Figure skating has been described as a “cold and lonely sport” but for the defending U.S. National Ladies Singles champion, 1990 was a warm and friendly year.
In the best free skating performance of her illustrious career, Jill sealed a second straight U.S. title,
capturing top honors for the third time in four years. Dazzled judges awarded one perfect 6.0 and fourteen 5.9s to the first Broadmoor Skating Club member since Peggy Fleming to reign as America’s ice queen.
Advancing to world competition for the fourth year in a row, Jill came from behind at Halifax, Nova Scotia, to claim her first World Championship after settling for bronze in 1989.
In the summer, she finished second in the Goodwill Games in Seattle. At year-end, she was one of 10 finalists nominated for the Amateur Athletic Union’s coveted Sullivan Award.
The CU-Colorado Springs student and Cheyenne Mountain honor roll graduate, also was the “Readers’ Choice” of Skating magazine subscribers based on sportsmanlike behavior and performance. Few had forgotten the champion’s courageous comeback from the brink of career-threatening disaster after her left leg was severed to the bone during a 1985 practice session.
Jill retired from amateur competition and was inducted into the Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame after the memorable 1990 campaign. She had represented our state around the world since migrating from Minneapolis to Colorado Springs in 1984. During that period, in addition to her National and World accolades, she collected one gold and four silver medals in international invitationals, placed fourth in the Olympic Games and twice was runner-up in the North American Championships.
She went on to a successful professional career with Stars on Ice and is married to British Olympic ice dance champion Christopher Dean. The couple welcomed their first child in 1999.