Champion figure skater and movie star, Sonja Henie was one of the most popular celebrities of the thirties. She practically defined modern figure skating, being the first to combine skating with dance choreography, and originating the short skirt and white skates look that is still very much in vogue today.
Born in Oslo, Norway, Miss Henie was only fifteen years old when she won her first world’s skating championship in 1927. She repeated this accomplishment for ten years straight, holding the rank of world’s champion in 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935 and 1936. She also took the Olympic Gold Medal in three consecutive Olympic Games: 1928, 1932 and 1936.
Come on in and take a look around at just some of the accomplishments of this amazing athlete and actress – the “First Lady of the Ice”, Miss Sonja Henie.
Sonja Henie Career Capsule
- Born April 8, 1912 in Oslo, Norway.
- Placed eighth in 1924 Olympic Games at the age of 12.
- World’s Champion skater in 1927, at the age of 15.
- World’s Champion skater for ten consecutive years from 1927 through 1936.
- Won Gold Medal in three consecutive Olympic Games, 1928, 1932
- Decorated with the Cross of the Knighthood of the first class of the Order of St. Olav, January 14, 1937.
- First to combine dance choreography with figure skating.
- Originated the short skirt and white skates costume.
- Formed Hollywood Ice Revue with which she toured the country in a series of ice shows from the late 1930s through the mid 1950s.
- Starred in 12 films.
- Accomplished skier, winning eighteen championships.
- Accomplished tennis player, winning three tennis championships; known in 1936 as the “Number Three” woman tennis player of Norway.
- Accomplished at horseback riding and swimming.
- Received over 500 awards and medals.
- Retired in 1960.
- Died of lukemia October 12, 1969.
- Autobiography Wings on My Feet published in 1940; biography Queen of Ice/Queen of Shadows, by Raymond Strait/Leif Henie, 1985.