Host City: Lillehammer, Norway
Venue(s): Olympic Amphitheatre, Hamar
Date Started: February 13, 1994
Date Finished: February 15, 1994
Format: The pairs were ranked on Ordinal Placement for each section of the competition, based on judges' points, with final placement for each section determined by Majority Placements. The tiebreaker for the Original Program was the Required Elements score, while the tiebreaker for the Free Skating was the Technical Merit score. Thus, if a pair 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. 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 Original 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 best pairs team in the world since 1988 had been Kati Gordeyeva and Sergey Grinkov. They won the 1988 Olympic gold medal, and were World Champions in 1986-87 and 1989-90. Turning professional after the 1988 Winter Olympics, they could not compete at Albertville in 1992, but the new rules allowed them back in for Lillehammer, and shortly before the Winter Olympics, they again won the 1994 European Championship. They were also now husband-and-wife, marrying in 1991, and having a daughter in 1992. The defending champions, Nataliya Mishkutyonok and Artur Dmitriyev of Russia, were back but were not expected to defeat G&G. The 1993 World Champions were Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler, but they had made a habit of placing second or third to Soviet or Russian couples. In the end, Gordeyeva and Grinkov again won the gold medal easily, winning both the short and long programs. Mishkutyonok and Dimitriyev placed second with Brasseur and Eisler again third. The Canadians were not happy with their marks in the free skate, despite an excellent program, Eisler commenting on television, “I couldn’t give a rat’s ass.” The 1993 World Champions, [Mandy Wötzel] and [Ingo Steuer], skated poorly in the short program and were only eighth. During their free program, Wötzel fell on the ice during a lift, and was carried off the ice by Steuer, later receiving several stitches.
Gordeyeva and Grinkov skated professionally and would become the headliners of Stars on Ice. But they hoped to return to the 1998 Winter Olympics and win a third gold medal. Practicing in Lake Placid in November 1995, Grinkov collapsed on the ice, and could not be revived, dying at only 28-years-old from a heart condition. Kati continued to skate professionally as a single, and wrote a moving book about their relationship, My Sergei: A Love Story.