On the 50th anniversary of her gold medal at the 1964 Innsbruck Olympics, Sjoukje Dijkstra was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the ladies short program of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships Thursday in Boston.
For American figure skating fans, Dijkstra’s name is the one buried between Tenley Albright, Carol Heiss and Peggy Fleming on the list of ladies Olympic champions, but the six-time Dutch national champion was the elite female skater in the early 1960s. After capturing the silver medal to Heiss at Squaw Valley in 1960, Djikstra won five-consecutive European Championships between 1960 and 1964 and three World gold medals from 1962 to 1964.
And for those of you who, like me, only saw her in history books until last night, it’s pronounced “Shaw-kee Dike-stra.”
Djikstra, who turns 72 later in the month, won the Netherlands’ first ever Winter Olympic medal and is the last woman to turn a silver-or-bronze medal performance into a gold one at the following Olympics - -although, Mao Asada might end that streak in Sochi next month.
Also honored at TD Garden was Michelle Kwan, who was a 2012 inductee after winning nine U.S. and five World championships, with two Olympic medals.
1972 Olympic gold medalist Beatrix Schuba and 1980’s Anett Potzsch are now the only women’s Olympic champions of the modern era, between Sonja Henie (1928) and Kristi Yamaguchi (1992), not in the Hall, which was established in 1976.
The first three Olympic champions: Madge Syers (1908), Magda Julin (1920) and Herma Szabo (1924) are also absent from the Hall of Fame lists.