She wheeled around in another 46.3 seconds, a clever move, since it knocked the French supply of silver medals all out of kilter and put three wriggling girls on one little step of the most crowded award stand of the Grenoble Games.
A picture of calm at the postrace conference, Jenny told the European press about the incredible tie. "We planned it that way," she explained. And then she tugged off her skates and wiggled her toes in her chartreuse sweat socks.
Meyers changed into something more girlish and slipped back to the Olympic Village. She left her mother and father standing impatiently in the lobby—they thought they had a date for lunch—and called her fianc�, Michael Berger, collect. It was then 5 a.m. in Minneapolis.
"'Guess what?" she said.
The next morning, still feeling none too sprightly, Dianne gave the 1,500-meter race a try. Skating in the same heat with the ultimate winner, Kaija Mustonen of Finland, she was well beaten and finished 13th. But by Sunday Dianne had finally got the bugs out of her system and the color back into her cheeks. She awoke early and, taking on 28 other girls at 1,000 meters, she skated sturdily—a long-striding figure in Yankee blue, both arms flailing at start and finish, one arm behind her back on the long middle haul. Her reward was that little bronze.
But it was the triple tie, of course, that had people talking; the French love weird sports situations and pretty girls. It put everybody in the mood for a big Saturday night. The town dressed up and went out to the figure skating show in the Stade de Glace, the Metropolitan Opera of the Winter Olympics.
It wasn't that Peggy had to worry—well, except perhaps about which costume to wear while she was beating everybody silly. Mom Fleming had whipped up six skating costumes in one week, working through most of the nights sewing on sequins and beads, and Peggy finally settled on a little mini-number in frothy chartreuse chiffon. It goes well with gold medals, for one thing.
For another thing, chartreuse is the local liqueur and a color dear to Grenoble's heart. It is bottled at a monastery, and Mom thought the color would be a nice touch. "'I mean, because of those monks and all," she said. She had picked out the material at Macy's on the way through New York. "It sort of hit me as soon as I walked into the fabrics department," she said.
And if it hit Mom at Macy's, it positively dazzled everybody at Grenoble. There were 32 skaters in the event, and the first 21 of them went through a long evening of going out there and warming up the crowd for Peggy.
Still, for all the abandoned applause that greeted her, it was the meanest night of her career. Just as Peggy stepped out on the ice she caught the rhinestones on her sleeve against her beige tights and skated out with the uneasy feeling that she might break into an impromptu striptease in the middle of her number. Further, the Olympic pressure was beginning to get to her.