Leo Freisinger

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameLeonhard "Leo"•Freisinger
Used nameLeo•Freisinger
Born7 February 1916 in Chicago, Illinois (USA)
Died29 August 1985 in Mission Viejo, California (USA)
AffiliationsChicago CYO, Chicago (USA)
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1


The 1936 bronze medal was really the first major breakthrough for Leo Freisinger. Only 19 when he won the medal, his greatest years came after the Garmisch Olympics. In 1937 and 1938 he was U.S. National Indoor champion and in 1940 he was National and North American Outdoor champion. Also in 1938, at a meet in Davos, Switzerland, Freisinger broke the world record for 500 meters then held by the Norwegian, Hans Engnestangen. The record was not ratified because, skating in the next pair, Engnestangen beat Freisinger’s time to regain the record. Leo Freisinger was also selected to represent the United States in the 1940 Olympics – which were never held. For a speed skater, Freisinger had a very unusual career – he became a figure skater in professional ice shows, although he also did some barrel jumping. Freisinger was later head coach of the 1964 Olympic speed skating team.

Personal Bests: 500 – 41.9 (1938); 1500 – 2:18.9 (1938); 5000 – 8:41.4 (1938).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1936 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) USA Leo Freisinger
500 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 4
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS