BOSTON--Olympic silver medalist Paul E. Wylie '91 returned to Boston to applause and cheers yesterday after his triumphant performance in the men's singles figure skating competition at Albertville last week."
Wylie was met by his girlfriend, Kristin L. Brunner '94, and close friend David A. Roosevelt '93. Bronze medal winner Nancy Kerrigan, of Stoneham, Mass., returned on the same flight.
Wylie spoke at a news conference at Logan Airport, showed his medal, signed autographs, and chatted with other travelers. Grinning and laughing, he was visibly elated with the events of the past three weeks.
"I'm absolutely thrilled with the silver. I'm happy, after all the pressure, to have done my best," he said. "It was the best three weeks of my life."
At the news conference, Wylie, 27, announced that he plans to skate professionally for a few years and then attend law school.
Eliot House, where Wylie lived for four of his five years at Harvard, is reveling in his success. The house masters, Stephen A. Mitchell and Kristine L. Forsgard, lit the bell tower three times for him, once during the U.S. national competition, then during his Olympic short and long programs.
"The masters have really been great," said Wylie. Organizers of this year's "Evening with Champions" are planning a party in his honor at the house, even though Wylie initially protested it because he was embarrassed by all the attention.
The Fox Club will also throw a party thisweekend for Wylie, an alumnus of the club.
Asked how he was enjoying the celebritylifestyle, Wylie joked, "It's been wonderful. I'vebeen waiting a long time."
Kerrigan said she is happy to be coming homewith the bronze. "I'm a little disappointed withmy performance though."
She said she is considering competing in the'94 Games. "I'd like to go back, to have a chanceat a better performance," she said.
Evy and Mary Scotvold, who coach both Wylie andKerrigan, said they were pleased with theperformance of the two Massachusetts skaters.
"I'm proud and delighted. They went in asunderdogs and gave four of the best performancesin the competition," Evy Scotvold said.
Wylie will be taking it easy for a while,staying at his Somerville apartment until the endof March when he will being a three-month tourwith other Olympic champions.
"I'm very proud of him. He deserves it," saidBrunner. "I'd seen him work so hard and thensome-thing freaky would happen in competition andhe'd lose it. Just once I wanted the whole worldto see what I'd seen in practice."
Wylie said his most memorable moments from theOlympic include landing the key jumps in hisprograms, the audience reaction, being awarded themedal and seeing the United States flag go up ashe stood, on the platform.
"This was the performance I'd hoped for," Wyliesaid. "But I didn't know if it was medal-winning.I didn't believe it until the last skaterfinished, and then I was beside myself. I didn'tthink it would happen to me so I'd stoppeddreaming."
Wylie returned with two other awards from theOlympics. He was presented the Clairol PersonalBest Award and the Maxwell House Olympic SpiritAward.
Wylie and Kerrigan skated a routine togetherduring the Olympic exhibitions after thecompetition. They performed the same thing at lastyear's "Evening with Champions" and at the U.S.national competition.
Three other Harvard alumni competed at theGames, all on the U.S. Hockey team: Ted E. Drury'93-'94, Ted P. Donato '91 and C.J. Young '90.
Wylie said he went to four of Team USA's games."I gave Ted Donato a figure skating tip, and heowes me a hockey tip."CrimsonHau LiuOlympic figure skater PAUL E. WYLIE '91shows off his silver medal at Logan Airport lastnight. He was greeted by friends, family andreporters.