Jeannette Altwegg CBE (married name: Wirz; born 8 September 1930)[1] is a British figure skater. She is the 1952 Olympic champion in ladies' singles, the 1948 Olympic bronze medalist, the 1951 World champion, and the 1951 & 1952 European champion.

Altwegg was born in Mumbai, India and raised in Lancashire, the daughter of a British mother and Swiss father.[1]

Altwegg was a competitive tennis player, reaching the junior finals at Wimbledon in 1947 before giving up the sport to focus on skating. She was known for her strong compulsory figures.[1]

Her win at the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo was the first individual gold medal won by a British woman in the Winter Olympics. Her achievement as a British female individual Winter Olympics gold medalist was not matched until the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver when Amy Williams won gold in Skeleton.[2] She remains the only British woman to have won two individual medals (gold and bronze) at the Winter Olympics.

After her Olympic victory, Altwegg bypassed a lucrative professional career due to a knee injury.[1] She went to work in Pestalozzi Children's Village in Switzerland[3] and married Marc Wirz, the brother of Swiss skater Susi Wirz.[1] They had four children and divorced in 1973.[1]

She was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1993.[4]


Event 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952
Winter Olympics 3rd 1st
World Championships 5th 4th 3rd 2nd 1st
European Championships 4th 5th 3rd 2nd 1st 1st
British Championships 1st 1st 1st 1st



External linksEdit

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