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Charlie Gorman

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameCharles Ingraham "Charlie"•Gorman
Used nameCharlie•Gorman
Nick/petnamesThe Man with the Million Dollar Legs
Born6 July 1897 in Saint John, New Brunswick (CAN)
Died11 February 1940 in Saint John, New Brunswick (CAN)
Measurements171 cm
AffiliationsSaint John
NOC Canada

Biography

The first winter Olympian from the Canadian province of New Brunswick, Charlie Gorman was a speed skater from a young age, winning the Canadian Maritime championships in 1912 at the age of only 15. His career was placed in jeopardy when he received a shrapnel wound in his leg serving as a machine gunner in World War I, and doctors told him that he could never compete again. Nevertheless he continued to train and, in 1923, he placed joint-second at the United States national speed skating championship. The following year he represented Canada at the 1924 Winter Olympics in the 500, 1000, 5000 m and allround events, but never placed higher than seventh. It was nevertheless a successful year for him, however, as he won the United States national and world championships within the span of two weeks. He lost these titles in 1925, but regained the latter the following year by defeating five-time Olympic champion Clas Thunberg. He participated in the 1928 Winter Olympics, in the 500, 1500, and 5000 m events, but again failed to place higher than seventh and retired from active competition later that year, still holding seven world records and numerous North American ones as well. He then owned and operated gas stations in Saint John, New Brunswick prior to his death in 1940, at the age of 42, from a skin disease. His funeral procession was attended by thousands, but he was buried under a simple footstone with the name ‘Charlie’ written on it. He was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1955 and the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1970. The city erected a stone in the 1960s and named the Charlie Gorman Arena in his honor, but it was not until 2010 that funds were raised for a proper memorial and gravestone for the local and international legend.

Personal Bests: 500 – 43.9 (1928); 1500 – 2:28.4 (1928); 5000 – unknown.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1924 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) CAN Charlie Gorman
500 metres, Men (Olympic) 7
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 11
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) AC
Allround, Men (Olympic) AC
1928 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) CAN Charlie Gorman
500 metres, Men (Olympic) 7
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 12
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS