Remembering Laurence Owen
Here is the first skater I remember .......
Check the little caption "America's most exciting GIRL skater.
Before Peggy or Janet or Dorothy - she would have been have the first skating "girl" to capture the American public's hearts. More "it" factor than Tenley and Carol combined.
Last edited by Mathman; 06-17-2009 at 02:37 PM.
Thank you Janetfan for the article on Laurence Owen. I was very young and skating at the Detroit Skating Club in 1961. All we little girls knew who she was and wanted to be just like her. She had a very fresh and different look from the stiff hair,formal makeup and structured costumes of the time. More than one of us took her picture to the hairdresser and said "Copy this!" and little pixies popped up all over town.
She had the same spirit as Janet Lynn a few years later and I always felt that her loss was a loss to the world as well as to figure skating.
Thanks for sharing that memory Tricia. My older sister was 12 back in '61 and she had done some skating. She idolized "Laurie" and had seen her skate Live.
Originally Posted by tricia90
I remember the day she came home with her new pixie haircut. It was cute and she was so happy that she thought about getting back to skating again. A few weeks later the plane went down and my sister was so sad and never did skate again.
I think you are right about Janet. She had many similarities to Laurence from skating style to the natural charisma.
Yikes Laurence Owen was a horrible example of the SI curse :( That is a beautiful photograph though She was such a lovely looking young woman and a fab skater. I don't think I would have ever recovered over the loss of the whole world team!!
Last edited by Mathman; 06-17-2009 at 02:40 PM.
Originally Posted by tarotx
Yes, it is hard to imagine such a thing and it really was devastating to US skating and our entire skating community.
This was in 1961, a year after the Squaw Valley Olympics. There was a changing of the guard as most of our established skaters had retired or turned pro. Heading to Prague were all of our young new champions and national medalists along with many of our best coaches. It was a loss that took close to a decade to overcome and emotionally the scars lasted longer.
Sometimes I think the newer generation of skating fans fails to recognize how important and beloved a champion Peggy Fleming was. Many of us first saw her in 1964 - a young, 15 year old girl, full of promise but still unpolished. Needless to say US Skating was rebuilding in those years and as 1968 approached, for the first time in eight years we had high hopes for our new National Champion to win the Olympic Gold Medal. Peggy did not disappoint us and the fact that she was not from an elite family - she skated in home made dresses sewn by her mother - only served to further endear her in the hearts of the American public.
Peggy went on to also win Wolrds later that season and then retired from competitive skating to turn professional.
(US Nationals - 1964 Peggy Fleming)
Back in 1961 we suffered a terrible loss but like most things the wounds were healed in time. I will always have a special place in my heart for Peggy for helping to bring back US Skating. Janet Lynn was to follow Peggy as our next Ice Queen and although she never won the OGM or WC she was adored by most of the American and International skating community.
Last edited by janetfan; 06-19-2009 at 08:08 PM.
Thank you! That is one of the best articles I have ever read.
Originally Posted by janetfan
I'm grateful to anyone who has shared reminiscences in this thread.
Last edited by skatesindreams; 06-18-2009 at 02:04 PM.
~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
Aha, I knew there had to be a Canadian connection. Nice article. I always like to read articles about skaters who played a part in figure skating history - especially from the "old school of figure skating." It's like everything - even figure skating is not the same as it used to be. I miss the good old days....