This 1982 ABC Wide World of Sports program features A Night of Stars figure skating special live from Peking, China as hosted by Chris Schenkel and Peggy Fleming…..along with a clip of the Grand National Sumo Wrestling Championship from Nagano, Japan…..but since most of the program focuses on the figure skating exhibition A Night of Stars…..which showcases US skaters such as Linda Fratianne, David Santee, Elaine Zayak, Lisa Marie Allen, Michael Seibert + Judy Blumberg (ice dancers), Jo Jo Starbuck + Ken Shelley (pairs)….and the incomparable Peggy Fleming
Peggy Fleming is an American former figure skater….who was the 1968 Olympic Champion in Ladies’ singles….and a three-time World Champion from 1966 – 1968….who became the America’s Queen of the Ice….of which she never really relinquished, even still today…..plus, she has been a television commentator in figure skating for over 20 years…..including several Winter Olympic Games.
Peggy began skating at age nine when her father took Peggy and her three sisters skating. In 1961, when Peggy was twelve years old, her coach William Kipp was killed in the crash of Sabena Flight 548 along with the rest of the United States figure skating team while en route to the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships….as Fleming was subsequently coached by Carlo Fassi….and her unusual style and talent led to five U.S. titles…..three World titles…..and the gold medal in the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble, France…..which was the only gold won by the US Olympic Team….and It signaled a return to American dominance in the sport of women’s figure skating following the unprecedented tragedy of the 1961 Sabena plane crash.
After becoming an Olympic champion, Fleming turned professional, performed on TV shows including five NBC specials of her own and toured with many skating shows, like Ice Capades. During the Cold War, Fleming had filmed a TV show in USSR….and skated to Butterfly Lovers’ Violin Concerto in China…. as seen in this video herewith…..which by itself makes this video worth way more than the price of a ticket. ENJOY!!!