A typographical error in a story on Linda Fratianne in yesterday's editions of The Washington Post indicated an incorrect time for a performance by an all-champion World Figure Skating Tour Saturday at Capital Centre. The correct starting time is 8 p.m.
Try rolling out of bed at 4:30 in the morning, shivering on over to the nearest ice rink and smiling at the empty bleachers.
That's the hard part, explains Linda Fratianne. The smiling, that is.
"The technical art of skating comes more naturally for me than smiling," she said. "I get a little nervous before the crowds and forget to smile all the time because I'm thinking of what I'm doing."
Her powers of concentration have led to her becoming the U.S. and World champion women's figure skater in 1977, a member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic team and the silver medalist in the 1978 World championship.
En route to her ultimate goal - a gold medal in the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid - Fratianne will be part of an all-champion World Figure Skating Tour performing at Capital Centre on Saturday at 2 p.m., one of 15 stops the tour is making in 23 days.
"It's very difficult to be on the road as much as I am," said the 17-year-old from Northridge, Calif. But the friendships that have developed compensate for the demerits.
She has grown up with Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner, the U.S. pair champions, meeting them at her first international competition in France in 1973.
"Every airport we stop at, Tai and I go to the newsstand. We've bought every gossip magazine there is. Everybody teases us for that," she said.
Anett Poetzsch, who deposed Fratianne as world champion this year, is trying to teach her German, "and she gets a big kick out of how I say it," Fratianne said.
When not on tour, Fratianne said, her typical day runs like this: Up at 4:30 a.m., arrive at the skating rink at 5:30 a.m. and practice until 10 a.m. Switch to another rink and practice from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
From noon until 3 p.m., go to Valley Professional School (where as a senior she studies spelling, math, history, geography), practice again from 3:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Return home, take a shower, eat a salad and be in bed by 7:30 p.m.
On Saturdays, add an hour and a half for ballet lessons and, on Sundays, two more hours of practice. (Mother is the chauffeur because Linda doesn't have a driver's license.)
The pace helps keep her 5-foot-1 frame a trim 98 pounds. She gets weighed in once a week and was alarmed when she once went over 100 pounds.
By all standards an exceptionally talented skater, Fratianne began her career late, at the age of 9, for a future world champion. An afternoon spent skating with a friend led to her pleading with her mother for skates and lessons. Those first skates - under the Christmas tree one year - still fit her.
Fratianne's repertoire is basically a classical one that reminds many of Peggy Fleming; double axels, triple jumps, fluid movement, 2 1/2 revolutions in the air and great technical expertise.
Commitment to athletic excellence in almost any sport can be very expensive and figure skating is no exception.
"When you have someone as talented as Linda, it's a pleasure to put money into it," said her father, Robert Fratianne, a lawyer. He estimates it has cost about $15,000 annualy in the last five years for travel expenses, skates and costumes.
"But, in court, I sometimes see parents who are having trouble with their children and they're always sending them to a psychiatrist or bailing them out of jail," he said. "I'm gald I'm spending my money on skating."