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1970s / Beatrix Schuba - Figure Skater
Austria's Beatrix (Trixi) Schuba was singlehandedly responsible for changing the scoring rules of figure skating--because she was so boring. Schuba won the women's world championship in both 1971 and 1972 and the gold medal at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan. At the time 'compulsory figures' (also known as 'school figures') counted for a huge percentage of a skater's score and gave the sport its name. These consisted of skaters tracing patterns along the ice. Schuba was totally dominant at this aspect of her sport, but she was only a mediocre performer in the free skate. At the 1972 world championships in Calgary, Schuba had such a commanding lead after the compulsory figures that all she needed to do to win was show up for the free skate. That's basically what Schuba did. She came on the ice and skated only for a few seconds--but it was good enough for gold. The goings-on did not sit well with television audiences nor with the crowd in Calgary who felt Canada's Karen Magnussen, an excellent free skater, had been robbed of the gold medal. The next year FIS added a short program to the championships to reduce the importance of the compulsory figures. Schuba opted to retire. Compulsory figures were discontinued altogether in 1990.