The Thirties

In a decade defined by the Great Depression, the United States welcomed the World Championships and the Olympic Games for the first time. Families around the country were treated to traveling ice shows, such as the Ice Follies. The popularity of the sport spread west as clubs and rinks in the Midwest and Pacific Coast became fixtures.

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 1930s 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.

20s | 40s | 50s | 60s | 70s | 80s | 90s | 2000s | 10s 


The Thirties – Coming to America

Beatrix Loughran
Loughran dominated the ladies field in the second half of the 1920s, winning the U.S. title from 1925 to 1927. In 1924, she earned the first World Championships medal for the United States — a bronze in Oslo, Norway. She also took home Olympic medals at the 1924 (silver) and 1928 (bronze) Games. In the 1930s, Loughran found success in pairs with partner Sherwin Badger, winning the U.S. pairs title from 1930 to 1932. Their Olympic silver medal in 1932 was the first for the United States in the discipline. Loughran is the only American to win three Olympic medals in figure skating (two in ladies and one in pairs).

Olympic silver medalist – 1924 (ladies), 1932 (pairs with Badger)
Olympic bronze medalist – 1928 (ladies)
Olympian – 1924 (ladies), 1928 (ladies and pairs with Badger), 1932 (pairs with Badger)
World bronze medalist – 1924 (ladies), ’30 (pairs with Badger), ’32 (pairs with Badger)
U.S. ladies champion – 1925, ’26, ’27
U.S. pairs champion (with Badger) – 1930, ’31, ’32
U.S. ice dance champion (with Edward Howland) – 1922, Waltz

Maribel Vinson (Owen)
Vinson began a recording-setting run in 1928 of nine U.S. titles (now tied with Michelle Kwan). Vinson also won the World silver medal in 1928 and bronze medal in New York City in 1930. She earned the bronze medal at the 1932 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. Vinson became the first to win U.S. pairs titles with two different partners, with Thornton Coolidge in 1928 and 1929, and George Hill from 1933 to 1937.

Olympic bronze medalist – 1932
Olympian – 1928 (ladies), ’32 (ladies), ’36 (ladies and pairs)
World silver medalist – 1928
World bronze medalist – 1930
U.S. ladies champion – 1928, ’29, ’30, ’31, ’32, ’33, ’35, ’36, ’37
U.S. pairs champion (with Thornton Coolidge) – 1928, ’29
U.S. pairs champion (with George Hill) – 1933, ’35, ’36, ’37

Sherwin Badger
Badger flourished in pairs with partner Beatrix Loughran in the 1930s. He and Loughran were the first U.S. pairs team to medal at the Olympics and World Championships, taking silver at the 1932 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York, and bronze at the 1930 World Championships in New York City. The pair earned the World bronze medal again in 1932. Badger also won five men’s titles from 1920 to 1924.

Olympic silver medalist (pairs with Loughran) – 1932
Olympian – 1928 (men’s and pairs with Loughran), 1932 (pairs with Loughran)
World bronze medalist (pairs with Loughran) – 1930, ’32
U.S. men’s champion – 1920, ’21, ’22, ’23, ’24
U.S. pairs champion (with Loughran) – 1930, ’31, ’32

Roger Turner
Turner continued his dominance in the 1930s. He won his first of seven U.S. titles in 1928, a record he still shares with legend Dick Button. Turner went on to win back-to-back World silver medals in 1930 and 1931, a first for the United States in men’s skating.

Olympian – 1928, ’32
World silver medalist – 1930, ’31
U.S. champion – 1928-, ’29, ’30, ’31, ’32, ’33, ’34

Robin Lee
Lee took up the mantel as the top men’s skater in the U.S. after Roger Turner stepped away from the sport, winning five U.S. titles from 1935 to 1939. He also represented the U.S. at the 1936 Olympic Winter Games in Garmisch, Germany.

Olympian – 1936
U.S. champion – 1935, ’36, ’37, ’38, ’39

Joseph Savage
Savage was a staple in ice dance. He was the first to win U.S. titles with three different partners — Rosalie Dunn, Edith Secord and Marjorie Parker — claiming nine titles from 1928 and 1934. He also competed in pairs with a variety of partners and won two U.S. fours titles.

U.S. ice dance champion (with Dunn) — 1926, Waltz; ’27, Waltz and Fourteen Step; ’28, Waltz
U.S. ice dance champion (with Secord) — 1929, Waltz and Original Dance (OD); ’30, Waltz; ’32, Waltz  
U.S. ice dance champion (with Parker) – 1936
U.S. fours champion (with Nettie Prantell, Ardelle Kloss and Roy Hunt) – 1935
U.S. fours champion (with Prantell, Marjorie Parker and George Boltres) – 1939

Edith Secord
Edith Secord won five U.S. ice dance titles from 1929 to 1932. She began her winning streak with Joseph Savage, with whom she won four titles and, in 1931, she won the top spot in Waltz with Ferrier Martin.

U.S. champion (with Savage) – 1929, Waltz and Original Dance; ’30, Waltz; ’32, Waltz
U.S. champion (with Martin) – 1931, Waltz

Nettie Prantell
Nettie Prantell picked up titles in ice dance and fours during the 1930s for a total of six U.S. crowns. She is a four-time ice dance champion (two with Roy Hunt and two with Harold Hartshorne), and two-time fours champion.

U.S. ice dance champion (with Hunt) – 1934, Waltz; ’35, Waltz
U.S. ice dance champion (with Hartshorne) – 1937, ’38
U.S. fours champion (with Ardelle Kloss, Joseph Savage and Hunt) – 1935
U.S. fours champion (with Marjorie Parker, Savage and George Boltres) – 1939

Harold Hartshorne
Harold Hartshorne owned a spot at the top of the U.S. ice dance podium for five consecutive years. He earned his first two titles with Nettie Prantell and finished his streak with Sandy MacDonald.

U.S. champion (with Prantell) – 1937, ’38
U.S. champion (with MacDonald) – 1939, ’40, ’41

Other U.S. World medalists in the 1930s

Hedy Stenuf – 1938, bronze; ’39, silver

Other U.S. champions in the 1930s

Suzanne Davis – 1934
Joan Tozzer – 1938, ’39

Grace Madden and James Madden – 1934
Joan Tozzer and Bernard Fox – 1938, ’39

Ice Dance
Clara Frothingham and George Hill – 1930, Original Dance (OD); ’32, OD
Theresa Weld Blanchard and Nathanial Niles – 1931, OD
Suzanne Davis and Frederick Goodridge – 1933, OD; ’34, OD
Ilse Twaroschk and Frederick Fleischman – 1933, Waltz

Suzanne Davis, Theresa Weld Blanchard, Frederick Goodridge and Richard Hapgood – 1934


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