"Figure skating isn't everything that matters in life," Linda Fratianne's coach told her. "Relax, and the world title will come back."
It did. The 18-year-old brunette from Northridge, Calif., is undisputed queen once more after wowing the Viennese fans with her free skating in the Stadthalle Staurday night. She was well ahead of Anett Poetzsch, the East German who took the crown from her last year.
Fratianne's coach, Frank Carroll, explained how he title at Ottawa a year ago.
"I tried to make her see there were other things in life besides skating," Carroll said. "It's not the end of the world when you lose a title. I wanted her to become more relaxed and more balanced, and she has done that."
It all came together again Saturday. Like any world champion should in Vienna, she just waltzed away with it.
For the experts, her four-minute program included a triple toe loop and a triple Salchow, besides double Axels, a double flip and a double lutz.
But for the 7,000 fans in the Stadthalle, who did not know the technical names, she was just a happy looking American girl in a red dress who skated dazzling figures to the music of "Carmen."
"Hopefully I can get another triple loop in there before next year," Fratianne said. "I have been working on it, but it isn't quite consistent enough to include in the program yet.
"It's wonderful to be world champion again, but I thought my program could have been a little faster. During the whole thing I was just trying to do everything accurately.
"In the last years I have tried to relax and at the same time to express myself more in the moves. And I have been working hard on presentation and feeling the music."
Fratianne ended with 11 ordinals and 186.62 points. Poetzsch was second with 18 and 184.36, and Emi Watanabe of Japan third with 31 and 180.52.
The U.S. team left Vienna with two titles out of the four. Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner of Los Angeles won the pais. The only disappointed American skater was Charlie Tickner of Littleton, Colo., who lost his men's title to Vladimir Kovalev of the Soviet Union.