A decade long dominance of U.S. ladies figure skating, led by Albright and Heiss, came to fruition with a name to remember in ladies figure skating history: Peggy Fleming, a household name in the 1960s. Fleming won five U.S. Championships titles and two World titles under her belt.
Peggy Fleming was an all-rounded skater, technically superior and artistically expressive with her own personal charm in fashion and style.
When Fleming won an Olympic gold medal in Grenoble, France in 1968, she dazzled the audience with her style and elegance. It was the 20 year old in her chartreuse dress skating to Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony that captured the audience and invoked the memory of the great Sonja Henie. With her unbeatable lead after the compulsory, Fleming’s free skating in a live broadcast shot her into an international sensation.
Fleming’s ice persona coupled with her balanced mastery in both disciplines made her the best representation of ladies figure skating. Like Sonja Henie whose visionary skating had far surpassed her own time and wowed the crowd with incomparable charisma, Peggy Fleming was a new definition of ice princess.
Peggy Fleming not only symbolized in the principle of ladies figure skating the ideal balance between compulsory discipline and free skating, but also proposed a persona with style and aesthetic presentation. In her time figure skating was judged based on two categories – compulsory figure and free skating – as compulsory covered sixty percent and free skating forty percent of the total.
With Fleming, whose balanced mastery of compulsory and of artistry rooted in her own elegance and style, ladies figure skating matured and completed to mark its historic zenith. Peggy Fleming was the biggest lady skater in the final version of the original figure skating.