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Sonja Henie

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 3
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 3
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexFemale
Full nameSonja•Henie (-Topping, -Gardiner, -Onstad)
Used nameSonja•Henie
Born8 April 1912 in Oslo (NOR)
Died12 October 1969 in Oslo (NOR)
Measurements155 cm / 45 kg
AffiliationsOslo SK, Oslo (NOR)
NOC(s) Norway

Biography

Sonja Henie was the first superstar of women’s figure skating, winning three Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932, and 1936. She made her Olympic début in 1924 when only an 11-year-old. She finished last in a field of eight but improved to fifth a few weeks later at the 1924 World Championship. Henie finished second at the 1926 World Championships to Austria’s Herma Plank-Szabo, but she then won the championship for the next ten years consecutively. She did more to popularize figure skating than any other individual. Henie turned professional in 1936 and soon amassed a fortune. Her flair for showmanship ensured the success of the ten feature films she made in Hollywood and accelerated the public awareness of ice skating as a sport. She toured the world with spectacular ice reviews achieving great popularity, particularly in the USA. She was initially idolized in her native Norway, but had some image problems after World War II when she was perceived to be a Nazi sympathizer who failed to support war relief efforts in Norway. Henie married three times, all to very wealthy men, and her own earnings from ice shows made her one of the richest athletes ever. She later suffered from leukemia and died during a flight from Paris to Oslo where she was flying to visit a specialist.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1924 Winter Olympics Figure Skating (Skating) Singles, Women Olympic 8 Representing Norway    
1928 Winter Olympics Figure Skating (Skating) Singles, Women Olympic 1 Gold Representing Norway    
1932 Winter Olympics Figure Skating (Skating) Singles, Women Olympic 1 Gold Representing Norway    
1936 Winter Olympics Figure Skating (Skating) Singles, Women Olympic 1 Gold Representing Norway    

Olympic family relations

Special Notes