Ája Vrzáňová

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameAlena "Ája"•Vrzáňová (-Zanová, -Steindler)
Used nameÁja•Vrzáňová
Other namesAja Zane
Born16 May 1931 in Praha (Prague) (CZE)
Died30 July 2015
AffiliationsUSK Praha, Praha (CZE)
NOC Czechoslovakia
Nationality Czechia


Ája Vrzáňová was the first great Czechoslovakian figure skater, preceeding Hana Mašková, although from 1946-50 she trained in London at the Richmond Ice Rink. Vrzáňová placed fifth at the 1948 Winter Olympics, and was third that year at the European Championships. In 1949 she placed second at the Europeans, but won the World Championship, followed by her winning both titles in 1950. Vrzáňová was known for her jumping ability and was the first female to successfully land a double Lutz in competition.

After her triumphant year of 1950, Vrzáňová moved to the United States where she was able to perform with the Ice Follies for three years, followed by 13 years skating with the Ice Capades. In order to do this she had to seek political asylum in the United Kingdom, and leave from there for America. In 1969 she married Paul Steindler, a Czech-American, and they opened a restaurant in New York, which was popular with other well-known Czech-Americans, including Milos Forman and Martina Navratilová.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1948 Winter Olympics Figure Skating (Skating) TCH CZE Ája Vrzáňová
Singles, Women (Olympic) 5

Special Notes