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Leo Freisinger

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1
TypeCompeted 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(s) United States


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 Status Team Pos Representing 2nd NOC As
1936 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 500 metres, Men Olympic 3 Bronze USA Leo Freisinger
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 4
  5,000 metres, Men Olympic DNS
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic DNS