Man­ley, Witt re­unite on ice for Olympics


VAN­COU­VER — Some 22 years af­ter the Cal­gary Olympics, El­iz­a­beth Man­ley found her­self wor­ry­ing that she would once again fin­ish sec­ond to Kata­rina Witt.

As the for­mer fig­ure skat­ing ri­vals laced up Sun­day for an on­ice re­union at a down­town out­door rink, Man­ley wasn’t sure what to ex­pect from her for­mer ri­val from Ger­many.

“ We’re not 20 any­more, so you’ve got to give us credit just for be­ing out here,” said the for­mer Cana­dian star, who fin­ished sec­ond to Witt at the Cal­gary Games. “I was more con­cerned — I’m not go­ing to lie to you — I thought she was go­ing to re­ally up­stage me to­day.”

Only the nar­row­est of mar­gins sep­a­rated the two when they squared off in ’88, prompt­ing friendly goad­ing from spec­ta­tors for a re­match.

But all Man­ley needed was a smile, a wave and a stun­ning spin to re­mind the crowd of how her spunky moves made her an unan­tic­i­pated na­tional hero in Cal­gary.

“I promised I’d do one spin — I hope I don’t fall,” the 44-year-old Man­ley joked, a slight tremor in her voice.

And sud­denly her leg flexed out grace­fully, and her body twirled in a pirou­ette, arms rais­ing in the air as her whirl got ever faster un­til she be­came a blur.

With that, she en­cour­aged the fawn­ing crowd to wel­come Witt. Ham­ming it up, Man­ley got down on her knees, rais­ing and low­er­ing her arms in teas­ing homage as the Ger­man ap­peared.

“I don’t skate any­more,” Witt said as Man­ley hugged her.

The Cana­dian Press

Cal­gary 1988 Olympic gold medal­list in fig­ure skat­ing, Kata­rina Witt, left, of Ger­many, skates with sil­ver medal­list El­iz­a­beth Man­ley, of Canada, in Van­cou­ver, B.C., Sun­day. The pair were re­united af­ter 22 years to pro­mote the Van­cou­ver Win­ter Olympics which open Fri­day.

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