A lot of people wonder what skating tapes are great and which aren't. And many times, the major tape vendors (naming no names here ) and the outside sleeves of the tape simple don't give enough info. So I am starting this page with the hope that I will save somebody from buying an awful tape or two.

Scale: 4 stars=excellent, 3 stars=good, 2 stars=fair, 1 star=poor, 0 stars=stay away!!!

Tapes from ABC Sports

  • Magic Memories on Ice 1(1990)
    4 stars--this is an excellent tape for those new to the sport. It starts out as a history lesson in skating, and leads us up to the broadcasting age of Peggy Fleming and so on. We are treated to snippets of Janet Lynn, Tai and Randy, Dorothy Hamill, Robin Cousins, John Curry, Katarina Witt, Rosalynn Sumners, and many others.

    But I have one warning--there are only two complete performances on the entire tape, and they are Dorothy Hamill's 1976 Olympic FS and T&D's "Bolero" from the 1984 Olympics. The only other substantial performances are John Curry's 1976 Olympic FS, Brian Boitano's 1988 Olympic FS, Tai and Randy's 1979 Worlds FS, and Midori Ito's 1988 Olympic FS. But all in all, it is a very informational and entertaining tape.

  • Magic Memories on Ice 2(1993)
    3 stars--this tape is comprised of all exhibitions, most of them from the 1980's. It's more interesting to people who know a lot of about the sport, because they appreciate the rare performances a little better. Here is a list of the performances:
  • Scott Hamilton--Battle Hymn of the Republic (1986)
  • Peggy Fleming--Canon in D (1983)
  • Torvill and Dean--I Won't Send Flowers (1984)
  • John Curry--Scheherzade (1976)
  • Rodnina and Zaitsev--Kalinka (1980)
  • Janet Lynn--Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (1983)
  • Toller Cranston--I Pagliacci (1984)
  • The Carruthers--America the Beautiful (1984)
  • Dorothy Hamill--Romance (1985)
  • Robin Cousins--Satan Takes a Holiday (1985)
  • Gordeeva and Grinkov--Massenet's "Meditation" (1991)
  • Katarina Witt--I Am What I Am (1988)
  • Brian Orser--The Story of My Life (1988)
  • Klimova and Ponomerenko--Tchiakovsky's Symphony #5 (1993)
  • Kristi Yamaguchi--Pretty Woman (1991)
  • Paul Wylie--Why God Why? (1993)
  • Underhill and Martini--Unchained Melody (1991)
  • Brian Boitano--Water Fountain (1988) In Alaska, on a pond!!!

  • Magic Memories on Ice 3(1996)
    3 stars--This tape is almost great, but not quite. It documents one of the best years in figure skating, 1996. We see the 1996 US Nationals, featuring the victory of Rudy Galindo, the rise of Michelle Kwan, and other moments. There is a little Europeans coverage, and the rest is coverage of Worlds. There aren't many full performances--only Michelle's Worlds SP and FS, Ilia Kulik's Worlds SP, Todd Eldredge's Worlds FS, Chen Lu's Worlds FS, and Rudy Galindo's Nationals FS. But they are riveting performances...

    The best part--the commentary, especially from Terry Gannon, is almost completely erased. Finally, we are allowed to listen to the music and tune out the yammering!!!

    But there is a glaring error--the tape completely ignores the death of Sergei Grinkov, which occured during this season. IMHO, they should have covered this "low" to go with all of the "highs."

    Tapes from CBS Sports

  • 1992 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Highlights(1992)
    3 stars--This tape is pretty good, though it has minimal coverage of the pairs competition.
    Here are the programs shown in their entirety (without commentary!!!):
    Pairs: Hough and Ladret's SP, Mish. and Dmitriev's FS
    Men: Paul Wylie's SP and FS, Viktor Petrenko's SP and FS
    Dance: The Duchesnay's FD, Klimova and Ponomerenko's FD
    Ladies: Nancy Kerrigan's SP (with shots of her mother staring at the TV), Midori Ito's FS, Kristi Yamaguchi's SP and FS

  • 1994 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Highlights(1994)
    3 stars--This tape should have been longer--so much more happened. Though it's a bit skimpy, it's still pretty good.
    Here are the performances shown in their entirety:
    Pairs: G&G's FS
    Men: Philippe Candeloro's FS, Elvis Stojko's FS, Alexei Urmanov's FS
    Dance: Torvill and Dean's OD and FD, Grishuk and Platov's FD
    Ladies: Nancy Kerrigan's SP and FS, Oksana Baiul's FS

  • Artistry on Ice(1994)
    2 stars--basically a Champions On Ice/Tom Collins Tour stop on tape. Nicely packaged, good cast because some SOI people had joined for a year. 'Nuff said.

    Tapes from NBC Sports

  • World Champions on Ice 1(1993)--STAY AWAY FROM THIS TAPE!!!
    0 stars--this tape is simply awful. The music for the skaters is dubbed in and changed, and not very well if I might add. There are two complete performances--Usova and Zhulin's 1991 FD and Kristi Yamaguchi's 1991 FS. That's all, and they aren't that spectacular that you should buy this tape!!!

  • World Champions on Ice 2 (1994)
    1 star--If you have the 1994 Worlds on tape already, don't even think of buying this tape. That's all that this is, with Oksana Baiul's 1993 Worlds FS added on. Yawn...

    Other Tapes

  • Katarina Witt/Brian Boitano and Friends
    2 stars--For skating buffs only. These two tapes feature old exhibitons from current skater. Most exhibitions are from the 1980's, at events such as Skate America, US Nationals, and the Tom Collins tour. They are good for nostalgic purposes only.

  • Torvill and Dean--Path to Perfection(1984)
    3 stars--but don't tell T&D that. This is an unauthorized tape that the BBC made as a "documentary" of sorts after T&D won the 1984 Olympics. It's actually a great tape--it features their "Summertime" OSP, "Mack and Mabel" FD, "Barnum on Ice" FD, and their Paso Doble and Bolero from the 1984 Europeans. It's a good tape if you lack the older T&D dances. There is one bothersome omission on this tape--the Rock 'n Roll OSP from 1983, which is supposedly great.

  • Torvill and Dean--The "Face the Music" Tour Video
    2 stars--Kind of a yawner, but kinda good. I just found myself fast-forwarding through the other skaters to get to the T&D parts!!!

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