ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Great Skaters: Sonja Henie

Updated on August 29, 2014
Source

Madge Syers

In the early 1900s, figure skating was a means of emancipation of women.

In the era when women were required to demonstrate their Victorian modesty in public, figure skating provided them with rare opportunities in which they could undo their girdles, and flaunted what women could do as good as men - skating.

In 1902 World Championships Madge Syers realized that there wasn't a particular rule that prevented women to compete in men's competitions. Syers entered the competition, and the ISU, surprisingly and admirably, recognized Syers' argument valid. Syers won the World Championships in 1906 and 1907, and won the first Olympic gold medal in ladies figure skating in 1908.

But in those days there wasn't a strict requirement for women to display jumps or other skills as men did.


Sonja Henie: the first power skater

In 1928, Sonja Henie won the Olympic gold. But it's the beginning of Henie's career. Henie went on to win two more Olympic gold medals in 1932 and 1936. Henie's record has not been challenged so far.

No skater has dominated the sport as Henie did. Henie was immensely popular and successful in her off ice career especially as a movie star.

In her 10 year tenure, Henie ruled the sport. People were mesmerized by her vivacious spirit on ice and dancing charisma exuding from her fashion and choreography.

Henie was a cultural icon with her short skirt on ice that was considered as revolutionary to her contemporary. Henie's success and business instinct helped the figure skating evolve to a public sport rather than social elite's excursion.

Henie was the first woman who turned the figure skating into a grandeur ice show, commercially as well as theatrically. As a successful business woman, Henie died in 1969 at age fifty seven.

Sonja Henie

Sonja Henie: The first power skater

Sonja Henie is the first power skater in ladies figure skating. Although Henie was physiologically far from the image of power, her skating was of extraordinary power.

Speed and control in Henie's skating at the time was unprecedented.

Power skater is a skater whose skating merit largely lies in strength and speed.

In compulsory time, weight can be an asset for skaters. Although that does not automatically mean they excel in edgework, it certainly provides them with stability and balance on ice.

Dorothy Hamill, Midori Ito, Tonya Harding, etc are typical power skaters whose weight and strength stood out among their peers.

As opposed to power skating, there are lyrical skaters. The original vision of ladies figure skating was founded on lyrical aesthetics. Naturally lyricism was the most dominant form of ladies figure skaters and still is.

It's because ladies figure skating as opposed to men's can be best represented by femininity.

Especially since Peggy Fleming who set the stylistic model of ladies figure skating in the late 1960s, lyrical skating was the most popular form of ladies figure skating. The tradition is still alive.

The legendary skaters in the 1970s, such as Peggy Fleming, Janet Lynn, and Dorothy Hamill are all lyrical skaters.

Lyricism focuses on lines and extensions.


Style of Skaters

Power skaters
Lyrical Skaters
Technical Skaters
Sonja Henie
Peggy Fleming
Elaine Zayak
Dorothy Hamill
Janet Lynn
Trixie Shuba
Debbi Thomas
Linda Fratianne
Michelle Kwan
Tonya Harding
Barbara Ann
Christi Yamaguchi
Midori Ito
Alissa Czisny
Katarina Witt
 
 
 

Stylistic variance in skating

Skaters' styles are mostly inherent rather than consciously acquired. Each skater's physiological features often determine the style.

In general, power skaters tend to use their weight to advantage. Their skating is characterized by strength and speed. But skaters often have more than one style; for example, Dorothy Hamill was a power skater as well as a lyrical skater.

Technical skaters are strong in competition. They tend to excel in competition components while lyrical skaters predominantly show lyricism throughout the skating.

Lyrical skaters, often tall, slender and flexible in body type, distinguish themselves through aesthetic moves on ice.


Which style of skater do you think Yuna Kim is?

See results

Which style of skater do you think Denise Biellmann?

See results

Who do you think is the most stylistically similar to Sonja Henie?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Hermione 

      4 years ago

      Why is Yuna Kim not here?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)