Host City: Lillehammer, Norway
Venue(s): Olympic Amphitheatre, Hamar
Date Started: February 18, 1994
Date Finished: February 21, 1994
Format: Couples were ranked on Ordinal Placement, based on judges' points, with final placement for each section determined by Majority Placements. Thus, if a couple 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 Technical Merit 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 Dance #1 was factored by 0.2 (10%), the placement for the Compulsory Dance #2 was factored by 0.2 (10%), the placement for the optional set dance was factored by 0.6 (30%), 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.
The big news was the return of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, the stunning dance couple who had won the 1984 gold medal and revolutionized the sport. Now that professionals were eligible, they returned to competition and won the 1994 European Championships shortly before the Olympics. The 1993 World Champions had been Maya Usova and Aleksandr Zhulin, the 1992 bronze medalists. A married couple, they pioneered a highly sensual dance style, some would say erotic. The second best Russian pair featured Oksana “Pasha” Grishchuk and Yevgeny Platov. Off the ice, Pasha Grishchuk was the sensual, erotic one. She wanted to be an actress, and also had designs on Usova’s husband, Aleksandr Zhulin. They began an affair together, which resulted in a confrontation in a Los Angeles restaurant, when Usova punched Grishchuk. The Russian figure skating federation tried to split up Grishchuk and Platov, but they left their assigned coaches and again began skating together. With that background, the 1994 ice dance event was highly anticipated.
In the compulsory dances, the two Russian couples split being ranked first, and were tied for first after the compulsories, with T&D third. Torvill and Dean won the optional set pattern dance, which moved them into a virtual tie with Usova and Zhulin, although T&D were ahead based on a tie-breaker. Grishchuk and Platov were close behind in third, but whoever won the free dance would win the gold medal. Usova and Zhulin skated first and received scores of all 5.8s and 5.9s. Torvill and Dean were next, skating to Irving Berlin’s Let’s Face the Music and Dance. They skated well, and the audience loved them, but the judges did not feel the same. They received five scores of 5.7 and one of 5.6 for technical merit. High artistic impression scores could not bring them above Usova and Zhulin. Grishchuk and Platov were the last on the ice, skating to Rock Around the Clock. Their scores ranged from 5.7 to 6.0 and it was difficult to choose between them and Usova and Zhulin. In the end, the younger couple won the gold medal, Grishchuk and Platov ranked first in the free dance by five judges, Usova and Zhulin by three, and the British judge giving their vote to T&D.