Charles de Ligne

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameCharles•de Ligne
Used nameCharles•de Ligne
Born12 September 1895
Died14 November 1944 in Sint-Genesius-Rode (BEL)
NOC Belgium


Charles de Ligne’s speed skating appearance at age 40 in the 1936 Olympics is only notable because he is, by a wide margin, the slowest speed skater ever to appear at the Games. Earlier, De Ligne had been a decorated officer in World War I, and had done well for himself in business in the years thereafter. He was married to figure skater Yvonne de Ligne, who competed in two Olympics. During World War II, De Ligne became a member of the Belgian underground, helping downed Allied pilots return to England.

In 1944, he discovered his wife was having an affair with a younger man. After throwing the man out of his house, his wife decided to kill him, luring him to their countryside hideout. She had hired a killer to come there as well, having told him that her husband had become a collaborator. Killed by German bullets, it was initially thought Charles de Ligne had been killed by the Gestapo, but the truth was revealed in 1945. Yvonne de Ligne was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, of which she only served 6 due to illness.

Personal Bests: 500 – 1:04.9 (1936); 1500 – 3:21.9 (1936); 5000 – unknown; 10000 – 23:32.9 (1936).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1936 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) BEL Charles de Ligne
500 metres, Men (Olympic) 35
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 37
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) DQ
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 28

Olympic family relations

Special Notes