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When the pressure is on, and you are considered the best in the world, and you are expected to win, it's pretty rare that you don't disappoint. You may still win, but very rarely do you live up to the fantasy which everyone has created in their minds. On February 14, 1984, Christopher Dean and I lived up to the hype.
What's funny to us, thirty years later, is how little we were actually focused on the historic task before us. Everything was leading up to the Sarajevo Winter Olympics - in fact it was due to the desire we both had to show what we could do at those Games that Chris and I even decided to be partners in the first place.
Sarajevo? He’s planning on the Sarajevo Olympics in 1984? Excitement flowed through my veins, and for a moment, I disregarded everything else he had said.
Abigail Phelps, Chapter 3, "You Look So Good To Me"
Abigail Phelps, Chapter 4, "Getting Closer"
Oh, my Cute Blonde Boy, still not realizing how much I valued him, and how important he was in my life. “Of course. You can say anything you want to say.”
He laughed cautiously, “Oh, I think we both know that’s not safe. But I do have one thing that I think I need to say. I think you should wait until after the Olympics. February of ‘84, less than two more years. You won’t be able to be together full-time until then anyway, and once you get married, it won’t be long until you want kids, and the fact is, you promised to be mine until after Sarajevo.”
He wasn’t playing games, or trying to sabotage anything - he was just telling me how he really felt, and I appreciated it. And I knew it wasn’t easy for him. After all, there had been a time when “after Sarajevo” was going to be our time to start building a life together.
Abigail Phelps, Chapter 13, "When In Rome"
As we skated to our opening position, and as we got down on our knees waiting for the music to start, Chris and I were overwhelmed by the memories of Sarajevo.
Abigail Phelps, Chapter 41, "Pressure"
We had chosen to be Phelps and Dean rather than Abigail and Chris. It was a temporary choice, we thought. Phelps and Dean for a season, Abigail and Chris for the rest of our lives. What we didn't always realize, while struggling for the last several decades to keep Abigail and Chris alive, was that Phelps and Dean are eternal. And all because of a skating routine which never changed tempo, went on a little too long, and ended with a dive into a volcano. On one night, we were perfect - not just as Phelps and Dean, but as Abigail and Chris. One night in a million nights of our various definitions of together. February 14, 1984. We actually lived up to the hype. Thank you all for remembering and for keeping our dream alive for us.
Happy Bolero Day, everyone.