Figure skater Amber Glenn first LGBTQ+ woman to win the U S. title

Hamill, who also placed second twice at the Worlds, was known for her “Hamill camel” — combination camel and sit spin. She is still celebrated on and off the ice and is a breast cancer survivor who has battled depression. Nationals and the youngest to become an Olympic and World champion in figure skating history. She won six ladies, nine pairs (with Nathaniel Niles) and six ice dance titles (with Niles). Championships between 1915 and 1919 due to the impacts of World War I.

The only male singles skater to claim three Olympic gold medals, the Swede did it in 1920, ’24 and ’28. Grafström is also one of two athletes to win a gold medal at both the Winter and Summer Games (1920, reportedly with a pair of store-bought skates not fit for competition). Meryl Davis is the 2014 Olympic champion, 2010 Olympic silver medalist, two-time World champion, and six-time U.S. champion in ice dance alongside partner Charlie White. Davis and White also led the U.S. to the 2014 Olympic bronze medal in the inaugural team event.

A two-time Olympic champion (1948, ’52) and five-time world champ, Button was the youngest male skater to win Olympic gold (18 years, 202 days) and the only non-European competitor to win a European championship. He’s also noted for being the first skater to land a double axel and triple loop. For years Button was a staple as a television analyst, most notably for ABC. In 1984, Witt was voted “GDR Female Athlete of the Year” by the readers of the East German newspaper Junge Welt. She won the 1984 Olympic title in Sarajevo, with reigning World champion Rosalynn Sumners of the United States in second.

  1. The team event medal ceremony did not take place in Beijing because details of Valieva’s positive test for a banned heart medicine emerged only hours after she skated in the Russian team’s win.
  2. Testing at a World Anti-Doping Agency-approved laboratory in Stockholm, Sweden, was delayed by staffing shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. “Skate Canada strongly disagrees with the ISU’s position on this matter and will consider all options to appeal this decision,” the country’s figure skating body said in a statement Tuesday.
  4. When it comes to ice dancing, the conversation really must begin with the legendary pair of Great Britain’s Torvill and Dean.

When his competitive days ended, the four-time Canadian champ became one of the most sought after skating choreographers, working with the likes of Tara Lipinski, Evan Lysacek, Patrick Chan and Yuzuru Hanyu. Olympic figure-skating champion Tenley Albright was also a Harvard Medical School alumna and a qualified surgeon. A bout of mild polio in childhood couldn’t deter her spirit, and she ended up becoming the first female figure skater from the U.S. to win a gold medal at the Olympics. Known for her powerful jumps and spins, She became the first female skater to land two different triple jumps (toe loop and Salchow) in her free skate program. She is an Olympic bronze medalist, two-time World medalist, nine-time U.S. ladies champion and six-time U.S. pairs champion (four with partner George Hill).

Greatest US Female Figure Skaters Of All Time

She won six consecutive European Championships (1983–1988), a feat only equalled by Sonja Henie among female skaters. Between 1984 and 1988, Witt won ten golds from eleven major international events, making her one of the most successful figure skaters. Dr. Tenley Albright, who was inducted into the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1983, is the 1956 Olympic champion, 1952 Olympic silver medalist, two-time World champion and five-time U.S. champion. Albright was the first American female figure skater to win an Olympic gold medal.

Canada’s overall point total remained at 53 while the Russians’ tally dropped from 74 to 54 — enough for the bronze medals for everyone on the team except the disqualified Valieva. “Skate Canada strongly disagrees with the ISU’s position on this matter and will consider all options to appeal this decision,” the country’s figure skating body said in a statement Tuesday. The International Skating Union published an amended standings from the Beijing competition on Tuesday that removed Valieva’s maximum 10 points from each of her two events but did not add an extra point to the other teams below her. Mihara, who won the Four Continents title in 2022 and the Grand Prix Final last season, has battled a right ankle injury this season and has only competed internationally once, at the NHK Trophy. The Lutz was landed a quarter rotation under-rotated before she fell on the under-rotated toe loop. Mihara posted the highest program component score for artistry and choreography of all 26 competitors (32.54) but is down in fifth after struggling on her triple Lutz-triple toe combination.

Ice Skating Stars of the ’90s and ’00s: Where Are They Now?

Carol Heiss is the 1960 Olympic champion, the 1956 Olympic silver medalist and five-time World champion. Heiss, one of only three women to win five consecutive World Championships, became the first female figure skater to land a double Axel. After her retirement from the sport, she played the female lead in the 1961 film Snow White and the Three Stooges. The gold-medal winner at Albertville in 1992, Yamaguchi is one of the most recognizable figures in the history of international figure skating. In addition to her Olympic gold, Yamaguchi placed first at the world championships for ladies’ singles in 1991 and ’92.

Glenn’s victory makes her the first openly LGBTQ+ skater to win the U.S. women’s title. She achieved the pinnacle of success by winning the gold medal at the 1956 Cortina d’Ampezzo Olympics, becoming the first American woman to do so. Her performance, particularly her signature spiral, was a masterpiece of elegance and precision, etched forever in figure skating history. Figure Skating Hall of Fame as a singles skater, pairs skater and a coach. In 1988, Witt won her sixth consecutive European Championship, equaling the achievement of Sonja Henie as the most-successful skater in ladies’ singles at the European Championships. Both Witt’s and Henie’s number of European titles have since been surpassed by Irina Slutskaya, but Witt retains the record for most consecutive European titles, sharing it with Henie.

The demoted Russians drop into third place, one point ahead of Canada even after being stripped of the points the then-15-year-old Valieva earned on the ice. She began skating at 5 and participated in her first figure-skating contest at 9. A Stanford engineer and a qualified orthopedic surgeon, too, Thomas surprisingly ended up being broke and began living in a trailer in the Appalachian mountains. Dorothy Hamill is a retired figure skater whose efforts gave the United States of America an Olympic gold at the 1976 Winter Olympics. Despite suffering from chronic depression for much of her adult life, Dorothy Hamill served as a mentor to Rachael Flatt, who won the gold medal at the 2008 World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Sato, who turns 20 next week, had put the pressure on his teammate with a brilliant short of his own, opening with a quad toe-triple toe and then landing the only quad Lutz of the men’s short.

Katarina Witt

Linda Fratianne’s powerful jumps and pioneering triple jumps paved the way for future generations. Debi Thomas, breaking racial barriers with Olympic bronze, became a symbol of resilience and inspiration. “I was just overwhelmed that I really did everything that you could want,” she told the Washington Post after her routine. Gold added, “I built a whole career of bombing shorts at nationals and not from a lack of training.”

Had she placed 1st in the long program instead of 2nd (on a 5–4 split) to Sumners, she would have jumped to the silver over both Leistner and Vodorezova. Her free skate with a triple flip and five triples was technically superior to Sumners’, and many believed she should have taken the crucial 1st place in this phase. Here, she was solid and clean in all three phases, placing 3rd to her two main competitors, Kira Ivanova and Tiffany Chin, in the compulsory figures, convincingly winning the short program even over the clean skates of Ivanova and Chin. The judges left room for Chin to win the long program and event, but unfortunately she fell on a double axel and did not complete a triple salchow in her performance, settling for the bronze medal. Witt’s longstanding gold-medal dominance of the sport was finally disrupted when in an upset she placed second to American Debi Thomas, the new United States Champion, the following year. At those Worlds, she did win the long program over Thomas’s clean skate with identical content, scoring two 6.0s for artistic impression, but a combination miss which left her 4th in the short cost her the gold.

Kristi Yamaguchi

There was skepticism Valieva was a victim of an institutional culture in Russian sports of doping and lack of duty of care to young athletes. She had competed in Beijing under the team acronym “ROC” — the third straight Olympics the country’s athletes could not be called “Russia” because of ongoing fallout from the state-backed doping program at the 2014 Sochi Games at home. The unusual circumstances, and Valieva’s status as a minor, persuaded a separate CAS panel in Beijing to let her continue skating in the individual women’s event. Valieva tested positive for trimetazidine in a sample taken on Dec. 25, 2021, at the Russian national championships.

This was also the first time since 1980 she would lose the short program phase at a World Championship. To win, she would have needed the final skater, Chin, to place between her and Thomas in the famous ice skaters female long program, but this did not occur. She had been considering making the 1986 World Championships her final event, but stung by the loss, Witt vowed to regain her title and skate on to Calgary.

Testing at a World Anti-Doping Agency-approved laboratory in Stockholm, Sweden, was delayed by staffing shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. First, the Korean landed the Lutz a quarter under-rotated, before attempting the toe loop but failing to gain any lift, rotating on the ice for an invalid element. “It just feels like a homecoming every time I get to come back year after year. As far as my performance, I felt great out there. Obviously, it’s not ideal to start, you know, on your butt, but I love the fight to the end.” Her focus on artistry, musicality, and storytelling paved the way for future generations of skaters.

Celebrating the women of U.S. Figure Skating

Figure skaters are some of the most popular athletes in all of sports, on the ice and off. With that in mind, here’s a look at 25 of the best figure skaters — from singles to team competition — to ever take to a sheet of ice or the rink. It signaled a return to American dominance in the sport of women’s figure skating following the unprecedented tragedy of the 1961 Sabena plane crash. She is a two-time Olympic medalist, five-time World champion and nine-time U.S. champion (tied with Maribel Vinson Owen for the U.S. ladies record). Department of State’s first public diplomacy envoy, working with two presidents and three secretaries of state.







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