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Thread: Sonja Henie mentioned on BIOGRAPHY'S Celebrity Ghost Stories

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    Sonja Henie mentioned on BIOGRAPHY'S Celebrity Ghost Stories

    Just watched this tonight on the BIO channel, which I try to watch every Saturday night when I'm home.

    Anyhow, I didn't expect this at all, and I'm a big Sonja Henie fan! Didn't catch all of it (hopefully it will be shown again in the future).

    Actress Connie Stevens was relaying her ghost story experience, something about looking for a home to live in, and she & her two little girls came across a massive old Hollywood mansion up for sale. Fascinated by it, they went inside, it was HUMONGOUS!!!! Little carved norwegian cherubs adorned the fireplace (like this one from the movie "The Haunting" http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV...475_SY396_.jpg). And there was a huge spiral staircase leading upstairs, et al. They loved it, but Connie knew that she couldn't afford something that massive, saying she was a working actress and didn't have that kind of money, no matter how hard she worked. So she was getting ready to call the girls down from upstairs when out of the blue came this Viking-looking man with a voice to match his appearance! He said the home was built for children, and was she interested in purchasing it. Lol, after her scare, Connie realized this person was Sonja Henie's late husband, and she told him truthfully she couldn't afford it. So he asked her "how much can you afford", and she replied in kind. And tada he let her have it for a steal! That's when things got interesting.

    After she & her little girls moved in, she started to hear the sounds of someone walking around upstairs in the attic, so the next day she went upstairs to investigate, only to find the most incredibly beautiful old drawings/paintings on the wall of little norwegian children playing & having fun, and lo & behold she found the old remains of an ice skating rink upstairs!!!!! She said it was an insight into Sonja's soul ~ childlike ~ and having a love of children, of which she never had any of her own. So out of respect to Sonja's memory, Connie turned that room into a roller skating rink for her two little girls. And Connie still lives there (of course her two daughters have long grown up & left the nest many many years ago). But the spirit of Sonja still lives on, occassionally turning on the attic lights, especially when Connie has guests over for parties outside, etc. Even visiting Connie herself once when she was asleep in her bed, but it was a welcoming presence. All in all I found it fascinating & a good ghost story.

    p.s. just sad I've been unable to find pics of the house on the 'net. It looked grand. (:^)

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    It's on again now! 10:39PM PST. DirectTv Channel 266 BIO.

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    Okay, I think I got it right this time, as I watched the whole thing (it was only about 30 minutes long give or take 5 minutes here & there for commercials).

    Sonja died in 1969 of leukemia, survived by her late husband Niels Onstad at the time, and the house she specially designed herself to her specifications (including the ice rink upstairs in the attic) was left empty for 4 years, until her Mr. Onstad sold it to Connie Stevens around 1973. And it was Connie's real estate agent that showed her the house. Also, the lovely cherubs were located in Sonja's room, where Connie's girls were playing, calling it a room "for a princess). And the lovely norwegian drawings on the wall upstairs in the attic were from a Norwegian fairytale of a little boy & girl, which encircled the entire room in a circle, to go along with the ice rink. (:^) Everything else was pretty much the same except the time frame ~ Connie first heard music, slamming of a window upstairs, loud footsteps, et al ~ but she didn't investigate the upstairs for two months, not the next day, lol. Anyhow, I loved it, being a longtime Sonja Henie fan it was a joy to listen to Connie relate her story. I hope other Sonja fans get to watch it as well.

    GOOOOOOOOOOO SONJA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Sonja's been on my mind since last night's viewing (even had a dream about it!), so of course today I went in search of more info.

    Here's what I found, for those interested:

    1.) the Biography site where one can watch past episodes in their entirety (Connie's story is not on there yet because it was the season finale) ~ http://www.biography.com/video.do?na...tyghoststories

    2.) the house was built in 1939, at the height of Sonja's fame, by renown Old Hollywood architect Paul Williams (think of the movie "Sunset Boulevard" and you'll get a good idea of what it looks like), situated at the renown Delfern Drive (ironically across the street from the real Sunset Boulevard), specifically 243 Delfern Drive ~ http://www.trulia.com/homes/Californ...geles-CA-90077

    3.) Connie Stevens actually purchased it in 1974 for $250,000 (a literal steal; most would kill to live in that section of Old Hollywood where the houses are mammoth-sized & built to last!!!!) from Sonja's late husband, Niels Onstad ~ http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-59570356.html

    4.) the house has a grand history, mentioned in detail by Connie Stevens in this 4-page article done by Movieline in 1990 ~ http://www.movieline.com/1990/10/con...-the-house.php

    5.) Connie has since added on two townhouses to the property where her daughters & grandchilden live, as well as a recording studio/rehearsal hall ~ http://articles.latimes.com/1993-05-...family-retreat


    Lol, I'm so fascinated by the house not only because Sonja Henie once lived there, but also because I love Old Hollywood, and stories about it (Tracy Nelson's ghost story about Erroll Flynn's house ties with Connie Stevens as my favorites). I just wish that Connie would have allowed a glimpse into what it really looks like, because obviously the Biography special did not show the real house, only a recreation. From her description, the real thing must be a sight to behold! (8^)

    And I still cannot get over the fact that Sonja Henie had her own personal ice skating rink built upstairs in the attic!!!!! It boggles the mind, at least mine, lol. :D Seriously, I went in search of zambonis because I couldn't figure how she was able to get one up there (they weigh approximately 4,500 lbs.), then I discovered that one can purchase a small one weighing 250 lbs., which she most likely did so. (:^) Lol, until I watched the aforementioned Biography special, I only thought such things were part of movie land lore (aka the girl in the movie "Cutting Edge" had her own personal *building* right next to the house), never thinking that Sonja Henie actually had one built right upstairs in her attic! Cost obviously not being an issue ~ Sonja was the first of her kind in movies; a millionaire several times over; worth approximately one hundred million when she died in 1969 ~ as well her Norwegian husband was a billionaire shipping magnate in his own right, and she inherited quite a sum of money from her father's fur trading business when he died in 1937. So I'm surmising the cost to maintain such a thing was a drop in the bucket to her, but I'm wondering how they built it?, maintained the ice?, room temperature?, the pressure on the floor, everything...

    That said, Sonja Henie really must have loved to skate, just for the simple pure pleasure of it. No big audiences, no limelight, just herself skating alone, as one with the music. It probably brought back memories of her skating as a child in Frogner Stadium back in Norway, with those beautiful drawings of norwegian children playing on the walls, long before the pressures of the Olympics & Worlds, et al. Wow, what fun she must have had upstairs in that attic, no wonder she doesn't want to leave just yet.

    Until the above revelation, I was only aware, from my books, that Sonja skated at a local rink for exercise as she got older. However, about a year before her death in 1969 at age 57, she was planning on making a comeback of sorts. She had a planned television special in the works, which she was preparing for all the way up until her death on October 12, 1969. She went to the local rink at least 3 times a week getting back in shape, skating with one of her old skating partners from the early days, just enjoying herself, not knowing that the tiredness she felt from her supposed anemia was actually leukemia, which her husband and secretary never told her about, right up until the day of her death. Totally oblivious, maybe that's why she haunts, who knows...

    p.s. here's a favorite video of mine, Sonja skating to Camille Saint-Saens "Dying Swan", her signature piece: http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=5037

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    Thanks for the chance to think about Sonja. As dated as her style seems nowadays, we owe her so much. She was the first woman to do many of the jumps. And one must notice that since her time, there haven't been many skating movies--at least not ones with real skaters doing the skating. We've had one or two soap opera films with the skating photographed from the ankles down or somesuch, but nothing where the skater was the star and the skating the centerpiece of the movie. When I first discovered skating, I was impressed to discover that there are only two women who have won three Olympic gold medals: Irina Rodnina (as part of two different pairs) and Sonja Henie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Thanks for the chance to think about Sonja. As dated as her style seems nowadays, we owe her so much. She was the first woman to do many of the jumps. And one must notice that since her time, there haven't been many skating movies--at least not ones with real skaters doing the skating. We've had one or two soap opera films with the skating photographed from the ankles down or somesuch, but nothing where the skater was the star and the skating the centerpiece of the movie. .
    This is coming in February:

    RISE

    https://www.usfigureskating.org/Stor...004&type=media


    http://www.rise1961.com/

    Watch the Rise trailer included in the above link.





    and let's not forget this classic:
    http://figureskating.about.com/gi/o....om/s-sw3s.html
    Last edited by janetfan; 09-20-2010 at 07:23 AM.

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    That RISElooks interesting. Thanks for the alert. One of the first pieces of skating research I ever did was to look up news articles about that plane crash. Amazing that we now can see what Laurence Owen's skating was like on YouTube.

    Ah, yes, Snow White and the Three Stooges. I once saw the last fifteen minutes or so of it on TV. Poor Carol Heiss. She even sang! (Dubbed, I suspect.)

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    Thanks, Olympia, for appreciating Sonja.

    I love watching old footage of her (unfortunately my outdated dvd/vhs player isn't working), especially the A&E Biography Special "Sonja Henie: Fire on Ice" (my all-time favorite), "The Immortals" featuring Sonja Henie, and "Reflections on Ice" featuring many great skaters from Sonja's time to now. Also, with the advent of youtube & the 'net I am now able to watch footage of her I've never seen before (only glimpses). And not just Sonja, but other greats from that time period. For instance, this site ~ http://www.britishpathe.com/results....ch=sonja+henie ~ allows me to watch Cecilia Colledge and also the 1936 European Championships among others, including Sonja. (:^)

    You know Sonja really started it all, not only fashion, white boots, diet & exercise (she practiced 3 hours in the AM & 2 in the PM, along with a strict dietary regimen), professional tutoring, and the best instructors and coaches, including tutelage from renown Russian prima ballerinas. In fact, experts who analyzed her technique back then said that her success was due to the fact that her figure skating was essentially "dancing on ice"; she performed the hardest of feats with the utmost ease, making what was hard look simple. For instance, the Axel Paulsen, which was the most difficult jump back then, seemed so simple for Sonja that spectators couldn't understand its difficulty and didn't understand the big fuss over it. This is what ALL great skaters have in common, to make the difficult look easy, to make it look like "dancing on ice"! Of course what they don't see is the many many many hours spent behind the scenes making it all possible; Sonja worked harder than anybody before or since imho, stating at one point that if you skipped a competition or took a year off, or slackened your training because of a loss of incentive, etc., you would find yourself far behind when you tried to reenter. Her motto was you can't stop unless you are quitting for good; she called it a merry-go-round. Most interesting, to me, was her view of the American idea of "professionalism", which she disdained, saying that she saw with her own two eyes how players forgot the sincere competitiveness that inspires amateurs to keep their ability at its best and growing better, more often than not these same players ending up tarnished when turning professional too early, which is why she believed that if she had not waited until she had run her full amateur course, had turned professional prematurely, her form in skating might not have ever reached its peak. I concur.

    Sonja was a most fascinating woman by all accounts; she could be charming, sharp (she knew exactly what she wanted & wouldn't accept anything less), outspoken, private, coy, vivacious, tough competitor (she was known for her "nerves of steel"; one could count on one hand the one or two times she ever fell in competition in her 12 yrs. on the international scene), and extremely generous (too many tales to recount of her generosity to everyone from the maid to complete strangers, giving away jewelry, hats, coats, clothes, et al; e.g. no serviceman ever had to pay to get into one of her shows, fact). All in all a complex woman with a heart of gold, which is why I never tire reading about her, or finding out new facts about Sonja. (:^) She truly was a champion both on the ice and off.

    That said, I know it was tough on Sonja getting older, especially in Hollywood, her insecurity coming into play when she attended the 1960 Winter Olympics to see Carol Heiss (who was being tooted as the new Sonja Henie) win the gold medal. IIRC it was the only Olympics she ever attended (not including her own of course, lol), and even then she had to be persuaded because she thought she was too old, nobody would remember her. I've seen footage of this, how shy, charming, and fragile she looked, overjoyed that people actually remembered her and wanted to interview her. I'm thinking this may be why she had that secret ice skating rink built upstairs in her attic, so she could grow old gracefully, doing what she loved doing (skating) without being made fun of or judged. Just her own private wonderful garden up there.

    p.s. when she was preparing for her television special in 1968/69, she used to go to a local rink called Pickwick Ice Rink in Burbank, California, to practice (sometimes she would rent out the whole thing to herself in the mornings), which she shared with the ice hockey players, and they would say "who's the chick?" Ah, if only they knew, if only they knew. :D

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    Catching up on some of my reading of Sonja in the old days, I concluded that not much has really changed from then to now, in fact not at all.

    There still exist rivalries, and the higher up you go the more pressure, and with that comes jealousy & whatnot. For example, when Sonja first started out, she was known as the adorable wunderkid. And being so young & talented without the pressure of a seasoned performer, she won everything in sight with ease. But then her success translated into more & more competitors from different countries eager to overtake her #1 position at the very top. And with that came envy, talk about how impeccably groomed she was due to the inherited wealth of both her parents, thus Sonja was able to obtain the very best in not only fashion, but also when it came to instructors, tutors, coaches, and prima ballerinas. But there is an old saying ~ having the ability is one thing; having the means and opportunity to develop it, however, can make the difference between becoming a champion or just a good athlete. Sonja had it all.

    She skated because she loved it, following her older brother Leif onto the ice at Frogner Stadium, wanting to do what he & his older friends did, as typical baby sisters are prone to do, lol. :D Soon getting there before it opened & coming home late at night, after skating all day for the pure pleasure of it, only to see herself soon overtake Leif & his friends and everybody else, as she was a natural. Winning her first competition at age 5, a little pearl-handled silver paper cutter, her most cherished possession, and which now sits in the Sonja Henie-Niels Onstad Museum in Oslo, Norway. All of this noted by a member of a private club at Frogner, whom took Sonja under her wing and taught her everything she knew, with Sonja soon doing school figures until she could etch the same figure 10 times and only leave 1 unblurred tracing behind her! She was already the perfectionist, and her own harshest critic, she would remain throughout her career. So advanced was she by age 8, she was allowed to skip Juniors (after defeating everybody by leaps & bounds) and go right on to Seniors, winning her first National Championship the next year, after a year's rigorous preparation (no more skipping meals nor skating all day, now she was on a strict dietary regimen, as well as skating regimen, as well as having all the best in coaching, tutoring, ballet, fashion, et al). Finally came the Olympics of 1924 in St. Moritz, at which she made her first non-Norweigan skating friend, Gillis Grafstrom, the internationally recognized Swedish skating champion (he holds the record at medalling in 4 Olympiads!). Sonja adored him, and listened avidly to everything he had to say, even generous suggestions & friendly criticisms (some say she had a mild puppy dog crush on him). Of course he won his second gold medal at those Games, whereas Sonja, at only 11 yrs. old, came in last place, after falling on a spin. :( Yet that first Olympics was more for exposure, a learning experience, to meet the great ones, to see how it is done, so by the time 1928 came round, she would be more than ready.

    And boy was Sonja ready, after winning her first World Championships at the age of 14, despite some saying she was too young (the same criticism she received when she competed at the 1924 Olympics at age 11). Yet she soon calmed her detractors with her outstanding balletic free-skating! Her first Worlds victory seemingly to be her most cherished (just as her little pearl-handled silver paper cutter was her most cherished possession, which she won at age 5 in her very first skating competition). And from there came the 1928 Olympics in Lake Placid, which she prepared for harder than any other competition, as she said National & World Championships require intensive training, but they demand less than Olympic preparation. So with that in mind, Sonja had three things she focused on: (1) she would work diligently on each of the 80 school figures, polishing them to perfection, so that she would be prepared for any that might be selected for the Olympic test that year. (2) she would obtain extensive exhibition experience, having her father book her for as many as possible, so that she could retain her poise while facing all sorts of audiences & conditions (recall all skating was done outside under any conditions in those days, making it way more difficult than today). (3) this final one, in Sonja's mind, was thee most important one, she went to London to see her idol Anna Pavlova in action, considered the greatest ballerina of her time, as Sonja wanted more than anything else to make her free-skating program a blend of dancing & figure skating; she wanted a choreographed from of ballet solo on ice, incorporating jumps & spins to show the judges her stylized skills in a pattern and sequence that would reflect the mood of dancing, not just skating. So with all that in mind, Sonja went on to win her first Olympic Gold Medal in stunning fashion, no one else came close, she won it easily and with a flair & style all her own, recalling that her first Olympic victory meant so much to her that she broke down & wept in the locker room! The rest is history ~ she went on to to win 10 World Championships in a row, as well as two more consecutive Gold Medals at the Olympics in 1932 & 1936, respectively. Of course it wasn't easy, it just got more tough as the years went on, demanding more & more from Sonja, the beginning of that merry-go-round she often talked about, accompanied with more pressure as well, as now she was an international superstar, known throughout the world as "Pavlova of the Ice". She was expected to win. The proverbial saying it's more difficult to stay on top than to work up from the bottom was more than true in Sonja's case. She had gotten to know her competition better, even cutting out an article in which a reporter described them as such: Cecil Smith of Canada, "studied & determined"; Maribel Vinson of the USA, "spirited"; Constance Samuel, "vigorous & determined"; Melitta Brunner of Austria, "careful & exact"; and Sonja Henie of Norway, "delicately graceful".

    And during all of this Sonja managed to become the third-ranking woman tennis player in Norway, an excellent swimmer, a daring equestrienne, and a capable & lovely ballet dancer. She was a natural all-around athlete, which is why she never tired of the grueling 8-month pace of a figure skater, year after year, that was part of the competitions. Nor did she ever tire of *improving* herself, taking lessons from international renown figure skating master, Howard Nicholson, whom taught her how to use her arms to keep the attention of the public, what freshness means, and how to sustain verve throughout a program. The difference between her & everybody else was that her skating had dancing in it, as well as grace, able to execute difficult moves with the grace of a swan! Yet Sonja was aware of young upstarts hot on her heels, like 13 yr. old Hilda Holowsky from Vienna, whom almost managed to upstage her at the 1931 World Championships, with the Associated Press carrying the story that Sonja's greater international experience & smoothness on the ice gave her a narrow victory over little Miss Holowsky, whose flashing grace & skill almost wrested her the title over the Norwegian star. It was one of the few times that Sonja was seriously challenged. Shaken, Sonja realized the insecurity of crowns, both admiring Hilda's skating above all, therefore fearing it the most, anticipating Hilda as a very serious rival in the 1932 Olympics (unfortunately Hilda died unexpectedly that year, devastating Sonja, she cried for days over the loss of such a young, vibrant athlete; it taught Sonja that life, like fame, was precarious at best). And then there was the gossip about her retiring, adding more pressure, saying that such gossip could ruin her career. But she managed to buckle down for the 1932 Olympics, knowing that every year new skaters were arriving on the scene, eager to dethrone her. Sonja was growing up, no longer the cute little wunderkid, she had to have something new and different every year, the audience demanding more of her, otherwise someone else would replace her as #1. With this in mind, Sonja managed to win her second Olympic Gold Medal in Lake Placid despite snow & ice that was slushy and difficult to perform on, and amongst stiff competition from Fritzi Burger, Maribel Vinson, and Constance Samuel (including young newcomers like Megan Taylor and Cecilia Colledge). After that victory came the World Championships, which was marred by gossip & rumour & ill feelings, as several Canadian clubs expected her to do exhibitions, which she had never committed to do in the first place, but nevertheless the papers called her attitude "scandalous" and that she was merely "pretending to be an amateur". With the conflict swirling around her, Sonja managed to hold her head high and defend her 6th consecutive World Championship Title. All talk was immediately ceased and instead the papers focused on her incredible performance in the face of adversity. However, for the first time in her career she had serious reservations about continuing as an amateur because of all the stories & rumours swirling about her at the time. But after taking some time off that summer, she came back with a vengeance that September! Still, there were changes, her practices became more private, as she was working on her famous "Swan Number", determined to put ballet on ice for the first time in recognizeable form, something she had always dreamed about (dance being her first passion at 2 yrs. of age). And she debuted her signature piece in Milan in 1933 to great applause & cheer! Even her 7th World Title paled in comparison to her exquisite exhibition number, which she was known for throughout her life. But all was not roses, as when she debuted her Swan Number in Paris in December of 1933, there were tin-whistle blasts from the top gallery, soon to be drowned out by the other appreciative spectators. Yet it was later discovered that the French figure skating champion, a bitter rival of Sonja's at the time, had purchased and distributed balcony tickets, provided the tin whistles, and furnished instructions to the rabble, specifying precise times for the blasts to occur. Lol, and we thought the rivalries of today are intense! (:^D

    Sonja swept from success to success, luck being on her side as well, not just her flawless skating. She won her 8th World title in February of 1934 in perfect style & execution, a trademark of Sonja, whereas Maribel Vinson, the American champion, who was always close on her heels, unfortunately fell during a spin in the free-skating portion and consequently finished a disappointing 5th place, unlucky to say the least. Then, of course, came more jealousy from her rivals in the form of the ISF announcing that Sonja Henie would not be permitted to give any more "exhibitions" in the USA unless the Amateur Skating Union of America agreed to pay a percentage of her performance receipts to the ISU. It became an international affair, with Sonja finally being given permission to skate in America so long as she chose, as long as she limited her appearances to competitions and charities, thereby satisfying her rivals. Just another example of how amateur competitions can be vicious and destructive, which was in full bloom when she uncharacteristically fell during an exhibition in St. Moritz, where she was training for the 1935 European Championships. The Vienna press ran with it, saying she was washed up and a has-been, which was reported by somebody Sonja thought was her friend, but as it turns out wanted little Hedy Stenuf of Austria to win the World Championships that year. But as it turned out, Hedy fell at the end of her free-skating, despite the crowd cheering her on, wanting her to defeat Sonja. Whereas Sonja came out and skated like the veteran she was, sealing her 9th World Title, whereas Hedy came in 4th place. Later on, Sonja declared that competition to be her most satisfying, no other gave her such elation! Finally, came the year 1936, her very last one as an amateur, which she had told the press beforehand. Her most pressure-filled, some might say. The papers ran stories of a supposed engagement to another prominent skater of that era, Jackie Dunn, despite denials from Sonja, whom suspected they wanted to smear her name. In spite of all this, Sonja buckled down as never before, as she wanted to go out in a flash, on a high note! She began her preparations in late summer, training alongside youngsters Megan Taylor & Cecilia Colledge in London, the two 15 yr. olds anxious to dethrone her, making Sonja feel like a veteran beside them, and noting that they were now using training methods she had originated. This only fueled Sonja's desire to be the best, thereby overdoing it at one point, setting up too rigorous a practice schedule, which eventually had to be curtailed to allow Sonja to slow down a bit. Anxious to make a good showing at the European Championships that year, which would set her up for the Olympics & Worlds, she cared more in advance about winning then, than any other time in her life. It was a strange situation for her, as for years Sonja had been applauded in part for her youth, now she was the eldest competitor, with all her challengers being teenagers, the youngest 11 yrs. old from Japan. Cecilia Colledge came close to wresting the title from Sonja, scoring 417.2 points to Sonja's 434.6, the smallest 17.4 spread for Sonja ever. However, her perfect performance of the required turns enabled her to win her 6th European Title. Next came the Olympics, with Sonja being called one of the "old ladies", which put her under tremendous scrutiny by both the competitors and press alike. It was after all her fourth Olympics, with some saying her stamina must have diminished after 12 grueling years on the international scene. Nevertheless Sonja prevailed, just barely, with her lead in figures being a small one over Cecilia Colledge. The gauntlet had been thrown down, there was little or no room for error in the free-skating portion of the competition. Sonja didn't have her usual large margin of points from the school figures that she had managed in the past. It would be a head-on competition with Cecilia and Maribel Vinson in the free-skating finale. Sonja would be the last to perform. She followed her usual relaxing procedure that had served her well in the past. Finally it was Sonja's turn to take the ice, with only three things on her mind: (1) she led in points (2) the ice was not too good (3) I had to be careful. Later on, she called it the longest four minutes of her life, only recalling skating onto the ice that night and later the official annoucement, everything else a total blank. Not recalling the cheering & screaming from the crowd, her fellow Scandinavian competitors mobbing her & showing her with acclaim, nor the hush that preceded the announcement that she had made history, the winner for an unprecedented 3rd time!!!! Her victory was a narrow one, her most difficult ever, with Sonja scoring 424.5 points to Cecilia's 418.1. From there Worlds was anticlimatic, Sonja winning her 10th consecutive World Title, with few of the Olympic stars showing up. Her records still stand today...

  10. #10
    I should be studying!
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    Thank you for that biographical summary.

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    Nadine, it is nice that you have created a Sonja thread here at GS.

    It is fitting that a three time Olympic champion and a 10 time World champion should never be forgotten, especially at a skating board with so many passionate fans.

    I hope your efforts will bring new awareness to the one and only true Queen of figure skating.

    She is the mother of them all and her records will never be approached. But that is not as important as the great contributions and awareness Sonja brough to figure skating.

    Here is a clip of Sonja which might give an idea of how highly regarded she was in her day.
    She became a star the likes of which skating hadn't seen before or since.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xtchjj8srpM
    Last edited by janetfan; 09-24-2010 at 07:53 AM.

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    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Thanks to Nadine and everyone else. I didn't realize Sonja had such stiff competition and so many setbacks... and I didn't know Japan had skaters back then

    There nothing like the icons from the 20s and 30s... There is just too much going on right, now, too many entertainment choices.

    check out the defined quads on Sonja in that clip ... women weren't supposed to show off their muscularity back then but you can still tell - what an athlete!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    Thanks to Nadine and everyone else. I didn't realize Sonja had such stiff competition and so many setbacks... and I didn't know Japan had skaters back then

    There nothing like the icons from the 20s and 30s... There is just too much going on right, now, too many entertainment choices.

    check out the defined quads on Sonja in that clip ... women weren't supposed to show off their muscularity back then but you can still tell - what an athlete!
    I think I like Sonja's quads a heck of alot more than Plushys quads

    Carol Heiss was great winning the OGM in 1960. There was a very good Japanese skater too. Anyone know who she was?
    Last edited by janetfan; 09-24-2010 at 07:57 AM.

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    ^ Junko Uero, now Junko Hiramatsu -- a big-time judge and member of the ISU governing council.

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    Your welcome everyone, it's been my sincere pleasure. (:^)

    Funny thing about those "defined quads" mentioned up above, they are what got Sonja in trouble with big-time Hollywood producer, Darryl F. Zanuck, at the very start of her career in Hollywood in 1936. In one of his piques with her he said "slap some keys on her and we'll have a grand piano!" You see the camera picks up everything & exaggerates it, which was okay when competing, but not when it came to Fox studios. Therefore, Sonja sought out advice from a dancer under contract with Fox studios, whom suggested to Sonja "massages", and even leant Sonja her own personal masseuse. From there on massages became a part of Sonja's daily return, as they kept her muscles soft & pliant, as well as steam baths, which gave her muscles a thorough going-over.

    Lol, yes, Japan definitely had skaters, always being on par with the rest of the world, even back then. The 11-yr. old youngster I was referring to in my previous post was Etsuko Inada, whom competed at the 1936 European Championships in Berlin, Germany, on January 25th, 1936, finishing 9th in the field of 17 skaters (the youngest one there, whereas Sonja was 23 yrs. old). More info. on Etsuko Inada of Japan ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etsuko_Inada

    Thanks, janetfan, for the clip of Sonja skating. I love the mountains in the background, as Sonja seemed the most free when skating outside amongst them, like in this clip from when she was 35 yrs. old at the time ~ http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=55107 ~ lol, I get a kick out of her running on her toepicks, just like a ballet dancer.

    I find it odd, and strangely fitting, that Sonja died on the same day that Maribel Vinson Owen was born (October 12th, of course not the same year; Sonja died on October 12th, 1969, whereas Maribel was born on October 12th, 1911; the same year Sonja was born btw). Also, Sonja was born around the same day that Cecilia Colledge died (April 12th, 2008; Sonja born April 8th, 1912; the configuration of numbers is what interests me). Funny, as those two were Sonja's closest competitors. Cecilia just barely missed beating her for the Olympic crown back in 1936 (the closest someone ever came in points to defeating Sonja). And Maribel, the same age as Sonja, is whom Sonja feared more than the youngsters when entering the 1936 Olympic Games, as she knew Maribel was not only a great skater, but also extremely popular with the crowds. Additionally, Sonja had seen the rose-velvet dress Maribel planned to wear, with a violet corsage, and she envisioned how enchanting the American would look in that with her raven hair. Whereas Sonja elected to stick with her traditional white, which had served her well over the years.

    p.s. I have a mini collection of Sonja I've compiled over the years (too large to include all the contents of such; btw I have other skaters as well, like Axel Paulsen), but the following are a few samples of it (ENJOY!). Btw, I hope I'm allowed to post them in their entirety? They are from my personal collection, therefore I own it all, in case any questions arise. And if you would like me to link them instead, you are free to do so (talking to administration here).







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