The Twenties

The decade marked the beginning of the United States Figure Skating Association, known today as U.S. Figure Skating. Though American skating organizations existed informally in decades earlier, USFSA and its seven charter clubs were officially recognized on April 4, 1921, in New York City. The association soon after became part of the International Skating Union, and the first edition of SKATING, the association’s publication of record, was published.

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 1920s 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 Twenties – In the beginning

Theresa Weld (Blanchard)
Weld Blanchard holds a number of firsts in U.S. Figure Skating history, including winning the first U.S. title in 1914 and first Olympic medal (bronze) at the 1920 Olympic Summer Games in Antwerp, Belgium. Weld Blanchard went on to win six U.S. ladies titles, nine pairs titles and five ice dance titles with Nathaniel Niles. She also contributed to the U.S. Fours title in 1934. Her nine pairs titles with Niles is still the U.S. record.

Olympic bronze medalist (ladies) – 1920
Olympian (ladies and pairs with Niles) – 1920, ’24, ’28
U.S. ladies champion – 1914, ’20, ’21, ’22, ’23, ’24
U.S. pairs champion (with Niles) – 1918, ’20, ’21, ’22, ’23, ’24, ’25, ’26, ’27
U.S. ice dance champion (with Niles) – 1914, Waltz; ’20, Waltz; ’21, Fourteen Step, Waltz; ’22, Fourteen Step; 1931, Original Dance (OD)
U.S. fours champion (with Suzanne Davis, Frederick Goodridge and Richard Hapgood) – 1934

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. Loughran found success in pairs with partner Sherwin Badger, winning the U.S. 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, 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 Howland) – 1922, Waltz

Maribel Vinson (Owen)
Maribel Vinson took the torch from Loughran in 1928, beginning a recording-setting run of nine U.S. titles (now tied with Michelle Kwan). Vinson also won the World silver medal in 1928 and World 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 with Hill)
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 Coolidge) – 1928, ’29
U.S. pairs champion (with Hill) – 1933, ’35, ’36, ’37

Nathaniel Niles
Nathaniel Niles was truly a jack of all trades, winning U.S. titles in men’s, pairs and ice dance. Additionally, he was a skilled tennis player and won the U.S. title in mixed doubles with Edith Rotch in 1908. Niles is a three-time Olympian in men’s and pairs, three-time U.S. men’s champion, nine-time pairs champion and six-time ice dance champion.

Olympian (men’s and pairs with Weld Blanchard) – 1920, ’24, ’28
U.S. men’s champion – 1918, ’25, ’27
U.S. pairs champion (with Weld Blanchard) – 1918, ’20, ’21, ’22, ’23, ’24, ’25, ’26, ’27
U.S. ice dance champion (with Weld Blanchard) – 1914, Waltz; ’20, Waltz; ’21, Fourteen Step, Waltz; ’22, Fourteen Step; 1931, Original Dance (OD)

Sherwin Badger
Badger captured five men’s titles from 1920 to 1924. He also flourished in pairs with partner Beatrix Loughran in the 1920s and 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.

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 burst onto the scene in the late 1920s. 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

Joseph Savage
Savage was a staple in ice dance in the 1920s and 1930s. He was the first to win U.S. titles with three different partners — Rosalie Dunn, Edith Secord and Marjorie Parker — winning 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

Rosalie Dunn
Rosalie Dunn was a well-known name in ice dance during the 1920s. Dunn started her career with Predrick Gabel, with whom she won the 1924 Waltz crown, and went on to win four U.S. titles with Joseph Savage.

U.S. champion (with Gabel) — 1924, Waltz
U.S. champion (with Savage) — 1926, Waltz; ’27, Waltz and Fourteen Step; ’28, Waltz
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

Other U.S. champions in the 1910s and 1920s

Rosemary Beresford —1918

Chris Christenson — 1926
Ice Dance
Gertrude Cheever Porter and Irving Brokaw — 1920, Ten Step
Sydney Goode and James Greene — 1923, Fourteen Step; ’24, Fourteen Step; ’26, Fourteen Step
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Howe — 1923, Waltz
Virginia Slattery and Ferrier Martin — 1925, Fourteen Step and Waltz
Ada Bauman Kelly and George Braakman — 1928, Fourteen Step

Clara Hartman, Grace Munstock, Paul Armitage and Joel Liberman — 1924, ’25


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