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Sonja Henie

  • Date Submitted: 04/14/2012 10:02 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.7 
  • Words: 1044
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Sonja Henie had a far-reaching impact on women’s figure skating. Nobody has influenced figure skating as much as Sonja Henie. Born in Oslo, Norway in 1912, Sonja Henie was born to skate. Soon after learning how to walk, she learned how to skate. She loved skating so much that there were days where she went to the rink in the morning and forgot to come home for dinner. At only the age of seven, Henie was one of the top skaters at Frogner Stadium in Oslo. By the age of ten, she was the champion of Norway, a nation full of great figure skaters (Gutman, 30). Not only did Sonja Henie set the standards of women’s figure skating very high by winning three Olympic gold medals and winning ten World Championships, but she also introduced choreography, short skirts and bright colors to the sport. These changes increased the sport’s popularity and are still prevalent today.
The styles of clothing and skating dresses that are worn today would not look how they do without Sonja Henie. In the 1924 Olympic Games in Chamonix, France, all the skaters besides Henie wore plain, black, ankle-length skirts. Henie wore a short white satin dress with fur on the shoulders which was considered shocking at the time (Gutman, 31). Because she was only 11, and much younger than all the other skaters, she was allowed to wear skirts above the knee (Milton, 78). Although she finished last, everybody noticed the girl with the fancy costume. Many skaters saw how her skirt gave her more freedom of movement and they started to do the same. Gradually, female skaters began to wear more elaborate costumes with fancy fabrics, fur, special designs, decorations, and beads. In the 1960s many skaters started to wear lightweight synthetic fabrics, and the costumes became much more colorful and tight-fitting. This allowed skaters o have more freedom of movement and also made them stand out amongst the other skaters.   Henie also began wearing beige skates instead of black skates because they made her legs look...

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