Katarina Witt – The Diva on Ice with a huge heart | Legends Live On

Katarina Witt – The Diva on Ice with a huge heart | Legends Live On

I must have been 5 or 6 when
I first stepped onto the ice of my own free will. (LEGENDS LIVE ON
KATARINA WITT) I fell in love with everything
to do with it and begged my parents, “Please let me become
an ice skater!” East Germany
had put people into programmes and she chose skating
and skating chose her. She met Jutta Müller
I think at a very young age and stayed with her
through her whole career. Jutta Müller, who was
one of the most famous figure skating coaches
in history. If Frau Müller caught your eye,
there was a chance for you. I was around that coach
of hers. I thought my coach was tough, I mean, that was a whole
different level of… Jutta understood how great
Katarina was. She was not only beautiful
and had a great body but she had that extreme focus
and she had that hunger. (OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
SARAJEVO 1984) When it was announced
I was going to Sarajevo to the Olympic Games I knew I wanted to win
the gold medal. It was during the Cold War, a time when rivalries
were really created. There was this feeling of East
versus West, good versus bad, evil communism
versus capitalism. She was stunning
and she was gorgeous and she was a Brooke Shields
lookalike so I’m like, “Great,
I’m competing “against a Brooke Shields
lookalike.” I loved the competition. Training was empty halls,
boring, nobody there, but during the competition I could be the centre
of attention. You are in a complete tunnel,
really focused. You really close everything
else around you off. And so Katarina skated right
before me and my coach came back
to get me, and usually she’d come back and
say, “Oh, my gosh, whatever, “you can totally beat that.” She just came back,
and was just like deer in the headlights and when I saw the deer in the
headlights in her face I was like, “Oh, crap.” I don’t think I’ve ever felt
pressure like that again. I remember sitting doing
that little, “Please, oh, please,
oh, please, oh, please, “I hope I won,” but I think,
deep down, I kind of knew I hadn’t. I felt like I had let myself
down and let the country down. A 19-year-old mind thinks
that way and as you grow up you learn
how lucky you were to even be at the Olympics. This is with my coach,
Mrs Müller. This was taken after the awards
ceremony at Sarajevo. Of course the coach is happiest when her protégé
takes a gold medal home. Katarina wanted to win. All of the freedom she had
to travel abroad, everything – the car, the apartment –
those only went to winners. The English initials for it
were GDR which I always said stood for
Grey, Drab and Repressed, and Katarina was exactly
the opposite of that. Nobody knew when we could
travel next. It depended on
how I performed as an athlete whether I could qualify
for the next competition. (OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES,
CALGARY 1988) It was an interesting Olympics. I mean, we had
Jamaican bobsled. We had Eddie the Eagle. We had Katarina. After 1984,
Rosalynn left the sport. My toughest rival was gone. Then Debi Thomas entered
the world stage, my toughest competitor. One of the things that
intensified the rivalry in Calgary was that both Debi and Katarina chose to do their free skate to music from Bizet’s opera
Carmen. Carmen, the complete diva, and Katarina was a diva
in the best sense of the word. She totally embodied Carmen’s
personality on the ice. (CALGARY 1988) (LADIES FIGURE SKATING –
FREE SKATE PROGRAMME) As a figure skater,
you are playing a character, you need to act, with emotions. I posed in the middle
for nearly 20 seconds. Today you cannot do this. Back then I had the time just to pose and flirt
with the audience and judges in the middle
of the performance, to enjoy the music. Figure skating
is a theatrical sport and there was nobody
more theatrical on the ice than Katarina Witt. Lying on the ice, I knew I had left the door
slightly open for Debi Thomas. Katarina came out to stand
at the boards while Debi was skating. Other skaters never did that. Whether it was Katarina’s
attempt, as some people thought,
to put a hex on Debi, or whether it was Katarina’s
attempt to intimidate her, which clearly
was in Katarina’s arsenal of psychological tricks… When her coach wished her luck,
they gave each other high-fives but Debi missed it. I thought,
“She doesn’t seem 100%.” So I realised she wouldn’t make
it to the top of the ranking and so I thought,
“I have my Olympic victory!” Debi Thomas was skating to
Carmen, Katarina was Carmen. I had to win gold because I had done a deal
with the GDR government. I could only continue skating as a professional if I won gold. And this was later. Oops,
the pages are falling out. Brian Boitano whilst shooting
our movie, Carmen On Ice. Figure skaters are so lucky. After the Olympics they go on
to performing in tours and TV specials. In the end, we transformed
the ice shows into something
more spectacular than ever. Brian and I invented a “new”
and “modern” version of the ice shows which was incredibly
successful. We would travel for five months
during the year at a different city on tour. We were very proud of what
we created – Stars On Ice, and all the television
specials, and it was
a pretty amazing time. All of a sudden in 1993, she decides to come back
to competitive figure skating. (OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
LILLEHAMMER 1994) There I was, older,
wiser and more mature. I wanted the experience again. To get another gold, that would
have been impossible. The generation after me was
simply too good, technically. They had leapt forwards. They are so young
at the Olympic Games. They don’t even realise
what they are experiencing. It’s a unique experience,
an event, that you can’t share with
anyone who hasn’t been there. I’m getting goose bumps
immediately when talking about it. Her being there,
her presenting that programme, it was like a final statement
in front of the world. For me nowadays, if you ask me what I am doing,
or what my job is, then all I can really answer is
my job is basically being me. She’s got a really wicked,
great sense of humour, she laughs very easily,
she’s kind of goofy but then she’s really serious
when she wants to be. One of the projects
closest to my heart is my foundation
that I founded in 2005 which supports children
and teenagers with physical disabilities, and this has become more
and more important to me over the years. Of course, I have to collect
money to fund projects, so that we can help
more children. She will remain
one of the greatest of all time because of having won
two Olympic gold medals and because of her impact
on the audiences who saw her. When the fire burns inside
and you have passion, then you can do anything. (LEGENDS LIVE ON)

100 Replies to “Katarina Witt – The Diva on Ice with a huge heart | Legends Live On”

  1. Конечно, помним Катарину. Еще бы не помнить! Все мы восхищались ее мастерством!

  2. I remember being a teenager and hating her..I'm sorry for all that hate katerina..you're a competitor just like the rest….

  3. I so remember Katarina! And those brave enough to perform and not be knocked down by arm chair commentators. Forever Brave!

  4. I'm curious why her interviews are in German for this piece. I know it's her native language, but she speaks perfect English.

  5. The lovely, lovely Katarina. The living legend, the greatest one through all times!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3

  6. Умница и красавица. Посмотрела выступления Баюл, Керриган, Хартинг. Все проигрывают своими истериками на льду и не спортивным поведением.

  7. I just love Katarina's free in 94 Olympics more than her Olympic gold performances. That was a moving epic.

  8. The unfortunate part for skaters, including Debbie, is that the audience would throw coins onto the ice, flowers would leave bits of leaves and a perfect jump would end up being destroyed in one second of time. One time, Janet Lynn was shot at the end of a program and when, older, a small gun was actually pushed down into the underwear with the idea of jumping over the railings and shooting the person shooting at the skaters…in the same spot…eye for eye, pain for pain…but it didn't come about but other skaters were shot or hit over the head. Janet was thrown off an overpass breaking the knee. A surgeon thought he had to cut off the leg and Janet dressed with sheets to look like a nun to escape, mostly crawling to a bus. The surgeon tracked Janet down to Windsor by OHIP. This is the disaster of wanting to please an audience.

  9. Я не знаю о чём они говорят наверно очередная прапоганда сми запада о том как плохо в Росии!-если это не так напишите!

  10. ummm so I don't speak German. Couldn't the producers afford a translator so the rest of us idiots could actual understand her lovely speech lol

  11. Весь СССР за неё болел ,как за свою спортсменку. В США и Британии никогда и никто тогда так не болел за спортсменов из Западной Германии.

  12. Too much focus on Rossalyn Sumners but an otherwise great piece. Oddly enough Katt speaks perfect English but it’s
    Cool they did this piece in her native tongue.

  13. Прекрасная Катарина! Весь мир рукоплескал тебе! 🙂

  14. Великая,неповторимая Катарина! Я обожала вас и обожаю!

  15. . “ Deutsche Diva “

    So, you want to rise to the top?
    Well, right here is where we begin, Blut Schweib und Tränen.
    The competition will be fierce, the training demands total devotion, the goal gold.

    ??? Frau Witt, Wunder Schönheit.

  16. I will always remember her excellence, expression, appearance on the ice. She is one of the greatest and made ice skating looke so easy and joyfull. ♥️

  17. I remember being 15 years old in 1998 and asking some older guy to go into the local Waldenbooks and purchase the issue of Playboy that Katerina was in. I still have it.

  18. Легенда! Только авторы много грязи льют на ГДР. Катарина – великая спортсменка своей великой страны!

  19. Очаровательная тетка…. В детстве помню её имя гремело… Шикарная молодец как спортсменка удивительная … ГДР рулит в спорте и без мельдония

  20. Моя любимая фигуристка, очень красивая, успешная, талантливая!!!!!

  21. Я не могу понять в чем интерес зрителей смотреть на одиночное фигурное катание наверное интересно смотреть на фигуру хорошо мужчинам ну а женщинам?

  22. Противостояние злого коммунизма против доброго капитализма…..( вам не смешно?….)

  23. Вот раньше стока зрителей на орени было а щас как то не очень много

  24. Вот реально соперничество смотрел как то Тоня против всех тоже крутой фильм

  25. best ever – no doubt about it. Pure style and glamour and fire on ice. The most beautiful face of communism, they called her, and she probably was because she also had a talent that was most beautiful. So much so I used to get out of bed in the middle of the night to watch her dance and perform her magic. And this butterfly had also an iron killer instinct. Nobody better then Witt when she was behind in the scores!

  26. Катарина Витт была любимицей!Мы болели за нее.В то время она лучшая!Мама ее хорошо научила.

  27. А мне всегда казалось, что Социализм – добро, а капитализм – зло. Впрочем, я и сейчас так думаю.

  28. when YOU danced on ice i was watching only TV because you was my big idol …..now I am in one of the nicest icehalls in Davos at home …. and I will enjoy ice scating again …

  29. Katarina Witt war für uns alle-Mädchen,die das Eiskunstlaufen liebten!- ein absolutes Vorbild!!! Auch in anderen Ländern!..Ihre Kraft lag im Ausdruck! Ich weiß nicht,ob Katarina jemals eine 3-fach–3-fach Kombi gesprungen hat…doch sie hätte mit Sicherheit eine bessere Platzierung bei ihrem comeback–und gleichzeitig ihrer letzten Olympia–erzielen können,wenn es damals bereits die Alterbegrenzung gültig wäre: ab 15 Jahre !!!.. Damals haben viele teenagers bei den "Senioren" mitgemischt…Schsde!.. Von Katarina's Stiftung wußte ich bislang nichts!–Danke fürs Info!:)

  30. Her performance as Carmen is just amazing. Now at the olympics there is no artistic freedom, everyone looks the same, wears the same costumes, has the same boring music… it's only about the athletic part, not the show part, sadly.

  31. There's no doubt in my mind that if she were to come up in any era of skating, she would be a champion. I think sometimes her beauty overshadows her skills and talent. She's probably one of greatest skaters ever

  32. Прекрасная ..самая лучшая в свое время фигуристка..очень любила и болела за неё..Здоровья и счастья вам..

  33. Красавица, никогда не падала,классно каталась,мы всегда любовались и всегда вспоминаем ее катание

  34. It's sad when athletes don't know when to retire and come back seeking more glory and further fame with another Olympics. Gawd, isn't two gold medals enough? Move over and let the younger ones take your spot and have a chance for glory. They are greedy for the spotlight. Shame on them.

  35. Jesus Christ do a better caption. Not everyone speaks German and thank God I slightly understand the German she speaks

  36. Katarina Witt, Rosalynn Sumners, and Debi Thomas were all very beautiful girls. They were young and practiced every day for hours. That routine equally gave them nice cute butts, and very good looking legs! My vote went to Katarina by a slim margin.

  37. I do not believe for one second that Katarina intimidated others by being there, least of all Debi Thomas.
    And besides, the Harding/Kerrigan incident were the actual rivalry in Calgary.
    And Harding also showed what a disgrace someone can actually be to this sport.

  38. She was 100% right about Yuna Kim. The way the gold medal was stolen from Yuna Kim was pathetic. It's not like they hide it. They did it in plain view. I don't care much for Figure Skating anymore.

  39. So beautifully passionate!!!
    Always the mark of an artist!
    My cousin was a member of the US National Figure Skating Team as a pairs ice dancer in the '50s.
    She received an ice skating scholarship to the Colorado College in Colorado Springs where she trained at the Broadmoor Resort Skating Rink.
    She was a bronze medalist at the US Nationals in ice dancing with Tim Brown in 1958.
    She skated in the first televised Pro-Skating Competition by the ABC Wide-World Sports tv show series in 1959.
    She was a petite blond "bombshell" of personality, my sister and I were dazzled by her.
    She eventually went on to be the skating pro at the Shaker Heights Cleveland, Ohio Skate & Racket Country Club.

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