OTTAWA -- For Canada's Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini, two weeks meant the difference between gold and goose eggs.
The duo executed a flawless and breathtaking long program Thursday night to become Canada's first world pairs champions in 22 years at the 1984 World Figure Skating Championships.
But, up until two weeks ago they weren't sure they would even be here.
'We came home very disappointed from the Olympics, very down,' said Martini of their disastrous seventh-place showing at the Winter Olympics in Yugoslavia.
'I don't think anyone can appreciate how far we've come in the past two weeks. We came very close to not coming here at all.'
'After Sarajevo, skating wasn't fun anymore,' added Underhill. 'We went to the rink because we had to, because people here had paid money to see us. But we didn't want to.'
Boosted by a boisterous crowd of 10,000 at the Civic Centre, Underhill and Martini defeated Olympic and defending world champions Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev of the Soviet Union to duplicate the feat accomplished by Canadians Otto and Maria Jelinek at the 1962 world championships in Prague.
They were given several standing ovations and showered with flowers.
Underhill also recounted the difficulties they faced after the Olympics.
'It was the toughest three weeks of our careers,' she said. 'We hit an all-time low. A lot of people helped us get through it, our coaches, our parents and each other.'
The three-time Canadian titlists, bronze medalists at last year's worlds, became the country's first world champions in figure skating since Karen Magnussen of Vancouver won the women's crown in 1973 at Bratislava.
Only 10 pairs competed in the long program as two teams -- Jill Watson and Burt Lancon of the U.S. and Claudia Massari and Leonardo Azzola of West Germany -- had to withdraw due to injuries.
Lancon hurt his back after a fall in the short program, while Massari was felled by a recurring knee problem.
Earlier, pint-sized Scott Hamilton of the United States turned in a meticulous effort to win the men's short program and move a step closer to his fourth straight world title, while Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean of Great Britain scored seven perfect marks en route to winning the ice dance compulsories.
Hamilton, who suffered his first loss in the short program since 1982 to Canada's Brian Orser at the Olympics before going on to win the crown, avenged the setback to pad his overall lead heading into Friday night's long program.
Hamilton, who has developed a friendly rivalry with Orser over the last few seasons, said he was in a good frame of mind and wasn't thinking about the local favorite when he was on the ice.
'Tonight I skated for me. It wasn't for marks, it wasn't for place, it was for myself,' he said. 'I felt pretty confident and relaxed, 100 pounds lighter than at the Olympics. You know how some mornings you wake up in a good mood, that's how I felt on the ice.'
While Hamilton was approaching the event with a carefree attitude, Orser, the Olympic silver medalist, was fighting and losing a battle with his nerves.
The 22-year-old four-time Canadian champion had trouble keeping balanced on his combination, a triple lutz, double loop, but still earned four marks of 5.9 for his artistic interpretation.
The results were good enough for second spot in the short program and moved him to fifth spot from seventh overall.
'I'm not really sure what happened, ' he said of his miscue, adding it was difficult to skate immediately after Hamilton. 'I saw his marks and the audience loved him. It usually doesn't bother me, but tonight it did. My legs were like jelly.'
Rudi Cerne of West Germany, who began the short program in second-place, remained there despite a fifth-place showing in the routine, while Czechoslovakian Jozef Sabovcik's fourth-place performance was good enough to move him into third overall.
In the first event of the day, Torvill and Dean continued their mastery of the ice-dance division by executing a near-flawless performance in their compulsory routine.
The Olympic gold medal winners, and three-time world, European, and British champions began their title defense by recording seven perfect scores of 6.0, the first time the feat has been accomplished at any international event.
Torvill and Dean garnered five 5.9s for the Paso Doble -- better than their showing at the Olympics -- and equalled the three 6.0s they posted at Sarajevo for the Westminister Waltz.