6 skaters who left an imprint --Part 3

Maribel Vinson Owen (1911-61; United States):  For two weeks during the Olympics, everyone knows the names of the country’s skating team.

   Some – prominently gold medalists Dick Button, Peggy Fleming and Scott Hamilton – become commentators and influence the way we think about skating. But others are forgotten.
    Few know the name Maribel Vinson Owen. She skated in the 1930s, held the national championship for nine years, took a bronze and silver medal at the World Championships and a bronze at the 1932 Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y. (Henie, naturally, took gold.)
    After her competitive days were over, she became an accomplished coach. Tenley Albright, the first American woman to win Olympic gold, was one of her pupils.
    Owen's life was cut short -- she died in the 1961 plane crash that killed the U.S. Skating Team. Her two daughters, also accomplished skaters, perished in the crash. 
     In the years since, one of her students, Frank Carroll, has become a coach. Numerous athletes have chosen to work with him, including Michelle Kwan, Evan Lysacek, Gracie Gold and Denis Ten of Kazakhstan, who won a bronze medal in Sochi.
    “That a person was a talented skater, does that make them influential? You have to decide that,” Hines says.  But Carroll continues to influence the sport today, more than 50 years after Owen’s death. As Hines puts it, “That is extremely influential. That’s the way I look at it. ”
Jayne Torvill, born 1957, and Christopher Dean, born 1958, (Great Britain): True figure skating aficionados get ice dancing. It is intricate, raw and emotional. But in the not so distant past, even loyal fans had trouble wrapping their heads around it. Ice dancing lacked accessibility, or to put it another way, it was tedious, mind numbing even. Think curling.
    In 1984, Torvill and Dean changed everything during the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Bosnia, with a performance set to Ravel’s "Bolero." Under the white, hot Olympic spotlight, they gave the world a riveting performance. Anyone watching knew they were seeing something special.
    “They were people on the ice. They were lovers on the ice,” Hines recalls. “Before that, it [ice dancing] tended to be ballroom dancing on the ice.”
    Already world champions, they collected gold medals and became household names.
    On Feb. 14, the couple returned to Sarajevo to perform "Bolero" on the 30th anniversary of the landmark performance.  They were met with a standing ovation.
    Three days later, at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States floated across the ice in a gold-medal winning performance set to Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade. Commentators made note that the two were telling the story of a legendary Persian queen who captivates and entices the king with her storytelling.

    At the Sochi Winter Olympics: The ladies' figure skating competition airs Feb. 19 and 20 on NBC.

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    Nine athletes who faced Olympic-sized barriers