1992 Winter Olympics: When Dreams Come True

Kristi Yamaguchi, despite a fumble, showed a delicacy that was golden. But the icy grail of triple jumps may be depriving all but the ice dancers of their natural poise and fizz.

"It's something I've dreamed of ever since I put on skates as a little girl." (She is still little, shoe size 3.) At age 20, Kristi Yamaguchi, of Fremont, Calif., faced the international press, blissfully fingering her gold medal. She had nothing else to say. No thoughts about what she would do next year, or what she would do tomorrow. She had just made it through the arduous course of a fairy tale: pluck vs. luck.

The competition ended exactly as it should have. Yamaguchi was the most consistent athlete and freshest stylist. Skating to Lecuona's Malaguena, she showed the delicacy...