And thus did a new national team rise from the ashes of post-Olympic retirement. Gone with Hamilton are the 1984 U.S. women's champion Rosalynn Sumners and Elaine Zayak and the U.S. champion pair of Peter and Kitty Carruthers, who were succeeded last week by Jill Watson, 21, and Peter Oppegard, 25. And it was clear by the end of the proceedings in Kansas City that, instead of having to undergo a traditional rebuilding period, America will now skate forward in stronger shape than anybody had expected.
"It's going to be shakeup time in Tokyo in a few weeks," said Cockerell, referring to next month's world championships. And he has a chance to be one of the shakers; he, too, has seven triple jumps in his freestyle routine, two of them coming in tricky combinations. "It leaves me weak, with badly cramped muscles. But, man, I love it, going after them with stuff like that."
For Boitano, there's even more flying in his future. As if all those triples aren't enough, he has already mastered a quadruple jump, four full aerial revolutions, a stunt no one has done in competition. Boitano does the quad perfectly in practice—well, most of the time. For now, he's saving it for the most dire competitive emergencies, because if one misses a quad, one figures to bust up the whole arena with the ensuing crash. "Still," Boitano says, "it could be a big boost when I need it."
And at that the new champ gets that James Bond look on his face, as he sizes up his imaginary competition: Bang! Yer all dead.