Program, and 50% for Free Skating, with the tiebreaker for each judge being the Free Skating score. Final placement was determined by a Majority Placement rule. Thus, if a skater was ranked first by a majority of the judges, that skater was placed first overall, and the process was repeated for each place. Ties were broken by a Subsequent Majority rule, i.e., if the skaters were ranked for the same position by the same number of judges, Majority Placement for the next higher position for each skater determined who was ranked higher. The tiebreakers were then 1) Number of Majority Placements, 2) Total Ordinals of Majority, 3) Total Ordinals, 4) Total Points.
The two favorites had divided the last three World titles – Linda Fratianne (USA) winning in 1977 and 1979, and Annett Pötzsch (GDR) winning in 1978. Pötzsch was known to be the stronger compulsory skater and she won that phase, with Fratianne third, also trailing West Germany’s Dagmar Lurz. In 12th place was Switzerland’s lovely and athletic Denise Biellmann, who was another sublime free skater who was never able to overcome her difficulty with school figures. She was best known for the Biellmann Spin, an acrobatic spin performed with the trail leg held behind her and up over the skater’s head, requiring extreme flexibility. Fratianne won the short program with Pötzsch fourth, but Pötzsch still led going into the free skate, with Fratianne second and Lurz, fifth in the short, third. Biellmann was second in the short program, moving up to eighth place. The free skate was a close competition between Fratianne and Biellmann, the Swiss skater winning with six majority placements for first to three for Fratianne. Pötzsch placed third in the free skating but it was enough for her to hold onto the gold medal. Fratianne won silver and Lurz still led Biellmann comfortably for the bronze. Pötzsch’s gold medal was won with seven first-place votes to two for Fratianne. Pötzsch had been coached by Jütta Muller, well-known East German figure skating coach. Pötzsch retired in 1981 and married Katarina Witt’s brother, Axel, and after a divorce, married former Olympic figure skater Axel Rauschenbach.
|1||Anett Pötzsch||19||East Germany||GDR||Gold||7×1+||7.0||11.0||189.00|
|2||Linda Fratianne||19||United States||USA||Silver||9×2+||16.0||16.0||188.30|
|3||Dagmar Lurz||21||West Germany||FRG||Bronze||8×3+||24.0||28.0||183.04|
|5||Lisa-Marie Allen||19||United States||USA||7×5+||33.0||45.0||179.42|
|9||Sandy Lenz||19||United States||USA||5×9+||42.0||82.0||172.74|
|12||Karena Richardson||20||Great Britain||GBR||6×12+||69.0||109.0||168.94|
|13||Karin Riediger||18||West Germany||FRG||5×13+||62.0||120.0||166.32|
|16||Kira Ivanova||17||Soviet Union||URS||8×16+||127.0||144.0||161.54|
|18||Tina Riegel||14||West Germany||FRG||9×18+||162.0||162.0||149.50|
|20||Shin Hae-Sook||22||South Korea||KOR||8×21+||164.0||186.0||128.18|