Distinguished Women of Past and Present

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Sonja Henie

1912-1969
From: Norway
Fields: Sports, Stage and Screen
Key Words/Phrases: figure skater, Olympic and World champion, film star
 
Henie, Sonja (1912-69), Norwegian figure skater and movie actress who helped increase the popularity of competitive figure skating. She won the gold medal for figure skating at the 1928, 1932, and 1936 Winter Olympics. Born in Oslo, Norway, Henie started skating and dancing as a child. She pioneered the use of modern costumes and choreography in figure skating. She won the Norwegian championships in 1923 and in 1924 competed in the Winter Olympics. In 1927 she won the first of ten consecutive world championships, and in 1928 won her first Olympic gold medal at Saint Moritz, Switzerland. Dominating amateur women's figure skating, she took her third Olympic gold medal at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, in 1936. Henie turned professional in the United States in 1936 and became the star of a touring ice show. She performed in popular and critically acclaimed ice shows into the 1950s. She also signed a movie contract and subsequently made a number of successful films, which often featured her skating. Later in her career she made ice skating specials for television.

"Henie, Sonja" Microsoft Encarta.
Copyright 1995 Microsoft Corporation.


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