The Sixties

Tragedy struck in 1961 when Sabena Flight 548 crashed, killing the entire U.S. delegation traveling to the World Championships in Prague. It was Peggy Fleming’s gold medal at the 1968 Olympic Games, which officially marked a return of American skating to the World stage. From the tragedy arose the U.S. Figure Skating Memorial Fund, a legacy that helps current skaters reach their goals on and off the ice.

This year, U.S. Figure Skating is celebrating its centennial anniversary as it recognizes those members, clubs and fans who have given so much to U.S. Figure Skating over the past 100 years. This page honors the top athletes of the 1960s whose competitive achievements defined the decade. Learn more about the athletes from the last 100 years below, and check out the Centennial Celebration section of our website for more content.

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The Sixties – U.S. skating rises up after plane crash

Remembering the 1961 U.S. World Figure Skating Team
On Feb. 15, 1961, a tragedy shook the figure skating world when Sabena Flight 548, carrying the 1961 U.S. World Team to the World Figure Skating Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia, crashed in Berg-Kampenhout, about 45 minutes outside of Brussels, Belgium. Just days after the tragedy, U.S. Figure Skating created the Memorial Fund, which pays tribute to those lost in the accident and helps eligible skaters reach their competitive and academic goals. We remember the athletes, coaches, officials and family members who lost their lives on that tragic day.

Roger Campbell
Dona Lee Carrier
Patricia Dineen
Robert Dineen
Ila Ray Hadley
Ray Hadley Jr.
Laurie Hickox
Bill Hickox
Gregory Kelley
Bradley Lord
Rhode Lee Michelson
Laurence Owen
Maribel Y. Owen
Larry Pierce
Doug Ramsay
Dudley Richards
Diane Sherbloom
Stephanie Westerfeld

Bill Kipp
Linda Hart Hadley
Maribel Vinson Owen
Daniel Ryan
Edi Scholdan
William Swallender

Harold Hartshorne
Edward LeMaire
Deane McMinn
Walter Powell

Ann Campbell
Linda Hart Hadley
Louise Hartshorne
Nathalie Kelley
Richard LeMaire
Jimmy Scholdan
Sharon Westerfeld

Carol Heiss
Heiss dominated the last half of the decade, winning four consecutive U.S. titles and five consecutive  World titles, a record she still holds with Michelle Kwan. Heiss finished second behind Albright at the 1956 Games and claimed the top spot in the 1960 Olympic Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California.

Olympic champion – 1960
Olympic silver medalist – 1956
Olympian – 1956, ’60
World champion – 1956, ’57, ’58, ’59, ’60
World silver medalist – 1955
U.S. champion – 1957, ’58, ’59, ’60

Barbara Roles
Roles had a standout year in 1960, winning bronze at the Olympic Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California, and at the World Championships in Vancouver. She retired and started a family, but was asked to come back and represent the U.S. following the plane crash that claimed the lives of the entire U.S. World Team in 1961. She went on to win the 1962 U.S. title and compete at Worlds, where she helped the U.S. gain three spots for the 1963 World Championships.

Olympic bronze medalist – 1960
Olympian – 1960
World bronze medalist – 1960
U.S. champion – 1962

Peggy Fleming
Fleming served as a beacon of hope for U.S. Figure Skating in the wake of the 1961 plane crash. Seven years after the tragedy, Fleming won Olympic gold at the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble, France, marking the only gold medal for the United States at the Games. She also held the U.S. title from 1964 to 1968 and the World title from 1966 to 1968.

Olympic champion – 1968
Olympian – 1964, ’68
World champion – 1966, ’67, ’68
World bronze medalist – 1965
U.S. champion – 1964, ’65, ’66, ’67, ’68

Janet Lynn
Lynn carried the torch for the U.S. after Peggy Fleming retired, earning five consecutive U.S. titles from 1969 to 1973. She earned Olympic bronze in 1972 and collected two World medals in 1972 (bronze) and 1973 (silver).

Olympic bronze medalist – 1972
Olympian – 1968, ’72
World silver medalist – 1973
World bronze medalist – 1972
U.S. champion – 1969, ’70, ’71, ’72, ’73

Dr. David Jenkins
Following in the footsteps of his older brother Hayes, Jenkins was part of the deep field of U.S. men that dominated in the 1950s. He held the World title from 1957 to 1959, rounding out the 12-year span of U.S. men sitting on top of the World podium. After being the bronze medalist in the historic 1956 U.S. Olympic podium sweep, Jenkins secured the gold medal at the 1960 Games in Squaw Valley, California. He held the U.S. title from 1957 to 1960.

Olympic champion – 1960
Olympic bronze medalist – 1956
Olympian – 1956, ’60
World champion – 1957, ’58, ’59
World bronze medalist – 1955, ’56
U.S. champion – 1957, ’58, ’59, ’60

Scott Allen
Scott Allen made his mark in the mid-1960s, winning the Olympic bronze medal at the 1964 Games in Innsbruck, Austria, just days before his 15th birthday. He is a two-time U.S. champion and World silver medalist.

Olympic bronze medalist – 1964
Olympian – 1964
World silver medalist – 1965
U.S. champion – 1964, ’66

Tim Wood
Tim Wood rose through the ranks in the late 1960s, winning three consecutive U.S. titles. He held the World title in 1969 and 1970, and earned Olympic and World silver medals in 1968.

Olympic silver medalist – 1968
Olympian – 1968
World champion – 1969, ’70
World silver medalist – 1968
U.S. champion – 1968, ’69, ’70

Nancy Ludington and Ronald Ludington
The Ludingtons made a splash in pairs in the late 1950s. The previously married team held the U.S. title from 1957 to 1960 and collected the World bronze medal in 1959. They capped their career by earning the Olympic bronze medal in 1960.

Olympic bronze medalists – 1960
Olympians – 1960
World bronze medalists – 1959
U.S. champions – 1957, ’58, ’59, ’60

Vivian Joseph and Ronald Joseph
The brother-and-sister team brought U.S. pairs back into the world conversation, winning the Olympic bronze medal in 1964 and World silver medal in 1965. They also were the U.S. pairs champions in 1965.

Olympic bronze medalists – 1964
World silver medalists – 1965
U.S. champions – 1965

Cynthia Kauffman and Ronald Kauffman
The Kauffmans picked up where the Josephs left off, winning four consecutive U.S. pairs titles and three consecutive World bronze medals. The siblings are also two-time Olympians.

Olympians – 1964, ’68
World bronze medalists – 1966, ’67, ’68
U.S. champions – 1966, ’67, ’68, ’69

Lorna Dyer and John Carrell
Dyer and Carrell had a streak of international success in ice dance in the mid-1960s, winning three consecutive World medals from 1965 to 1967. They were also the 1967 U.S. champions

World bronze medalists – 1965, ’66
World silver medalists – 1967
U.S. champions – 1967

Judy Schwomeyer and James Sladky
Schwomeyer and Sladky held the U.S. ice dance title from 1968 to 1972. The duo earned four World medals from 1969 to 1972, three bronze and one silver in 1970. Together, with coach Ron Ludington, they created the Yankee Polka compulsory dance.

World silver medalists – 1970
World bronze medalists – 1969, ’71, ’72
U.S. champions – 1968, ’69, ’70, ’71, ’72

Other U.S. World medalists in the 1960s

Gary Visconti – 1966, bronze; ’67, bronze

Ice Dance
Kristin Fortune and Dennis Sveum – 1966, silver

Other U.S. champions in the 1960s

Laurence Owen – 1961
Lorraine Hanlon – 1963

Bradley Lord – 1961
Monty Hoyt – 1962
Thomas Litz – 1963
Gary Visconti – 1965, ’67

Maribel Owen and Dudley Richards – 1961
Dorothyann Nelson and Pieter Kollen – 1962
Judianne Fotheringill and Jerry Fotheringill – 1963, ’64

Ice Dance
Margie Ackles and Charles Phillips – 1960
Diane Sherbloom and Larry Pierce – 1961
Yvonne Littlefield and Peter Betts – 1962
Sally Schantz and Stanley Urban – 1963
Darlene Streich and Charles Fetter – 1964
Kristin Fortune and Dennis Sveum – 1965, ’66


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