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John Nicks

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn Allen Wisden•Nicks
Used nameJohn•Nicks
Born22 April 1929 in Brighton, Brighton and Hove, England (GBR)
AffiliationsBrighton Sports Stadium/Queens Ice Dance Club London
NOC Great Britain


With two parents who were well-known Sussex track athletes, it was little surprise that John Nicks, and his younger sister Jennifer, would both follow a successful sporting career. Their sporting links were further re-enforced by the fact that they were the great-great nephew and niece of 19th century cricketer John Wisden, founder of the famous Wisden Cricket Almanac. One of John’s forenames is that of his famous ancestor.

It was soon after the ice rink opened near their Brighton home, where their parents ran a sports shop called “Wisdens”, that the siblings took to the ice, and both showed individual skills, with John winning the British junior title in 1947 (having been runner-up the previous year), and Jennifer finishing third in the girls’ event. It was as a pair, however, that they gained their greatest success and, under the guidance of Gladys Hogg at the Queen’s Ice Club in London, they won six consecutive British Pairs titles 1948-53, during which time John also served two years National Service (1948-50) with, firstly, the Royal Sussex Regiment and then the Royal Middlesex Regiment.

They competed in their first major international event at the 1947 European Championships, finishing sixth, and the following year made their début at the World Championships. They won their only world title in 1953, having finished second in 1950 and third in 1951 and 1952. When they won at Davos in 1953, they were the first British winners of the title since Phyllis and James Johnson in 1912. They were also European champions in 1953, after two previous thirds (1950 and 1951), and a second in 1952.

After their double triumph in 1953, they turned professional in July that year and appeared in ice shows all over the world. John later became a skating trainer and moved to Los Angeles in 1961. Some of his star pupils included Peggy Fleming, Tiffany Chin, Sasha Cohen, and world pairs champions Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner. Nicks was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2000.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Winter Olympics Figure Skating (Skating) GBR John Nicks
Pairs, Mixed (Olympic) Jennifer Nicks 8
1952 Winter Olympics Figure Skating (Skating) GBR John Nicks
Pairs, Mixed (Olympic) Jennifer Nicks 4

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1952 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony GBR John Nicks

Olympic family relations

Special Notes