Laurie Owen

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameLaurence Rochon "Laurie"•Owen
Used nameLaurie•Owen
Born9 May 1944 in Berkeley, California (USA)
Died15 February 1961 in Berg-Kampenhout (BEL)
AffiliationsSkating Club of Boston, Boston (USA)
NOC United States


She was supposed to be America’s next figure skating queen, following Carol Heiss and Tenley Albright. She was supposed to get on that plane to Prague and defeat the Netherlands’ Sjoukje Dijkstra and win the World Championship. She was supposed to win the 1964 Olympic gold medal, and then go to Radcliffe, like her mother, and become a writer. But for Laurie Owen, she would never get to see Prague, nor Radcliffe, and she left us no words. After competing at the 1960 Winter Olympics when only 15-years-old, and placing sixth, trailing Heiss and Dijkstra, who won the gold and silver medal, Owen won the 1961 US National Championship and the 1961 North American Championship. The daughter of Maribel Vinson Owen, and the sister of Maribel Owen, she was from figure skating royalty, and her ascension to the top step of the figure skating podium seemed, to the United States, at least, a sure thing. But Owen lost her life on 15 February 1961, along with her mother and sister, in the crash of Sabena 548, which fell near Brussels, while the entire US Figure Skating team was traveling to the 1961 World Championships in Prague. The World Championships were cancelled. Laurie Owen is interred in the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, next to her mother and sister.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1960 Winter Olympics Figure Skating (Skating) USA Laurie Owen
Singles, Women (Olympic) 6

Olympic family relations

Special Notes