Host City: Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Venue(s): Skenderija II Hall, Sarajevo; Zetra Hall, Sarajevo
Date Started: February 10, 1984
Date Finished: February 14, 1984
Format: The couples were ranked on Ordinal Placement, based on judges' points, with final placement for each section determined by Majority Placements. Thus, if a skater was ranked first by a majority of the judges, that skater was placed first overall for that section, with the tiebreakers being Required Elements for the Original Set Pattern Dance, and Artistic Impression for the Free Dance. Ties were broken by a Subsequent Majority rule, i.e., if the couples were ranked for the same position by the same number of judges, Majority Placement for the next higher position for each couple determined who was ranked higher. The tiebreakers were then, in order: 1) Number of Majority Placements, 2) Total Ordinals of Majority, 3) Total Ordinals. Final placement was determined by factored placements. The placement for the Compulsory Dances was factored by 0.6 (30%), the placement for the Original Set Pattern Dance was factored by 0.4 (20%), and the placement for Free Dance was factored by 1.0 (50%). The sums of the factored placements were then used to determine final placement, with the Free Dance being the tiebreaker.
It was not of a question of who would win this event, but by how much. British skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean had interrupted the Soviet dominance of pairs and dance skating by winning the Worlds in 1981-83. T&D, as they were called, were the most innovative dance couple ever. They restored British pre-eminence in this event, as it was almost completely dominated by British couples prior to it being placed on the Olympic program. At the 1984 European Championships, shortly before Sarajevo, they had won and received 18 perfect 6.0 scores for their free dance routine, performed to Ravel’s Bolero. In Sarajevo, they easily won the compulsory dance and optional set dance phases, taking a comfortable lead into the free dance. Skating again to Bolero, they mesmerized the audience with a stunning routine, for which they received 12 of 18 perfect 6s, and nine of nine for artistic impression. Two Soviet couples placed second and third, but they were hardly noticed in the frenzy over T&D’s skating.
There had been some complaints from other coaches, notably the Soviets, that the British free dance routine violated the ice dancing rules, which required skaters to use several different pieces of music. Bolero was one set piece, but its different rhythms and phases convinced the judges that it was legal. T&D turned professional after Sarajevo. When professionals were allowed to skate in international competition, they returned to win the 1994 European Championships and placed third at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.