At a glance

8 Apr 1912 Oslo, Norway
155 cm / 45 kg 5'1'' / 99 pounds
Female
Sonja Henie was the first superstar of women’s figure skating, winning three Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932, and 1936. She made her Olympic début in 1924 when only an 11-year-old. She finished last in a field of eight but improved to fifth a few weeks later at the 1924 World Championship. Henie finished second at the 1926 World Championships to Austria's Herma Plank-Szabo, but she then won the championship for the next ten years consecutively. She did more to popularize figure skating than any other individual. Henie turned professional in 1936 and soon amassed a fortune. Her flair for...

Sonja Henie was the first superstar of women’s figure skating, winning three Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932, and 1936. She made her Olympic début in 1924 when only an 11-year-old. She finished last in a field of eight but improved to fifth a few weeks later at the 1924 World Championship. Henie finished second at the 1926 World Championships to Austria's Herma Plank-Szabo, but she then won the championship for the next ten years consecutively. She did more to popularize figure skating than any other individual. Henie turned professional in 1936 and soon amassed a fortune. Her flair for showmanship ensured the success of the ten feature films she made in Hollywood and accelerated the public awareness of ice skating as a sport. She toured the world with spectacular ice reviews achieving great popularity, particularly in the USA. She was initially idolized in her native Norway, but had some image problems after World War II when she was perceived to be a Nazi sympathizer who failed to support war relief efforts in Norway. Henie married three times, all to very wealthy men, and her own earnings from ice shows made her one of the richest athletes ever. She later suffered from leukemia and died during a flight from Paris to Oslo where she was flying to visit a specialist.

Sonja in numbers

4
Olympics
Olympics
3
medals
Gold medal:3 Silver medal: Bronze medal:
  • Garmisch-Partenkirchen
    Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Garmisch-Partenkirchen
    Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936
    • 1 Gold medal
      Figure Skating
      Singles
  • Lake Placid
    Lake Placid 1932
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Lake Placid
    Lake Placid 1932
    • 1 Gold medal
      Figure Skating
      Singles
  • St. Moritz
    St. Moritz 1928
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    St. Moritz
    St. Moritz 1928
    • 1 Gold medal
      Figure Skating
      Singles
  • Chamonix
    Chamonix 1924
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Chamonix
    Chamonix 1924
    • 8
      Figure Skating
      Singles

Other athletes

All athletes