Dr. Porter Among 2018 World Hall of Fame Inductees

(4/17/18) – Olympic champions Shizuka Arakawa (Japan), Viktor Petrenko (Ukraine, Unified Team, Soviet Union), pairs team Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev (Soviet Union,) and two-time World champion ice dance team Irina Moiseeva and Andrei Minenkov (Soviet Union) lead the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame Class of 2018, nominating chair Lawrence Mondschein announced today. They are joined by coach Bin Yao (China) and choreographer Sandra Bezic (Canada).

“On behalf of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame, we are astonished by the breadth of accomplishments by the Class of 2018, where all figure skating disciplines are represented,” Mondschein said. “This is also the largest class since the first year of elections to the World Hall of Fame in 1976.”

In 2006, Arakawa became the first Japanese figure skater to win an Olympic gold medal and was the only Japanese medalist in any sport at those Turin, Italy, Games. Arakawa is the 2004 World champion and a two-time Grand Prix Final medalist (2003 bronze, 2004 silver).

Petrenko competed for Ukraine, the Soviet Union and the Unified Team, earning the 1992 Olympic title for the Unified Team and the 1988 Olympic bronze medal for the Soviet Union. He was the first Ukrainian flag-bearer at an Olympic Games, earning the honor in 1992. Petrenko is a four-time World medalist, including earning the 1992 World title.

Valova and Vasiliev are the 1984 Olympic champions and 1988 Olympic silver medalists, who continued the Soviet Union (and later Russia’s) dominance in the pairs discipline dating back to 1964. They are six-time World medalists, winning the gold in 1983, ’85 and ’88.

Two-time World champions (1975, ’77) Moiseeva and Minenkov earned eight World medals. They were the first ice dancers to develop arm and upper-body expression, influencing the discipline for decades to come. The Soviet team earned two Olympic medals, the silver in 1976 and the bronze in 1980.

Olympian and coach, Yao was the driving force behind the Chinese pairs powerhouse program for more than 30 years. In the final decade of his career, he coached three teams — at the same time — to World and Olympic medals. His teams earned five Olympic medals (one gold), six World medals (four golds) and seven Grand Prix Final titles.

Bezic is best known as a competitive and show choreographer and television analyst. She choreographed competitive programs for Olympic champions Brian Boitano (1988), Kristi Yamaguchi (1992) and Tara Lipinski (1998 Olympic). Her choreography has earned three Gemini Awards (Canada), an Emmy Award (USA) and a Golden Rose Award (Switzerland).

The hall's Legends Committee, which considers contributions in 1960 and prior, selected three-time World champion (1966-68) Emmerich Danzer of Austria and the late American Richard Porter, the undisputed founder of synchronized skating, then known as Precision Skating.