#Unearthed: Memories Of The Old Western Section

When you dig through skating history, you never know what you will unearth. In the spirit of cataloguing fascinating tales from skating history, #Unearthed is a once a month 'special occasion' on Skate Guard where fascinating writings by others that are of interest to skating history buffs are excavated, dusted off and shared for your reading pleasure. From forgotten fiction to long lost interviews to tales that have never been shared publicly, each #Unearthed is a fascinating journey through time. This month's 'buried treasure' is an article called "Memories Of The Old Western Section", which appeared in the program of the 1965 Prairie Sectional Figure Skating Championships, held at the Royal Glenora Club in Edmonton. It was written by CFSA President Bert Penfold. Also included is a chart of early winners at the Western Canadian Championships, compiled from back issues of "Skating" magazine.

Cover of the program of the 1956 Western Canadian Championships. Photo courtesy University of Alberta Libraries.

"MEMORIES OF THE OLD WESTERN SECTION" (BERT PENFOLD)

"The Canadian Figure Skating Association, as it is constituted today, is probably the largest and most influential organization of its kind in the world. It directs and controls figure skating in Canada through 240 affiliated clubs, representing between 75,000 and 100,000 figure skaters from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland. 

For purposes of government Canada is divided into seven Sections, British Columbia, Prairie Section comprising the Provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Northern Ontario Section, Western
Ontario Section, Central Ontario Section, Eastern Canada Section and Atlantic Provinces Section. Each of these seven sections hold Sectional Championships each year and the three top skaters in these sectional senior events are eligible to enter the Canadian Junior Championship events which are part of the Canadian Championships being held in Calgary this year.

Twenty years ago there were no sections. The Canadian Championships were competed for mainly by Eastern Canada skaters representing a few large clubs in that area. There were no other competitions beyond the club level and, consequently, our western skaters had little or no opportunity to compete. It was at this time that an idea which had been simmering in the minds of some vitally interested Western people blossomed forth and culminated in the birth of the old Western Canada Section. 

Two meetings were held, the first at Edmonton in the fall of 1946, sponsored by the Glenora Skating and Tennis Club Ltd. and the second one at the Glencoe Club in Calgary in January, 1947. At this second meeting a resolution was passed resulting in the formation of the first section in Canada, the Western Canada Section; the territory to include Victoria in the west to Fort William and Port Arthur in the east.

The writer had the honour and privilege of being the first President of the Western Canada Section and the first annual competition was held at Regina on February 15th and 16th, 1947. There were between 30 and 40 skaters who participated in this first sectional competition representing clubs in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg. Judges were Dr. Urban Gareau, Mrs. A. G. E. Robbins and Roy M. Barnes. Allan M. Kerr was referee. The Novice and Junior events were held on Saturday and the Senior events on Sunday. All events were held on the natural ice surface at the Wascana Winter Club and bleachers were erected on the ice surface at the south end of the rink for seating capacity. This greatly handicapped the free skating and dance events.

Event winners and runners-up were as follows: Men’s Novice Singles—Malcolm Wickson, Vancouver; Ladies’ Novice Singles—Frances Abbott, Winnipeg; runner-up, Mary Lou Coy, Regina; Men’s Junior Singles—Ross Smith, Winnipeg; Ladies’ Junior Singles—Jean Ross, Vancouver; runner-up, Joan Penfold, Regina; Junior Pairs—Jeane Matthews and William Lewis, Vancouver; runners-up, Ivy Smith and E. G. Leonard, Saskatoon; Men’s Senior Singles—Roger Wickson, Vancouver; runner-up, William Lewis, Vancouver; Ladies’ Senior Singles—Jeane Matthews, Vancouver; runner-up, Sheila Smith, Winnipeg; Ladies’ Pairs—Jean and Joan deWitt, Regina; runners-up, Joan Penfold and Mary Lou Coy, Regina; Senior Pairs—Sheila Smith and Ross Smith, Winnipeg; Fours—Frances Abbott, Roberta Wilcox, Dave Ross and Dr. John Abra, Winnipeg.

Roger Wickson. Photo courtesy Vancouver Public Library.

The second section was formed shortly after this in Northern Ontario under the guidance of Doug Deyell, but it was not until 1956, almost ten years later, that Sectional rules were eventually written into the C.F.S.A. Rulebook and Sections were formed right across Canada. For the next few years there were five sections, the Western Canada section continuing to embrace all of the territory from Victoria to Kenora, Ontario. The Eastern Canada section covered all the territory from Ottawa to Newfoundland. These two sections became too unwieldy and covered too vast a territory, involving heavy travelling expenses, and finally in 1959 the British Columbia and Atlantic Provinces sections were formed, making seven in all. 

The splitting up of the old Western Section made it necessary to return all of the old trophies to the donors and to provide new trophies for both the new sections and also involved a painful tug at the heartstrings of many of us who had been closely associated in the Old Section for some thirteen years. A few tears were shed and the new Prairie and British Columbia Sections were born. I am sure that this brief reference to bygone days of skating in the West will bring back nostalgic memories to many loyal supporters of skating in Western Canada."

Rosemary Henderson. Photo courtesy Harlick Skates.

CHART OF EARLY WINNERS AT THE WESTERN CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

Year

Men

Women

Pairs

Ice Dance

1947

Roger Wickson

Jeane Matthews

Sheila and Ross Smith

(not held)

1948

Roger Wickson

Jeane Matthews

Sheila and Ross Smith

(not held)

1949

Roger Wickson

Jeane Matthews

Pearle Simmers and David Spalding

(not held)

1950

Roger Wickson

Rosemary Henderson

Pearle Simmers and David Spalding

Rosemary Henderson and Bert Wright

1951

Roger Wickson

Sonja Currie

Gayle Wakely and David Spalding

Mary Diane Trimble and David Ross

1952

Bill Lewis

Sonja Currie

Audrey Downie and Brian Power

Doreen Leech and Norman Walker

1953

Norman Walker

Sonja Currie

Audrey Downie and Brian Power

Frances Abbott and David Ross

1954

Norman Walker

Dianne Williams

Audrey Downie and Brian Power

Frances Abbott and David Ross

1955

Brian Power

Karen Dixon

Audrey Downie and Brian Power

Leone Miller and Dennis McFarlane

1956

Harry Nevard

Karen Dixon

Gale Rennie and Dennis McFarlane

Elizabeth and Dwight Parkinson

1957

Harry Nevard

Elaine Protheroe

Jane Sinclair and Larry Rost

Elaine Protheroe and William Trimble

1958

Harry Nevard

Pamela Willman

Patsy Marr and Frank Clark

Elaine Protheroe and William Trimble

1959

Larry Rost

Jocelyn Davidson

Jane Sinclair and Larry Rost

Margaret McDiarmid and Michael Scott

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating and archives hundreds of compelling features and interviews in a searchable format for readers worldwide. Though there never has been nor will there be a charge for access to these resources, you taking the time to 'like' the blog's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard would be so very much appreciated. Already 'liking'? Consider sharing this feature for others via social media. It would make all the difference in the blog reaching a wider audience. Have a question or comment regarding anything you have read here? Have a suggestion for a topic related to figure skating history you would like to see covered? I'd love to hear from you! Learn the many ways you can reach out at http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/p/contact.html.

Big-Timers From Boston: The Grace And James Madden Story

Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine

"What a beautiful art skating can be." - James Lester Madden, "Skating" magazine, 1935

The stars of today's blog - James 'Jimmie' Lester Madden and Grace Elizabeth Madden - were born December 13, 1909 and July 30, 1911. They were the children of Michael and Grace (Farrell) Madden and grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, the same Greater Boston town that Theresa Weld Blanchard hailed from. Their father was the President of the Hollingsworth and Whitney Paper Company.

The Boston Twelve: Olivia Stone Holmes and Teddy Goodridge, Polly Blodgett and Richard L. Hapgood, Leslie Eustis and Bernard Fox, Grace and James Madden, Joan Tozzer and Geddy Hill, Bunty McKaig and William Penn Gaskell-Hall. Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine.

In their teenage years, Grace and James began skating at the Skating Club Of Boston and the Cambridge Skating Club. In the dead of winter, it was nothing for them both to be up at five o'clock in the morning to arrive at the rink to practice school figures before attending school, only to return to practice free skating, pairs and ice dances with coach Willie Frick after school.

Grace Madden, Theresa Weld Blanchard, Olivia Stone, Peggy Stuart, Leslie Eustis and Joan Tozzer

Grace and James made their first big splash at the 1928 U.S. Championships in New Haven, Connecticut, where they claimed the junior pairs title. James also won the junior men's title and finished second in the Fourteenstep with Maribel Vinson that year. Writing in "Skating" magazine, Richard L. Hapgood raved that Maribel and James skated in a "manner that should be a warning in all future competitions that Boston skaters are improving... and will begin to figure in a few years in the titles."

James and Grace Madden, Frederick Goodridge, Maribel Vinson and George 'Geddy' Hill

Over the course of the next decade, Grace and James went on to become two of America's most decorated and versatile champions. In pairs skating, they amassed six medals at the U.S. Championships - including the gold in 1934 - and a bronze medal at the North American Championships.


As ice dancers, they won the Fourteenstep at the 1933 North American Championships in New York City and a slew of medals at the U.S. Championships, both together and with a revolving door of partners.


At the Cambridge Skating Club's annual Championships, they were five-time pairs champions and won their respective singles free skating competitions three times and won Waltz and Fourteenstep titles with different partners. James, the more successful of the siblings in singles skating, won six medals at the U.S. Championships and three at the North American Championships in the men's division. James also competed at both the 1930 and 1932 World Championships and 1932 Winter Olympic Games as a soloist. 

James Madden, Frederick Goodridge and Roger Turner at the 1929 U.S. Championships. Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine.

Unfortunately, Grace and James' worst showings as a pair were at the 1936 Winter Olympic Games and World Championships, where they placed eleventh and sixth. James was competing with an ankle injury suffered prior to the Olympic Trials for the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Games and he and Gracie had earned their berth by applying to the USFSA for consideration on the basis of their previous competition record. Their selection was one of the first examples of a skater's 'body of work' being considered in an Olympic figure skating team selection in America.


How Grace and James found time to skate at the level they did - or as prolifically - was anyone's guess. After preparing at Newton Country Day School, James attended Harvard University. In addition to a full course load and skating, he was on the football, baseball and hockey squads, track and field team and the Glee and Dramatic Clubs. He graduated from the School Of Business in 1931.


James served on the USFSA's Board Of Directors for pretty much he and Grace's entire career and both were certified as high level test judges by the late thirties. They were in extremely high demand to perform in club carnivals and as devout Roman Catholics, no doubt didn't miss a Mass. 

James and his competitor/training mate - Maribel Vinson's partner George 'Geddy' Hill - even found time to develop a comedy act as 'Pansy the Russian skating pony' and spent a summer together in England in 1933 wowing audiences in Southampton, Hammersmith, Bournemouth and Streatham with their skating horsepower. They also found time to take some lessons from two of Europe's top trainers - Jacques Gerschwiler and Howard Nicholson - and write about their travels in "Skating" magazine. James later served on the magazine's editorial board alongside Theresa Weld Blanchard.

Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine

Grace and James, whom Arthur M. Goodridge described as a "beautiful, brilliant pair", retired in 1938 after winning the Eastern pairs and Fourteenstep titles and a silver medal at the U.S. Championships in Philadelphia. 

That same year, James came up with the idea for the 'goon ski' later used for ski ballet - essentially figure skating on skis. The idea apparently came about after he injured his foot giving a figure skating exhibition in North Conway. The March 2002 issue of "Skiing Heritage Journal" noted, "He still wanted to go skiing the next day but to ease the strain on his weakened foot, he decided to try kids' skis. Once on the mountain, Madden found that these little skis turned so easily he could execute his figure skating routines on them, all but the going-backward part when the tail of the skis would dig in. But he was not discouraged. He was so delighted at being able to do 'figure skiing', he designed the first modern double-ended ski. Then he persuaded Boston's pioneer ski shop owner Asa Osborn to have the skis made by Thor Groswold in Denver. Madden used his new 'ski skates' to create the first ski ballet routines in America." He later trained a group of trick skiers and took them to Sun Valley.

Left: Grace and James Madden with Geddy Hill. Right: Grace and James Madden with Roger Turner.

Both Grace and James also got engaged in 1938; she to Bronxville businessman Stevenson E. Ward, Jr. and he to the Baroness von Vietinghoff-Scheel, whom he'd met two years prior in Garmisch-Partenkirchen at the Olympics. Grace got married to Stevenson the following year, and James ultimately married Pauline McKean in October of 1946. James and Pauline had three sons and a daughter and Grace and Stevenson had one son and one daughter.

James Madden and Melville Rogers inspecting a bracket. 

After the death of he and Grace's parents, James took over as President of the Hollingsworth and Whitney Paper Company. During World War II, he served as the Deputy Director of the Pulp and Paper division of War Production board. After his company merged with Scott Paper Co. in 1954, he became Scott's Vice-President and served on their board of directors until his retirement in 1964. He also served on the boards of the Sea Educational Association in Woods Hole, the Keyes Fibre Co., Boston Safe Deposit & Trust Co., Liberty Mutual Life Insurance and the Boston and Maine Railroad.
Passionate about all things nautical, he raced his fifty-seven foot sloop Gesture in international regattas. His sea travels took him to Halifax, Bermuda, Greenland, Labrador, Fiji... and even the Galapagos and Easter Islands. Incredibly, James still laced up his skates and took to the ice regularly until he was in his mid-sixties. He passed away of heart failure on September 15, 1984 at the age of seventy-four in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts.

A devoted mother, Grace lived for much of her post-competitive skating life in the small town of Darien in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She was a member of the St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church, Wee Burn Country Club, Children's Aid Association and Southern Connecticut Figure Skating Association. She kept one foot in the rink door as a high-level USFSA test judge and passed away on June 14, 1987 at the age of seventy-five.

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating and archives hundreds of compelling features and interviews in a searchable format for readers worldwide. Though there never has been nor will there be a charge for access to these resources, you taking the time to 'like' on the blog's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard would be so very much appreciated. Already 'liking'? Consider sharing this feature for others via social media. It would make all the difference in the blog reaching a wider audience. Have a question or comment regarding anything you have read here or have a suggestion for a topic related to figure skating history you would like to see covered? I'd love to hear from you! Learn the many ways you can reach out at http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/p/contact.html

The Rink On The Rue Pergolése

An illustration depicting the skating parties that were intended for the rink on the Rue Pergolése 

"So rejoice, fans of skating! Regardless of the elevation of the thermometer, you will be able to indulge in your favorite exercise, thanks to the resources of modern science." - "La Science Illustrée", November 30, 1889

In the autumn of 1888, the gossip mill in Paris was abuzz with a rumour about a fantastical new amusement, the likes of which had never been seen before in the city. The following year, the Exposition Universelle was being held, and The Eiffel Tower was being constructed as the World's Fair's main attraction. Over thirty million people from around the world were set to descend upon the city and what better a time to open the largest artificial ice rink in the world. It was the perfect time for such an undertaking. Figure skating was an incredibly popular winter activity and Le Cercle des Patineurs, which had five hundred members, hosted lavish skating parties on the Bois de Boulogne that were the talk of the city.

Photo courtesy Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris Collections

The most unusual of sites was chosen for this new ice rink - a two kilometer area on the Rue Pergolése that housed a massive bullfighting called the Plaza del Toros. After the sand was all removed, the site was excavated and a concrete basin was installed. Thirty-six thousand meters of iron tubing and three steam engines were installed to compress ammonia gas for the ice-making process. The system used was one invented by a New Yorker named Matthew Julius Bujac and used a decade earlier at the Southport Glaciarium in England. The outdoor rink had columns decorated with flags and a temporary cover of fifty-six meter wooden trusses installed. It was lit by sixteen solar-powered lamps. A promenade surrounding the rink had an orchestra pit that could accommodate fifty musicians. Construction was finished in the late autumn of 1889, after the Exposition Universelle had officially concluded.

A benefit skating party for La Société Philanthropique was planned for the rink's grand opening on January 3, 1890. The fundraiser was hailed by "Le Temps" as "Le 'Great Event' de l'année". A who's who of La Belle Époque high society, including the Comtesse Marie Anatole Louise Élisabeth Greffulhe and Auguste Louis Albéric, Prince of Arenberg, showed up at the ice rink on Rue Pergolése with their sledges, chariots and costumes only to learn that the event was cancelled at the eleventh hour because of a rupture in the pipes. Engineers worked tirelessly to find and repair the leaks and the fundraiser was rescheduled for January 10, 1890.


A newspaper advertisement advertised the grand opening of the ice rink on Rue Pergolése thusly: "At three o'clock, the skating opens with a quadrille of Swedish skaters at four o'clock and the illumination of the Palace with electric light. In the evening and on the following days, there will be big night parties, sleigh races on the ice, fantasies of all kinds, clowns, quadrilles, costumed characters, etc. Ticket prices for this first day are one hundred francs for four-seater perimeter boxes... and fifty francs for other places without distinction. Numbered armchairs will be heated by ten thousand hot water bottles and twenty braziers." This event, too, was unfortunately cancelled at the last minute as well. The engineers failed to take into account the fact the distance between the ice-making plant and the center of the ice. Matthew Julius Bujac's system had worked at the much smaller Southport Glaciarium, but the size of the rink at the Rue Pergolése was ridiculously large. An 1893 article from "Industrial Refrigeration" magazine recalled, "It was possible to make ice only upon the edges, and then not in a continuous manner. The directors then had cart loads of cracked ice brought, and packed in the arena. A few skaters had an opportunity of trying their skill upon it, but in the space of one night all was melted and the enterprise, so to speak, fell into the water."

An artist's rendition of the ice-making plant

The man renting the former Plaza del Toros, a Mr. Newton, grew very annoyed with the delays and made a request to that an outside expert be brought in to monitor the company who was installing Julius Bujac's system. On January 27, 1890, it was announced in the newspapers that " the huge skating rink did not lead to a satisfactory result" and the expensive project was scrapped. Mr. Newton ended up taking Mr. Périsse, the engineer and Mr. Comboul, the works manager, to court over the failed venture.

An illustration depicting the skating parties that were intended for the rink on the Rue Pergolése 

Though the ice rink on Rue Pergolése never made it off the ground, it is a fascinating footnote in figure skating history. Its speculator failure didn't deter its organizers in the least. In fact, it inspired the success of the two lavish ice rinks that would take the city by storm in the decade that followed - the Pôle Nord and Palais de Glace.

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating and archives hundreds of compelling features and interviews in a searchable format for readers worldwide. Though there never has been nor will there be a charge for access to these resources, you taking the time to 'like' the blog's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard would be so very much appreciated. Already 'liking'? Consider sharing this feature for others via social media. It would make all the difference in the blog reaching a wider audience. Have a question or comment regarding anything you have read here? Have a suggestion for a topic related to figure skating history you would like to see covered? I'd love to hear from you! Learn the many ways you can reach out at http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/p/contact.html.

The 1952 World Figure Skating Championships


Elizabeth II was just beginning her reign as Queen after the death of her father King George VI. Turkey and Greece had just joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. There was a nation-wide protest in what is now Bangladesh, after police opened fire on a procession of students. Millions of film-goers lined up to see Cecil B. Demille's picture "The Greatest Show On Earth" and Kay Starr's "Wheel Of Fortune" blared on record players.


The year was 1952 and from February 27 to March 1, the world's best figure skaters gathered in Paris, France for the World Figure Skating Championships. The post-Olympic Worlds were held at the historic eighteen thousand seat Palais des Sports, known to locals as the Vel d'Hiv because it had been built as a velodrome (cycle racing track). The rink had a morbid history. During World War II, when the Nazis occupied Paris, it had been used to hold Jewish prisoners before they were shipped off to the concentration camp at Drancy and the extermination camp at Auschwitz.

Photo courtesy Elaine Hooper, BIS Archive

Most of the skaters and officials who had been at the Olympics in Oslo flew directly to Paris on commercial flights. Others who hadn't been at the Games trained in Switzerland prior to the event and arrived by train. Notably absent was Jeannette Altwegg. She'd made her mind up to retire long before winning a gold medal in Oslo and was already back in Liverpool sipping tea with her mother by the time the competition got underway in France. Let's take a look back at how things played out on the ice in Paris that year.

THE ICE DANCE COMPETITION

Joan Dewhirst and John Slater. Photo courtesy "Skating World" magazine.

When the ISU first held an international ice dancing competition in conjunction with the World Championships in England in 1950, an American couple had emerged as the surprise victors. Lois Waring and Michael McGean arrived in Paris as medal contenders but during a pre-event practice, Lois took a nasty fall in practice, hitting her head and spraining her left arm. They were forced to pull out. Their withdrawal paved the way for an interesting showdown between British Champions Joan Dewhirst and Joan Slater and the winners of the international dance event at the 1951 Worlds in Milan, Jean Westwood and Lawrence Demmy. Though Westwood and Demmy were perhaps the favourites, Demmy had stitches in one of his feet.

The draw for the starting order for the compulsory dances divided the ten couples into two groups - one to five and six to ten. Couples one and six started the first dance; couples two and seven the second and so on. As was the fashion at the time, the teams were all on the ice performing the dances at the same time. The formula the ISU used to select the compulsories was to pick an 'easy' dance, a waltz, a fast dance and a slow dance - in this case the Rocker Foxtrot, Westminster Waltz, Quickstep and Argentine Tango. Canada had a judge, Norman V.S. Gregory, even though a Canadian dance team wasn't entered.

Jean Westwood and Lawrence Demmy. Photo courtesy "Skating World" magazine.

All seven judges had Westwood and Demmy first over Dewhirst and Slater in the compulsories, though only four points separated the two British teams. Third went to the American husband/wife team of Carmel and Ed Bodel, who had won the 1951 North American Championships in Calgary.

Jean Westwood and Lawrence Demmy became the first official World Champions in ice dance with a precise and flowing performance befitting of gold. All but the Swiss judge, who preferred Dewhirst and Slater, had them first, though less than two points separated the teams in the free dance. Washington, D.C's Carol Ann Peters and Danny Ryan moved up from fourth to take the bronze over the Bodel's with a jazzy free dance. In fifth were Lydia Boon and Adrian Van Dam of Holland. They were one of two Dutch teams competing in Paris - an unexpected surprise as Holland didn't exactly have a strong dancing tradition. To this day, their finish is the highest ever by a Dutch dance team in a major ISU Championship. Jean Westwood recalled that after winning, she remembered "standing center ice with the Union Jack flying and the anthem playing. It made up for not going to Olympics."


In her report in "Skating" magazine, Theresa Weld Blanchard recalled, "The crowd loved the fact that both British teams bowed to each other after bowing to the crowd, both at the beginning and end the end. Over here, each competitor or couple goes to the center of the rink and bows to the spectators on each side before beginning and again at the finish - girls curtsey. The national flag of each contestant is raised at the end of the rink with a spotlight on it and a fan blowing it out; that is lowered after about two minutes of the program to be ready for the next contestant's flag... The top two couples from Great Britain, who placed first and second, danced with a flowing, undulatory stroke which enabled them to incorporate interpretive characteristics to a great degree. Their compulsory performance, from a standpoint of technique, indicated that they strive to conform with the standards for accuracy and placement which are prescribed under the current dance rules. The unison of the champions was a noticeable feature of their dancing. Their relaxed, free flowing edges and carriage gave them a distinctive and pleasing style... The enthusiastic and prolonged response of the capacity audience which witnessed the dance finals is indicative of the widespread appeal of ice dancing in the world sport events."

THE PAIRS COMPETITION

Ria Baran and Paul Falk

To the surprise of very few, the West German husband and wife team of Ria (Baran) and Paul Falk received unanimous first place marks from the judges in the pairs, receiving marks ranging from 5.3 to 5.8. They were the defending Olympic, World and European titleholders and were an outstanding couple. Theresa Weld Blanchard remarked, "Some judges think they do not have enough contents but they skate so beautifully and have such marvellous lifts that it is a joy to watch. Ria had on a stunning dress - plain black velvet with lovely lines and a lot of white heavy embroidery and rhinestones on the shoulders and sleeves. Paul is strong, yet graceful, and acts so courteously throughout the pair that it dresses it up a lot." The Falk's started skating in Dortmund at the ages of thirteen and fourteen, and teamed up less than a year later because they both hated doing figures. During the War, the couple trained at the Berlin Sportpalast. Ria worked as a secretary there; Paul was an engineer at the Berlin autobahn. They were unable to compete in post-War international skating events due to a several year ISU ban on German athletes. Ria was skating against doctor's orders after falling on a lift and injuring her back. They were completely self-taught and Ria sewed all of their costumes herself.

Jennifer and John Nicks. Photo courtesy BIS Archive.

American siblings Karol and Peter Kennedy took the silver with five second place ordinals. However, they skated a less than perfect performance, which was reflected in the marks which went as low as 5.0 for manner of performance. Peter stumbled two minutes into the program and they missed one of their lifts. Canadians Frances Dafoe and Norris Bowden had four second place ordinals but the bronze went to British siblings Jennifer and John Nicks because six of the nine judges placed them third or better. The American and Dutch judges had Dafoe and Bowden fifth and sixth. Jacqueline Mason and Mervyn Bower, who placed ninth out of the ten teams, made history as the first Australian pair to compete at Worlds.

Karol and Peter Kennedy. Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine.

The big story surrounding the pairs event in Paris involved Peter Kennedy, his father and a member of the French press. The February 28, 1952 issue of "The Seattle Daily Times" reported, "Dr. Michael Kennedy of Seattle and his son were involved in a fist fight with a French news cameraman tonight at the World Figure Skating Championship and were separated by police. The incident came as Peter and his sister, Karol, had left the ice after finishing their pair-skating routine. As they left the ice, Karol stepped to the side of the rink and sat down to catch her breath. Dr. Kennedy said he asked the photographer not to take her picture because she was crying, but the picture was made anyway. In the melee that followed, the doctor's glasses were broken and the cameraman received a bloody nose. The police stepped in. The Kennedys hurried from the Sports Palace by a rear door and were taken to their hotel. Peter and Karol didn't wait to change to their street clothes." In the months that followed, the ISU had its Congress and the USFSA its Annual General Meeting. It came out that in addition to the incident in Paris, Karol and Peter had also skated an exhibition without a proper sanction in Garmisch-Partenkirchen following the World Championships. The incident in question was a performance for American G.I.'s during a Bavarian skating competition, arranged by the U.S. military. Their father believed the German sponsors had applied for a sanction from the ISU, but they hadn't. Newspapers reported the exhibition as being the reason for their suspension, but the USFSA and ISU also acknowledged the incident in Paris. The story put out at the time was they'd chosen to turn professional.

THE MEN'S COMPETITION


Twenty two year old Harvard student Dick Button, the two-time Olympic Gold Medallist and reigning World Champion, was the overwhelming favourite in Paris. In his book "Dick Button On Skates", he recalled, "When I flew from Oslo to Paris for the World Championships, I went as a different person. I had taken the Olympic competition much too seriously. To put myself back in proper perspective, to remember how to laugh at myself, was the first job on hand. Aldus Chapin, a roommate from Harvard, had flown over to see the championships, and together we enjoyed all the attractions that Paris had to offer. My training went out the window. I skated only two hours a day, and while Dad was visibly annoyed at the late hours I was keeping only seven days before a World Championship, Mother kept replenishing my ever dwindling supply of funds with a wink of her eye and a gentle warning that the competitions were soon. I needed that relaxation, and when I won the world title, it was with a better performance than would have resulted with consistent training."


On his way to winning his final World title, Dick Button unanimously won the school figures. He was followed by Austria's Hellmut Seibt and Americans Dudley Richards and Jimmy Grogan. Theresa Weld Blanchard remarked, "It seemed that the men did not skate as well as at Oslo, except Dudley Richards, who is the only one 'hot' for this event. It proves that it is practically impossible to keep at a peak. They all trained hard in Oslo and the let down afterwards, doing practically no skating until Paris, where there is very little ice and all had to use it. Jimmy Grogan had an especially bad day and did a poor rocker and loop... The Iron Curtain entries did not show up and neither did the judges so they took off the German judge as the German entry, Freimut Stein, had withdrawn, and used only seven judges."

Dick Button and Jacqueline du Bief

Thirteen thousand spectators showed up to watch the men's free skate, which Dick Button unanimously won. He received seven 5.9's, six 5.8's and one 5.7. Hayes Alan Jenkins and Jimmy Grogan were two-three in the free and overall but over points behind Dick Button, with Hellmut Seibt and Dudley Richards dropping down to fourth and fifth. Canada's only entry, Peter Firstbrook, placed seventh overall - a disappointment considering he'd finished a strong fourth in Oslo at the Olympics.

THE WOMEN'S COMPETITION



With Jeannette Altwegg out of the picture, the women's event in Paris was a highly anticipated battle between France's Jacqueline du Bief and three talented Americans - Long Island, New York's Sonya Klopfer, Newton Center, Massachusetts' Tenley Albright and Detroit, Michigan's Ginny Baxter. In Oslo, Albright had won the silver and du Bief the bronze. Klopfer had beaten du Bief in the figures but placed fourth overall. Baxter had finished fifth, but won the free skate.

Tenley Albright. Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine.

In the school figures, twenty year old Jacqueline du Bief had first place marks from five of the nine judges and led by over ten points. Three judges, including the American Alex J. Krupy, voted for eighteen year old Tenley Albright. The Swiss judge had Sonya Klopfer first. Neither du Bief and Albright was perfect - Albright was off axis on the double three-change-double three and Jacqueline's turns weren't all clean. What won it for her was the final figure, the bracket-change-bracket.


Prior to the free skate, the announcement was made that Tenley Albright was forced to withdraw due to a bronchial infection. Albright's withdrawal, coupled with the fact that Jacqueline du Bief had won the figures and that she was stronger in free skating, put a great deal of pressure and expectations on the French star. In her book "Thin Ice", she recalled, "How long that afternoon seemed, waiting for the final test and trying to relax! And how long, too, the performances of the competitors who preceded me before the judges! I had awaited this evening for years; I had imagined it a thousand times - brilliant, luminous and magnificent. It had always seemed to me that 'that day' the world would look different; that my skating, my life, and I, myself, would suddenly become changed in some way. Had I imagined too much - had I expected too much, or was it simply that I was too tired? I don't know, but when the microphone announced that I had won, when a few bars of the Marseillaise fell on a Palais des Sports suddenly become tense and silent, a strange emptiness came over me and I felt disappointed. No - the world was not rocking. No - nothing seemed changed, and in the centre of this shouting and excited crowd, I was still only the young girl of yesterday, only a skater whose legs were heavy with fatigue and whose trembling hands hardly seemed able to hold up the enormous crystal cup that was presented to me. Nothing was different from yesterday. I had not changed my skin!"


Theresa Weld Blanchard called the event thusly: "The rink was well packed with a most enthusiastic crowd, and they cheered just as hard for the last girl as the first - not to mention expressing themselves violently when they did not think a judge had given sufficiently high marks. The girls made a very colourful picture warming up and I have seldom seen a collection of such nice looking young girls - many of them really extremely lovely... Of the middle eight - those on top in figures - Marlene Smith led off and looked lovely in a pale blue dress with sequins, simply cut with lovely lines; it was most becoming with her long blonde hair. She did extremely well. Sonya Klopfer came next; she wore her green chiffon, which must be her lucky dress for she skated as well as I have ever seen her... Sue Morrow wore a white chiffon dress, most striking, with beads on the sleeves and waist. She started very well but caught her toe, it seemed, and fell hard on her chest; she recovered well and got going again only to have another fall at the end, so her total performance was not up to her high standard. Valda Osborn wore a dark purply-red velvet with matching sequins on the skurt and little cap; she skated a nice program. Barbara Wyatt wore plain black and did very well... Jacqueline du Bief skates surely, lightly and gracefully, and is lovely to watch. She has some over-theatrical moves, but being French they seem appropriate. She has an artistic style bordering on the ballet... Ginny Baxter skated right after Jacqueline and did extremely well, with every jump and spin efficiently executed.. She wore her red dress which is so effective with its white underskirt and pants... The French spectators loved every minute of it and cheered and clapped each girl."

Left: Jacqueline du Bief. Right: Dick Button and Jacqueline du Bief. Photos courtesy "Skating" magazine.

Jacqueline du Bief's win came with first place marks from seven of the nine judges, including the American judge. The Italian judge voted for Ginny Baxter and the French judge tied Baxter and du Bief. Because she was only fifth in figures, Baxter had to settle for the bronze. The silver went to Sonya Dunfield, who had placed third in figures. Canada's three entries - Suzanne Morrow, Marlene Smith and Vevi Smith - placed fourth, seventh and tenth. Great Britain's top woman, Barbara Wyatt of Brighton, placed fifth, but received ordinals ranging from fourth to sixteenth in the free skate.

 

As it happened, Barbara Wyatt's wide-ranging marks in the free skate were nothing compared to the controversy surrounding Jacqueline du Bief's win in her home country. At the Olympics in Oslo, she'd skated brilliantly. In Paris, she had a fall on the double Lutz. Despite this, the German judge (Peter Gross) gave her a perfect mark of 6.0 for manner of performance. Dick Button recalled, "Out of a possible perfect score of six, he gave a six. Despite the fact that this skater had fallen down, he had given her a perfect score. Had he given it to her in contents, the judge could have justified himself by approving her music, the layout of her program and so forth. But to give a perfect mark for a 'performance' in which the skater fell down was just incredible; had the judge merely wished to place her first, he could have done so with almost any other mark by judging the others consistently with the standard he placed on her performance... The crowd was emotional, the judge was a German voting in Paris at a time when political tempers were flaring, and there was no adequate check on his action at that time. Whether or not there was any direct connection between these factors and that mark can be surmised by the reader as well as the writer, but it is interesting to note that the resulting criticism, although directed against that particular judge, also reflected the general dissatisfaction with the system of marking that permitted such an incident."

The closing banquet was scheduled for eleven thirty at night on the closing day of the competition, but it didn't even start until one in the morning. The Champagne Veuve Clicquot and Moët et Chandon had already been flowing for hours, which made the speeches particularly entertaining. The women were all given bottles of French perfume and everyone received a glass vase on a stand marked with 'Paris' and the date. At one point, the lights were dimmed and waiters brought in the pièce de résistance: a block of ice carved into the shape of a skate with lights inside, served with ice cream on the footplate of a real skate. It was a fabulous finale to a fabulous week of skating.

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating and archives hundreds of compelling features and interviews in a searchable format for readers worldwide. Though there never has been nor will there be a charge for access to these resources, you taking the time to 'like' the blog's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard would be so very much appreciated. Already 'liking'? Consider sharing this feature for others via social media. It would make all the difference in the blog reaching a wider audience. Have a question or comment regarding anything you have read here? Have a suggestion for a topic related to figure skating history you would like to see covered? I'd love to hear from you! Learn the many ways you can reach out at http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/p/contact.html.

Trailblazers: The First Skaters From Each Country To Compete At The World Championships

The Great Globe at Swanage on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, England. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

Over the years, the skating world has duly given great recognition to the men and women who made history at the World Figure Skating Championships. Ulrich Salchow, Sonja Henie and Irina Rodnina won an incredible ten World titles. In 1962, Donald Jackson became the first skater to land a triple Lutz at the Worlds in Prague. In 1978, Vern Taylor was the first man to land a triple Axel at the Worlds in Ottawa; eleven years later in Paris Midori Ito became the first woman to do so. Under IJS, history has been made by groundbreaking skaters like Yuzuru Hanyu, who became the first skater to earn over three hundred points and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the first ice dance team to receive a perfect 10.0 for program components. These milestones - and so, so many others - are part of the very fabric of our sport's rich history, but today I want to explore a part of skating history that has been sadly overlooked... the first skaters in each discipline to represent their country at the World Championships.

A couple of notes about this list:

- Skaters who withdrew either before or during the the World Championships are not included, but skaters who were eliminated mid-way due to a qualifying round, short program cut-off, etc. are.
- There are a lot (!) of firsts that are open to debate or have caveats, which are marked with a *, **, etc.
- The ice dance team who is slated to make history in Montpelier as the first from their country is included presumptively. Wondering who they are? Check out the listing for New Zealand! 

ARGENTINA

Horatio Tertuliano Torromé (1902)*

*Horatio Tertuliano Torromé actually represented Great Britain at the 1902 World Championships, but he represented Argentina in the 1908 Summer Olympic Games. Horatio was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to an Argentine mother and Brazilian father but emigrated to England during the Victorian era. If 'you count him', he was also the first South American skater to compete at the Worlds. Technically, the first skater to represent Argentina at Worlds was Denis Margalik in 2016, who was born in Buenos Aires to Ukrainian parents but lived and trained in Canada.

ARMENIA

Aramayis Grigorian (1996)
Julia Lebedeva (2000)
Maria Krasiltseva and Alexander Chestnikh (1997)
Kaho Koinuma and Tigran Arakekian (1995)

AUSTRALIA

Dunbar Poole (1911)*
Patricia Molony (1947)
Jacqueline Mason and Mervyn Bower (1952)
Liane Telling and Michael Fisher (1984)

*Dunbar Poole was born in Northern Ireland and emigrated to Australia during the Edwardian era. Though he had no Swedish roots whatsoever, he accept an invitation to represent the Stockholms Allmanna Skridskoklubb, which he held a membership with, at the World Championships in 1911. The first man to actually represent Australia was Melbourne's Reg Park in 1950.

AUSTRIA



Gustav Hügel (1896)
Jenny Herz (1906)
Helene Engelmann and Karl Mejstrik, Christa von Szabo and Leo Horwitz (1913)*
Ilse Reitmayer and Hans Kutschera, Paulin Haffner and Herbert Huber (1952)**

*Mizzi and Otto Bohatsch and Christa von Szabó and Gustav Euler represented Austria in the international pairs event held in conjunction with the 1903 World Championships.
**Helga Binder and Edwin Fuhrich, Pauline Haffner and Herbert Huber, Trude Letner and Rudolf Gregorin, Ilse Reitmayer and Willy Behringer represented Austria at the international ice dancing competition held at the 1951 World Championships.

AZERBAIJAN


Igor Lioutikov (1994)
Yulia Vorobieva (1994)
Natalia Krestianinova and Alexei Torchinski (1994)
Olga Pershankova and Nikolai Morozov (1994)

BELARUS

Alexander Murashko (1993)
Inna Ovsiannikova (1993)
Elena Grigoreva and Sergei Sheiko (1993)
Tatiana Navka and Samvel Gezalian (1993)

BELGIUM


Robert van Zeebroeck. Photo courtesy Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Robert van Zeebroeck (1926)
Yvonne de Ligne (1929)
Suzanne Diskeuve and Edmond Verbustel, Micheline Lannoy and Pierre Baugniet (1947)
Karen and Douglas Mankovich (1981)*

*Suzanne Gheldolf and Jacques Renard represented Belgium at the international ice dancing competition held at the 1951 World Championships.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Damjan Ostojič (2009)
Nina Bates (2004)
Ana Galitch and Andrei Griazev (2000)

BRAZIL

Kevin Alves (2009)
Stacey Perfetti (2009)

BULGARIA

Boyko Aleksiev (1986)
Petya Gavazova (1985)
Rumiana Spassova and Stanimir Todorov (2005)
Hristina Boyanova and Iavor Ivanov (1983)

CANADA

Montgomery 'Bud' Wilson. Photo courtesy City of Toronto Archives.

Montgomery 'Bud' Wilson (1928)
Constance Wilson (1928)
Maude Smith and Jack Eastwood (1928)
Lindis and Jeffery Johnston (1955)

CHINA

Wang Zhili (1980)
Liu Zhiying (1980)
Luan Bo and Yao Bin (1980)
Liu Luyang and Zhao Xiaolei (1985)

CHINESE TAIPEI

David Liu (1988)
Pauline Lee (1986)
Amanda and Darryl Sunyoto-Yang (2009)
Yucca Liu and Jim Sun (1988)

CROATIA

Tomislav Čižmešija (1992)
Željka Čižmešija (1992)
Amy Ireland and Michael Bahoric (2008)
Kamilla Szolnoki and Dejan Illes (2001)

CZECHOSLOVAKIA




Josef Slíva. Photo courtesy Czech National Museum.

Josef Slíva (1925)
Eva Nyklová, Zdenka Porgesova (1939)
Else and Oscar Hoppe (1925)
Eva Romanová and Pavel Roman (1962)

CZECH REPUBLIC


Jaroslav Suchý (1993)
Kateřina Beránková, Lenka Kulovaná (1994)
Radka Kovaříková and René Novotný (1994)
Radmila Chroboková and Milan Brzý (1993)

CYPRUS

Emilea Zingas (2021)

DENMARK

Per Cock-Clausen (1938)
Esther Bornstein (1934)
Kaetlyn Good and Nikolaj Sørensen (2010)

ESTONIA

Roman Martonenko (1993)
Olga Vassiljeva (1992)
Jekaterina Nekrassova and Valdis Mintals (1995)
Anna Mosenkova and Dmitri Kurakin (1994)

FINLAND


Anna-Lisa Allardt. Photo courtesy Sveriges Centralförening för Idrottens Främjande Archive.

Björnsson Schauman (1914)
Anna Lisa Allardt (1913)
Ludovika and Walter Jakobsson (1910)
Saila Saarinen and Kim Jacobson (1982)

FRANCE

Jean Henrion (1927)
Gaby Clericetti, Jeanine Garanger, Jacqueline Vaudecrane (1936)
Anita del Monte and Louis Magnus (1912)
Fanny Besson and Jean-Paul Guhel, Claude Weinstein and Claude Lambert (1955)

GEORGIA


Bessaron Tsintsadze (1993)
Elene Gedevanishvili (2006)
Evgenia Filonenko and Alexander Chestnikh (2000)
Tatiana Siniaver and Tornike Tukvadze (2003)

GERMANY*

Gilbert Fuchs (1896)
Elsa Rendschmidt (1906)
Anna Hübler and Heinrich Burger (1908)**
Jennifer Goolsbee and Hendryk Schamberger, Saskia Stahler and Sven Authorsen (1991)

*These skaters listed represented all represented a unified Germany. The first East German skaters to compete at Worlds were Bodo Bockenauer, Gaby Seyfert and Irene Müller and Hans-Georg Dallmer in 1962. The first East German pairs team at Worlds was Annerose Baier and Eberhard Rüger in 1965. The first West German skaters to compete at Worlds were Freimut Stein, Gundi Busch, Helga Dudzinski, Inge Jell, Erika Kraft, Ria Baran and Paul Falk, Inge Minor and Hermann Braun, Marlies Schrör and Hans Schwarz and 1951. The first West German dance team to compete at Worlds were
Sigrid Knake and Günther Koch in 1955.
**Hedwig (Müller) Weingartner and Martin Gordan represented Germany in the international pairs competition held in conjunction with the 1902 World Championships.

GREAT BRITAIN

Madge Syers

H. Charles Holt (1898)
Madge Syers (1902)*
Phyllis and James Henry Johnson (1908)**
Joan Dewhirst and John Slater, Jean Westwood and Lawrence Demmy (1952)***

*Madge Syers was the first British woman to compete at the World Championships, in the men's event in 1902. At the international women's competition held in conjunction with the 1905 World Championships, Great Britain was represented by Muriel Harrison, Mrs. Kellie and Bella McKinnan. At the 1906 International Championship For Ladies, later deemed by the ISU as the first official World Championships for women, the British representatives were Madge Syers and Dorothy Greenhough Smith.
**Madge and Edgar Syers represented Great Britain in the international pairs competition held in conjunction with the 1902 World Championships.
***Gladys Duddell and French Brewster won an informal waltzing competition held in conjunction with the 1902 World Championships. Julie and William Barrett, Joan Chessman and George Bellchamber and Sybil Cooke and Robert S. Hudson represented Great Britain at the international ice dancing competition held at the 1950 World Championships.

GREECE

Harris Halta (1993)
Lefki Terzaki (1994)
Elaine Asanakis and Mark Naylor (1992)
Christa-Elizabeth Goulakos and Eric Neumann-Aubichon (2007)

HOLLAND

Wouter Touledo (1963)
Alida Elisabeth Stoppelman (1951)
Daria Danilova and Michel Tsiba (2021)
Lydia Boon and Aadrian van Dam, Catharina and Jacobus Odink (1952)*

*Catharina and Jacobus Odink represented Holland at the international ice dancing competition held at the 1951 World Championships

HONG KONG

Cheukfai Lai (1985)
Shuk-Ching Ngai (1985)
Shuk-Ching Ngai and Kwokyung Mak (1985)

HUNGARY

Lili Kronberger. Photo courtesy Sveriges Centralförening för Idrottens Främjande Archive.

Andor Szende (1910)
Lili Kronberger (1906)*
Olga Orgonista and Sándor Szalay, Emília Rotter and László Szollás (1929)
Györgyi Korda and Pál Vásárhelyi (1962)

*Lili Kronberger also represented Sweden in the international women's event held in conjunction with the 1905 World Championships.

INDIA

Ami Parekh (2007)

IRELAND

Clara Peters (2009)

ISRAEL

Michael Shmerkin (1993)
Daria Zuravicky (2001)
Julia Shapiro and Vadim Akolzin (2004)
Tamara Ruby and Konstantin Kaplin (1993)

ITALY

Carlo Fassi (1949)
Fiorella Negro (1954)
Anna (Cattaneo) Dubini and Ercole Cattaneo (1937)
Bona Giammona and Giancarlo Sioli (1955)

JAPAN


Left: Kazuyoshi Oimatsu. Right: Etsuko Inada. Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine.

Ryuichi Obitani, Kazuyoshi Oimatsu (1932)
Etsuko Inada (1936)
Mieko Otwa and Yutaka Doke (1962)
Eiko Kaneko and Mikio Takeuchi (1962)

KAZAKHSTAN

Sergei Umirov (1993)
Jalina Kakadyl (1993)
Marina Khalturina and Andrei Kriukov (1994)
Elizaveta Stekolnikova and Dmitri Kazarlyga (1993)

LATVIA


Konstantin Kostin (1992)
Alma Lepina (1992)
Elena Berezhnaya and Oleg Shliakhov (1993)
Aliki Stergiadu and Juris Razgulaevs (1992)

LITHUANIA

Vaidotas Juraitis (1994)
Edita Katkauskaite (1992)
Goda Butkutė and Nikita Ermolaev (2016)
Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas (1992)

LUXEMBOURG

Paul Cechmanek (1975)
Anna Bernauer (2004)

MALAYSIA

Julian Zhi Jie Yee (2017)

MEXICO

Joaquin Guerrero (1988)
Diana Marcos (1988)
Laura and Luke Munana (2005)

MONACO


Kim Lucine (2011)
Mérovée Ephrem (2007)

NEW ZEALAND

Christopher Blong (1992)
Gay Le Comte (1976)
Charlotte Lafond-Fournier and Richard Kang In Kam* (2022)

*Janna Greene and Alan Wild were the first New Zealand ice dance team entered to compete at the World Championships in 1977, but had to withdraw due to illness.

NORTH KOREA

Kim Myo-sil (1979)
Ri Ji-hyang and Thae Won-hyok (2012)

NORWAY

Margot Moe. Photo courtesy Sveriges Centralförening för Idrottens Främjande Archive.

Oscar Holthe, Johan Peter Lefstad (1897)
Margot Moe (1922)
Mimi Grømer and Karl Erikson, Alexia Schøien and Yngvar Bryn (1909)

PHILIPPINES

Michael Dimalanta (2009)
Lauren Ko (2010)

POLAND

Alfred Hirv (1939)
Elżbieta Kościk (1963)
Zofia Bilorówna and Tadeusz Kowalski (1934)
Teresa Weyna and Piotr Bojańczyk (1971)

PUERTO RICO



Andrew Huertas (2009)
Victoria Muniz (2008)

ROMANIA

Max Bindea (1939)
Marta Chisu (1996)

RUSSIA*

Nicolai Poduskov, Georg Sanders (1896)
Xenia Caesar (1914)
A.L. Fischer and Lidia Popova (1908)
Oksana Grishuk and Evgeni Platov, Angelika Krylova and Vladimir Fedorov, Maya Usova and Alexander Zhulin (1993)

*These skaters listed represented all represented Russia. The first skaters from the Soviet Union to compete at Worlds were Lev Mikhailov, Igor Persiantsev and Valentin Zakharov, Ludmila Belousova and Oleg Protopopov and Nina and Stanislav Zhuk in 1958. The first women's singles skater from the Soviet Union to compete at Worlds was Tatiana Nemtsova in 1962. The first ice dance team from the Soviet Union to compete at Worlds was Lyudmila Pakhomova and Viktor Ryzhkin.

SERBIA*

Marina Seeh (2010)

*These skaters represented Serbia at the World Championships. Trifun Zivanovic and Ksenija Jastsenjski were the first skaters to represent the former Serbia and Montenegro in 2004.

SLOVAKIA


Rastislav Vnučko (1994)
Zaneta Stefanikova (1994)
Olga Beständigová and Jozef Beständig (1998)
Viera Poracova and Pavel Porac (1994)

SLOVENIA

Jan Čejvan (1993)
Mojca Kopač (1992)

SOUTH AFRICA


Dino Quattrocecere (1992)
Margaret Betts (1968)
Glenda and Brian O'Shea (1968)
Fiona Kirk and Clinton King (1992)

SOUTH KOREA

Han Soo-Bong (1977)
Chang Myung-Su (1972)
Choi Jung-hoo and Lee Yong-min (1992)
Park Kyung-sook and Han Seung-jong (1986)

SPAIN


Darío Villalba Flores (1956)
Gloria Mas (1979)
Laura Barquero and Aritz Maestu (2018)
Sara Hurtado and Adrià Díaz (2011)

SWEDEN


Ulrich Salchow. Photo courtesy Sveriges Centralförening för Idrottens Främjande Archive.

Thidolf Borgh, Hugo Carlson, Ulrich Salchow (1897)
Magda Mauroy, Svea Norén (1913)*
Valborg Lindahl and Nils Rosenius, Gertrud Ström and Richard Johansson (1909)**
Ulla Örnmarker and Thomas Svedberg (1982)

*Elna Montgomery, Helga Liljegren and Anna Hamilton represented Sweden in the international women's event held in conjunction with the 1905 World Championships.
**Emmy Sjöberg and Christian Soldan represented Sweden in the international pairs competition held in conjunction with the 1902 World Championships.

SWITZERLAND

Georges Gautschi (1925)
Angela Anderes (1937)
Pierette and Paul Du Bois (1938)
Albertina and Nigel Brown (1952)*

*Albertina and Nigel Brown represented Switzerland at the international ice dancing competition held at the 1951 World Championships

THAILAND

Charuda Upatham (1989)
Alisa Allapach and Peter Kongkasen (2006)

TURKEY

Emrah Polatoglu (1994)
Tuğba Karademir (2003)
Jenette Maitz and Alper Uçar (2010)

UKRAINE


Dmitri Dmitrenko (1993)
Oksana Baiul (1993)
Svetlana Pristav and Viacheslav Tkachenko (1993)
Irina Romanova and Igor Yaroshenko (1993)

UNITED STATES


Beatrix Loughran. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

Beatrix Loughran (1924)
Nathaniel Niles, Roger Turner (1928)
Beatrix Loughran and Sherwin Badger, Theresa Weld Blanchard and Nathaniel Niles (1928)
Carmel and Ed Bodel, Carol Ann Peters and Danny Ryan (1952)*

*Carmel and Ed Bodel, Irene Maguire and Walter Muehlbronner and Lois Waring and Michael McGean represented the U.S. at the international ice dancing competition held at the 1950 World Championships.

UZBEKISTAN

Roman Skorniakov (1997)
Tatiana Malinina (1993)
Nigora Karabaeva and Evgeny Sviridov (1994)
Aliki Stergiadu and Juris Razgulajevs (1993)

YUGOSLAVIA

Zoran Matas (1970)
Katjusa Derenda (1967)
Sylva Palme and Paul Schwab (1939)

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating and archives hundreds of compelling features and interviews in a searchable format for readers worldwide. Though there never has been nor will there be a charge for access to these resources, you taking the time to 'like' the blog's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard would be so very much appreciated. Already 'liking'? Consider sharing this feature for others via social media. It would make all the difference in the blog reaching a wider audience. Have a question or comment regarding anything you have read here? Have a suggestion for a topic related to figure skating history you would like to see covered? I'd love to hear from you! Learn the many ways you can reach out at http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/p/contact.html.