WINNERS by Donna Ball

WINNERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A rink-y-dink romance about a brace of Olympic skaters who leap and struggle on to gory--with love scoring 6.0 across the board. Lee, 22, has had an Olympic silver in speed skating and is a world champ in figures. But his longtime coach Dianne, herself a Gold whose fear of falling forced her to become a wildly successful trainer, is now planning something new for Lee: pairs. She introduces him to Tammy, 19, from Montana--and though when Lee sees Tammy whiz about on the rink, he ""knows charisma when he sees it,"" the partnership is off to a rocky start. Lee drives Tammy unmercifully. Tammy, who's had to juggle skating, college, and waiting on tables, resents Lee's rich background. But, throughout the training and prelims, it's clear that these two can ""glide into reciprocal positions in a way that was almost supernatural."" And Dianne, who's had a thing for Lee, finally bows out when she realizes that the pair is rising above mere double camels. So Lee's choreography becomes more wondrous and complex--he plans four revolutions in midair from a high throw!--and the music is the ""Ode to Joy."" (""Joy!"" cries Tammy, who's now living with Lee. ""It is us!"") Yet. . . Lee, who seems to be mysteriously weakening, lets Tammy fall. Yes, Erich Segal fans, he's been hiding his heart disease. Still, he insists on heading for the Big One in St. Helene, Canada. And voila! They win a perfect 6.0--though Lee's career is finished and he urges Tammy to leave him and turn pro: ""We had three years of magic. . . we'll always be able to look back and say that once--we lived."" Axle grease but harmless.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's