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Figure Skating – 1981 – US Athletes In Review – JoJo Starbuck + Elaine Zayak -1981- With Bud Collins

JoJo Starbuck is an American figure skater…..who with partner Kenneth Shelley is a three-time United States National pairs skating champions from 1970 to 1972…. and two-time Olympian at Grenoble, France in 1968 and Sapporo, Japan in  1972. 

She was first paired with Shelley for a show in 1959….when they were small children….when they started training with coach John Nicks at the Arctic Blades FSC in 1961.  In their first year of senior competitions, at age 16, they qualified to compete at the 1968 Winter Olympics.  Like Shelley, Starbuck was a skilled singles skater. While Shelley went on to win the national title in singles as well as pairs in 1972, Starbuck retired from singles competition in 1968.  After turning professional, Starbuck made occasional appearances skating singles in addition to continuing to skate pairs with Shelley. She partnered John Curry in the “Tango Tango” number from his show Ice Dancing.From 1976-83,  Starbuck was married to Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw….as she was Bradshaw’s second wife…..who during this time she also became well known as the face of Cup of Noodles….while introducing millions of Americans for the first time to ramen.

Elaine Zayak is an American former figure skater…..who is the 1982 World champion and 1981 U.S. national champion…..and she competed at the 1984 Winter Olympics while placing 6th.  Zayak was the first woman to consistently land many triple jumps in her programs….when at the 1982 World Championships she landed six triple jumps to win the title.  While she also had triple salchows and loops in her repertoire, they were less consistent than her triple toe jumps. Zayak’s skating contributed to the creation of what became informally known as the “Zayak Rule”…..which was enacted at the 1982 ISU Congress, which states that a skater may not perform the same kind of triple jump more than twice, and for it to be given full credit on both occasions, one of the two triples must be incorporated into a combination or sequence. The rule encouraged skaters to display a greater variety of skills.

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