Peggy followed Czechoslovakia's Hana Maskova, she of the stunning long legs, who calmly put together a routine full of high, floating leaps and spins.
For a solid gold bet, Peggy's finale was shot full of crises. By the time she was halfway through her routine she had already faltered a few times, and her coach, Carlo Fassi, had taken to hiding his eyes and groaning on the sidelines. And when she came off the ice, Peggy burst into tears. But she had won handily with a total score of 1,970.5—which was 88.2 points better than the figures for that chunky East German dish, Gabriele Seyfert, and 141.7 better than Maskova.
"Boy," said Peggy. "It was all rougher than I thought. I mean, up until tonight I had figured the worst part of the whole thing came a week ago when I came out to practice. All my competitors came around and sat on the edge of the rink and just killed me with piercing looks. I got through that all right, but this was something else."
There was an almost-weepy award ceremony right on the ice. They ran up the U.S. flag and a tape recorder played that unfamiliar Winter Olympics song, The Star-Spangled Banner. And after that was over, at a conference attended by European journalism's top girl-watchers, Seyfert and Maskova sat and glared icily at Peggy. She did not seem to mind. Amid the Alpine disasters the girl skaters had come through.
When the Olympic ice arena emptied Saturday night and the first week of the 10th Winter Games was almost over there stood Peggy in fluffy chartreuse and wearing her new gold medal. In the crowd were those wild ones—Holum, Meyers and Fish—with their haul of silver, plus one bonus bronze.
Said Peggy to a friend: "How do you like my new little necklace?"