Presence. That's the word to describe Rory Flack-Burghart, the 1986 U.S. junior bronze medalist, 1995 U.S. Open Champion, and 2000 American Open Pro Champion. I remember watching Rory on a television skating special several years ago and wondering, "Where did she come from? I've never seen her before, but she's amazing!" Did a little research and learned that in addition to her many skating accomplishments, she made her home in Alaska with Austrian champion Ralph Burghart and is also legendary singer Roberta Flack's cousin!
Rory, now 39, still skates in various shows and coaches in Anchorage. Recently, I watched her and her son, Remington, skate in the 2007 Kristi Yamaguchi Friends & Family special. Below is a 1997 performance by Rory, skating to Whitney Houston's "I Believe in You and Me" from The Preacher's Wife. Rory does a beautiful camel spin in both directions towards the beginning of her program -- that is very difficult to do. I've only seen Michelle Kwan and Robin Cousins execute it equally well. The entire program is a clinic on edge work and is simply beautiful to watch.