Button Grabs Big Lead in First Part of Olympic Figure Skating
Defending champion Dick Button practically sewed up the Olympic figure skating title at Oslo yesterday, with half of the events still to go.
Button far outdistanced his competition in the five compulsory school figures and is highly favored to lengthen his lead in the free skating tomorrow night. The 13 other skaters have only the barest mathematical chance to catch up with him.
The Harvard senior from Englewood, N.J., lived up to his advance billings, as each of the nine judges ranked him at the head of the list. Hellmut Seibt of Austria, the European champion, was second with second place ranking from eight judges, and a third place from the ninth judge.
Unbeaten in four years, Button said he was still not satisfied with yesterday's showing. With his trainer Gus Lussu of Lake Placid, he immediately started practice for Thursday's free-skating, his specialty. Considered the top man in that section. Button is expected to have little trouble winning his second straight Olympic championship.
A 12 year old French champion, Alain Giletti, also captured the spectators' interest yesterday, taking seventh place in the compulsory figures competition.