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Famous Ice Skaters

Get Dazzled By These Famous Ice Skaters and Their Achievements

The world-class figure skaters of the past and present have graced this sport, and entertained one and all. Let's get dazzled by the achievements and glories of the world's best ice skaters.
ThrillSpire Staff
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2018
Ice skating is a major and popular winter sport. The sport is supposedly 4000 years old; however, it came into prominence in the 13th and 14th century. It has gone through various transformations, and from being an activity meant for leisure, it has gone on to become a winter sport. Apart from being a competitive sport, it is also a "show business", wherein, various top-performing skaters display their skills for the audience in an exhibition.
The American skater Jackson Haines introduced some new techniques in the mid-1860s, which paved the way for the contemporary skating style. Therefore, he is considered as the "father of modern figure skating". Like in every other field, there are some personalities who have enthralled us with their stellar performances.
Let us know more about these legends of ice skating.
Michelle Kwan
Born On: July 7, 1980
Country: U.S.A.
Achievements: 5 World Championship titles, 1 silver and 1 bronze Olympic medals
Olympic Representation: 1998 and 2002
Michelle Wingshan Kwan is an American figure skater who was born in California. She is regarded as one of the greatest skaters ever. She has won the World Championship five times - 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2003. In the 1998 Olympic games, she narrowly missed the gold medal and ended up with silver, while in 2002 she earned the bronze medal. Due to constant injuries, she did not participate in the next Olympics, and called it quits. Her popularity made her a television celebrity, and she also featured in the movie "Ice Princess", as an announcer alongside fellow figure skater, Brian Boitano.
Ekaterina Gordeeva
Born On: May 28, 1971
Country: Russia
Achievements: 4 World Championship titles in pair skating, 2 Olympic gold medals in pair skating
Olympic Representation: 1988 and 1994
Ekaterina "Katia" Alexandrovna Gordeeva is a Russian figure skater born in Moscow. She is remembered for her grace, elegance, and courage that she displayed on ice. When she was aged 10, her coach paired her with "Sergei Grinkov", who at that time was a 14-year old boy. But soon this pair started to create ripples in the world of figure skating. Eventually, they won an Olympic gold medal in pair skating, both in 1988 and 1994, and won the World Championship in pair skating four times. Their chemistry on the ice soon turned into romance and in April 1991, they got married. Tragically, the magic weaved by this pair around the world ended, with the sudden death of her partner and husband, Grinkov due to a heart attack. From that time, she has not participated in Olympics and World Championship, and has taken up solo figure skating as a job.
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Brian Boitano
Born On: October 22, 1963
Country: U.S.A.
Achievements: 2 World Championship titles and 1 Olympic gold medal
Olympic Representation: 1988
Brian Boitano is an American figure skater born in Mountain View, California. He is a four-time US national champion, two-time World Champion (in 1986 and 1988), and the 1988 Olympic gold medalist. Boitano was the first American skater to land a triple axle. He was also the first skater to attempt a quadruple jump in a competition. Brian's signature jump was the Tano triple lutz where he raised his left arm above his head. In 1996, Brian was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
Oksana Baiul
Born On: November 16, 1977
Country: Ukraine
Achievements: 1 World Championship title, and 1 Olympic gold medal
Olympic Representation: 1994
Oksana Baiul, a Ukrainian professional figure skater, was born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. She won the 1993 World Figure Skating Championship at the age of 15. Oksana is a 1994 Olympic champion as well. After her success at the 1994 Olympics, Oksana was plagued with injuries, which forced her to get an arthroscopic knee surgery done. Following her professional and personal problems, Oksana turned to alcohol and in 1997, Baiul was arrested after intoxication caused her to crash her car. Oksana eventually entered a rehab program. Since then, she has continued to skate professionally from time to time, including an engagement with the touring show "Broadway on Ice".
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Sonja Henie
Born On: April 8, 1912
Country: Norway
Achievements: 10 World Championship titles, 3 Olympic gold medals
Olympic Representation: 1924, 1928, 1932 and 1936
Sonja Henie was a Norwegian figure skater. Sonja won three Olympic gold medals - in 1928, 1932, and 1936. Apart from that she is a ten-time World Champion (from 1927-1936). She holds the record for the highest Olympic and World titles among the lady figure skaters. She also went on to become a successful film actress after debuting in "One in a Million". At her peak, Sonja was one of the highest paid film stars of Hollywood. In the mid-1960s, she was diagnosed with leukemia, which took her life at the age of 57.
Katarina Witt
Born On: December 3, 1965
Country: Germany
Achievements: 4 World Championship titles, 2 Olympic gold medals
Olympic Representation: 1984, 1988 and 1994
Katarina Witt, a German figure skater, was born in Karl-Marx-Stadt, Germany. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (1984, 1988) and a four-time World Champion - in 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988. She is also a well-known model in Germany. The audiences were always in praise for her beauty, elegance, and grace as much as for her skating skills. Currently, she has her own TV show named "Stars auf Eis" (Stars on Ice), which is aired on the German TV station, ProSieben. On December 3, 2011, Katarina was declared to be the judge of the hit TV show of UK, "Dancing On Ice".
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Peggy Fleming
Born On: July 27, 1948
Country: U.S.A.
Achievements: 3 World Championship titles and 1 Olympic gold medal
Olympic Representation: 1964 and 1968
Peggy Gail Fleming, an American figure skater, was born in San Jose, California. She won a gold medal in the 1968 Olympics, along with five U.S. titles and three World titles (1966, 1967, 1968). In 1998, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she eventually overcame by radiation therapy. Since then, she has been campaigning for all the health-related issues. She is also a television commentator for figure skating for the past 20 years. Fleming has featured in the movie, "Blades of Glory", as a judge.
Kristi Yamaguchi
Born On: July 12, 1971
Country: U.S.A.
Achievements: 2 World Championship titles and 1 Olympic gold medal
Olympic Representation: 1992
Kristine Tsuya "Kristi" Yamaguchi is an American figure skater, born in Hayward, California. She won an Olympic gold medal in 1992, and has won two World Championships - in 1991, and 1992. Kristi has been inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2005. She was also the celebrity champion in the 6th edition of the reality show "Dancing with the Stars". She is the founder of the "Always Dream" foundation for children, aimed at providing funds for their after-school activities like computers, summer camps, etc.
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Brian Orser
Born On: December 18, 1961
Country: Canada
Achievements: 1 World Championship title and 2 Olympic silver medals
Olympic Representation: 1984 and 1988
Brian Ernest Orser is a Canadian figure skater, who was born in Belleville, Ontario. He is the most celebrated figure skater in the history of Canada, with two Olympic silver medals (1984 and 1988), and added a World title in 1987 to his name. He has been inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2009. He was known as "Mr. Triple Axel" due to the fact that he was the first man to land the triple axel at the Olympics. In 1998, Orser was sued by his ex-boyfriend for palimony, because of which he feared that his sexual orientation of being a homosexual would ruin his career. However, he received ample support from his fellow skaters and public.
Midori Ito
Born On: August 13, 1969
Country: Japan
Achievements: 1 World Championship title and 1 Olympic silver medal
Olympic Representation: 1988 and 1992
Midori Ito is a former Japanese figure skater who was born in Nagoya, Japan. She was a 1992 Olympic silver medalist, and the World Champion in 1989. She is the first woman to land a triple axel and triple jump combination in competition. Midori is regarded as the greatest female jumper in the history, and technically, she was way ahead of her time. She was also the first Asian figure skater to win the World Championship and the first woman to land seven triple jumps in a free program, in the 1988 Olympics.
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Mao Asada
Born On: September 25, 1990
Country: Japan
Achievements: 1 World Championship title and 1 Olympic silver medal
Olympic Representation: 2010
Mao Asada is a Japanese figure skater born in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. Mao is the two-time (2007 and 2008) Japanese national champion, and won the 2008 World Championship in Gothenburg. She became the first lady to land two triple axles during a free skate program at the 2005 Japanese National Figure Skating Championship. At present, she is ranked first in the world. Her signature move which has made her popular is the "cross-grab Biellmann" position. She is a very popular figure in Japan, and has done many TV shows and commercials. Mao is also a huge fan of Japanese pop star "Ayumi Hamasaki".
Sarah Hughes
Born On: May 2, 1985
Country: U.S.A.
Achievements: 1 Olympic gold medal
Olympic Representation: 2002
Sarah Elizabeth Hughes is an American figure skater born in Great Neck, New York. She has won a gold medal in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. In this very competition, she set a world record of landing seven triple jumps, which eventually made her the Champion in these games. She has appeared in the commercials of General Electric, campaigning for breast cancer awareness and research. Sarah is one of the few celebrities to have appeared on the cover page of the "Time Magazine".
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Scott Hamilton
Born On: August 28, 1958
Country: U.S.A.
Achievements: 4 World Championship titles and 1 Olympic gold medal
Olympic Representation: 1980 and 1984
Scott Scovell Hamilton is an American figure skater. He achieved a tremendous feat by winning the U.S. Championships four times in a row - from 1981-1984 - and four consecutive World Championships in the same period. Hamilton also won the Olympic gold medal in 1984, to add to his tally of accomplishments. His signature move was a "backflip". He is a popular television personality, and is also a TV skating analyst. At present, he serves on the Board of Directors of Special Olympics International.
Stéphane Lambiel
Born On: April 2, 1985
Country: Switzerland
Achievements: 2 World Championship titles and 1 Olympic silver medal
Olympic Representation: 2006 & 2010
Stéphane Lambiel is a Swiss figure skater born in Saxon, Switzerland. He is the 2006 Olympic silver medalist and is a nine-time Swiss national champion. Also, Lambiel won the World Championship twice in a row - 2005 and 2006. He is popular for his spinning moves on the ice, and has given rise to some famous spin positions. Apart from being a figure skater, he is also a well-known choreographer in his country. He announced his retirement from competitive skating in March 2010.
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Dorothy Hamill
Born On: July 26, 1956
Country: U.S.A.
Achievements: 1 World Championship title and 1 Olympic gold medal
Olympic Representation: 1976
Dorothy Hamill is an American figure skater born in Chicago, Illinois. This "American Sweetheart", was a 1976 Olympic gold medalist, and a World Champion in the same year. She is known for her spins, and is credited with the introduction of a new move called "Camel Spin", which later on became famous as the "Hamill camel". In the year 2007, she published her autobiography "A Skating Life: My Story". Her bobbed hairstyle became a fashion statement for the youngsters.
Nancy Kerrigan
Born On: October 13, 1969
Country: U.S.A.
Achievements: 1 silver and 1 bronze Olympic medals
Olympic Representation: 1992 and 1994
Nancy Ann Kerrigan is an American figure skater, born in Woburn, Massachusetts. She is a 1993 U.S. champion, and has won bronze and silver Olympic medals in 1992 and 1994, respectively. Seven weeks before the start of the 1994 Winter Olympics, Kerrigan was attacked by Shane Stant on her right knee. The assault was planned by rival Tonya Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, and friend Shawn Eckardt. But credit to her determination, she secured a silver medal in the 1994 Winter Olympics. This was described by Kerrigan as one of her two best performances ever.
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Debi Thomas
Born On: 25 March, 1967
Country: U.S.A.
Achievements: 1 World Championship title and 1 Olympic bronze medal
Olympic Representation: 1988
Debra Janine "Debi" Thomas is an American figure skater, born in Poughkeepsie, New York. By winning the 1988 Olympic bronze medal, she became the first African-American to win a medal in any Winter Olympics. She also won the U.S. national championship in 1986. After a successful figure skating career, she went back to school to become an orthopedic surgeon, which she successfully accomplished in the year 2005, when she graduated from Orthopedic Residency Program at Charles R. Drew University in Los Angeles.
Yuna Kim
Born On: September 5, 1990
Country: South Korea
Achievements: 1 World Championship title and 1 Olympic gold medal
Olympic Representation: 2010
Yuna Kim is a South Korean figure skater and 2010 Olympic Gold medalist. She was born in Bucheon, Gyeonggi. She is the first South Korean to win medals at an ISU Junior or Senior Grand Prix event, and Olympic games. Yuna is also credited for being the first female skater to win the Olympic Games, the World Championships, the Four Continents Championships, and the Grand Prix Final. Her signature move is the "bent-leg layover camel spin", which she used since 2004. This move is now famously known as the "Yuna spin" or "Yuna camel".
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John Curry
Born On: September 9, 1949
Country: United Kingdom
Achievements: 1 World Championship title and 1 Olympic gold medal
Olympic Representation: 1972 and 1976
John Anthony Curry was a British figure skater who won the Olympic gold medal in 1976, and the World Championship in the same year. He was born in Birmingham, England. He became famous for his skating style, as he mixed ballet and modern dancing into it. Sadly, in 1987, he was diagnosed with HIV, which later on resulted in him being plagued with AIDS. He breathed his last on April 15, 1994 in Binton, due to an AIDS-related heart attack.
Tonya Harding
Born On: November 12, 1970
Country: U.S.A.
Achievements: 1 World Championship silver medal
Olympic Representation: 1992 and 1994
Tonya Maxene Harding is an American figure skater and a 1991 U.S. national champion. She was born in Portland, Oregon. Harding came second in the World Championship of 1991. She is the first American woman to complete a triple axel jump in a competition. But soon her career took a downward spiral, when she was implicated in the assault on fellow competitor, Nancy Kerrigan. As a result of this, Harding was stripped of her title, and banned from competing in the U.S. for life.
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These figure skaters have dominated the sport by defining the winning spirit, and have created a name for themselves. After having finished their competitive careers, they become professionals in this sport, whereby, they perform various ice shows by going places. In this manner, they pave the way for the young athletes, to compete at the international level competitions like the Olympics, World Championships, and National Championships.
Girl Skating On Ice
Young Female Figure Skater Performing
Skating On Natural Ice
Female Ice Skater In Red Dress
Ice Skating Girl
Ice Skating Frozen Lake
Woman Legs In White Ice Skates
Male Athlete Speed Skating
Figure Skater Holds A Pose
Attractive Female Ice Skating
Skater