|Roles||Competed in Olympic Games • Non-starter|
|Born||2 December 1958 in Los Angeles, California (USA)|
|Affiliations||LAFSC, Los Angeles (USA)|
Randy Gardner skated pairs with Tai Babilonia. Together they were the US pairs champions from 1976-80. In 1979, they won the World Championships, only the second US pair to ever do so, interrupting the long reign of Irina Rodnina, who had won ten straight World titles (1969-78), first with Aleksey Ulanov, and later with Aleksandr Zaytsev. However, Rodnina and Zaytsev did not compete in 1979 as she was having a baby. But they returned for 1980 and the 1980 pairs battle between the two was expected to be one of the best events at the Lake Placid Olympics. But it never came to be. Gardner pulled a groin muscle in training at Lake Placid. On the day of the competition, he was given a local anaesthetic to kill the pain, but could not control his leg, and after dropping Babilonia several times in warm-ups, they were withdrawn and did not compete.
Babilonia and Gardner had a long professional career together, skating through 2008 when a neck problem of Gardner’s forced their retirement. He has since become a skating choreographer. As an adult Gardner found he had been adopted and traced his birth mother and they have since become close. In 2006 Gardner also revealed that he is gay.
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||As|
|1976 Winter Olympics||Figure Skating (Skating)||USA||Randy Gardner|
|Pairs, Mixed (Olympic)||Tai Babilonia||5|
|1980 Winter Olympics||Figure Skating (Skating)||USA||Randy Gardner|
|Pairs, Mixed (Olympic)||Tai Babilonia|