Host City: Albertville, France
Venue(s): Olympic Ice Hall, Albertville
Date Started: February 19, 1992
Date Finished: February 21, 1992
Format: Skaters were ranked on Ordinal Placement, based on judges' points, with final placement for each section determined by Majority Placements. The tiebreaker for the Short Program was the Required Elements score, while the tiebreaker for the Free Skating was the Technical Merit score. Thus, if a skater was ranked first by a majority of the judges, that skater was placed first overall for that section. 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. Final placement was determined by factored placements. The tiebreakers were then 1) Number of Majority Placements, 2) Total Ordinals of Majority, 3) Total Ordinals. The placement for the the Short Program was factored by 0.5 (33.3%), and the placement for Free Skating was factored by 1.0 (66.7%). The sums of the factored placements were then used to determine final placement, with the Free Skating being the tiebreaker.
The last three World Champions had been Midori Ito (JPN-1989), Jill Trenary (USA-1990), and Kristi Yamaguchi (USA-1991). Trenary was tops in the school figures and with those eliminated from the competition, that hurt her chances. Then in mid-1991 she badly injured an ankle. Knowing she could not recover for Albertville, she retired from international competition in December 1991. This brought the event down to Ito vs. Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi won the short program, followed by her teammate, Nancy Kerrigan, with France’s Surya Bonaly third. Ito placed fourth, which meant that to win the gold medal she had to win the free skate, and hope that all three leaders skated poorly. That did not happen. After the first six skaters in the free program fell, Yamaguchi skated cleanly, although it was a conservative effort, but it brought her the gold medal. Ito was second in the free, and moved up to the silver medal, the first figure skating medal won by a skater from other than Europe or North America, with Kerrigan winning bronze, followed by another American, Tonya Harding. Kerrigan and Harding would make much more noise in 1994. Bonaly placed only sixth in the free and dropped to fifth place overall.
Yamaguchi turned professional after the 1992 Winter Olympics. In Albertville, however, she also met her future husband, Bret Hedican, who skated on the USA ice hockey team, and later played for many years in the NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes. Yamaguchi had started as a pairs skater, early in her career with Rudy Galindo, and competed at the World Championships in 1990 in both events, rare in this era. She dropped pairs in late 1990 to concentrate on singles.
|1||Kristi Yamaguchi||20||United States||USA||Gold||1.5||0.5||1.0|
|3||Nancy Kerrigan||22||United States||USA||Bronze||4.0||1.0||3.0|
|4||Tonya Harding||21||United States||USA||7.0||3.0||4.0|
|14||Yuliya Vorobyova||17||Unified Team||EUN||20.0||7.0||13.0|
|16||Tatyana Rachkova||19||Unified Team||EUN||20.5||6.5||14.0|
|18||Joanne Conway||20||Great Britain||GBR||26.5||8.5||18.0|
|22||Suzanne Otterson||17||Great Britain||GBR||32.0||10.0||22.0|
|DNS r2/2||Hélène Persson||25||Sweden||SWE||12.0|
|25 r1/2||Željka Čižmešija||21||Croatia||CRO||12.5|
|26 r1/2||Mojca Kopač||16||Slovenia||SLO||13.0|
|27 r1/2||Li Gyong-Ok||16||North Korea||PRK||13.5|
|28 r1/2||Lee Eun-Hee||16||South Korea||KOR||14.0|
|29 r1/2||Mayda Navarro||16||Mexico||MEX||14.5|