An unorthodox Olympics revisit (Part 4) - Torino

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The Torino Olympics was generally memorable for all the wrong reasons. Between the falls that plagued the original dance and Dan Zhang's nasty crash on the throw quad salchow, we had some of the most spectacular falls in recent Olympic memory. But digging back into the 2006 Games, I found a number of gems that didn't disappoint - and didn't end up in the medals. 

What were YOUR favorite non-medal winning programs from 1998?

Johnny Weir USA
2006 Olympics short program

After two Top 5 finishes at Worlds the two seasons before, Johnny Weir had positioned himself for a strong showing in Torino. And he started off strongly with this short, which would become one of his most recognized programs. Set to Saint-Saëns' The Swan, his short program featured a costume with the red glove that he named Camille. It was exquisitely skated, putting him in second going into the free skate. He would eventually finish 5th overall.

Elene Gedevanishvili GEO
2006 Olympics short program

By far, Elene Gedevanishvili was the surprise of the ladies' event in Torino. It was only her third senior international competition, but she came into the short program with a fearless attitude that propelled her to the final warmup group for the free skate. And though she would drop after mistakes in the free skate, this short program put her on the map and would remain one of the highlights of her career. She was 6th in the short and 10th overall.

Matt Savoie USA
2006 Olympics free skate

This wasn't the first Mission program, but for me, this is possibly my favorite Mission program (I'll overlook the fact that it inexplicably transitioned in and out of Once Upon a Time in America for some reason). Matt Savoie was the American skater of that era who was always on the cusp of greatness but couldn't put together the consistency. But Torino was the highlight of his career, with this superb 5th-place free skate to move him to 7th overall.

Joannie Rochette CAN
2006 Olympics free skate

The ladies' free in general was a bit of a mess. But perhaps the cleanest free skate was delivered by Joannie Rochette in the second-to-last group. She pulled up from 9th to 5th with this skate, giving Canada the highest finish in ladies' Olympic figure skating since Liz Manley's silver in 1988.

Rena Inoue/John Baldwin USA
2006 Olympics short program

Three words: throw triple axel. Inoue/Baldwin made history with the first throw triple axel in international competition. This program put them 6th after the short, and they would go on to finish 7th overall. 

Evan Lysacek USA
2006 Olympics free skate

And so it was - all three American men had standout performances, but none of them was able to put two clean programs together. This free skate pulled Evan Lysacek up from 10th to 4th overall. And of course, Lysacek went on to win the Olympics four years later.