Press Release

Dutch star Dijkstra elected to world hall of fame

Olympic gold medalist dominated ladies figure skating in 1960s

The World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame elected Sjoukje Dijkstra, Viktor Balck and pairs team Ludowika Eilers-Jakobsson and Walter Jakobsson.
The World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame elected Sjoukje Dijkstra, Viktor Balck and pairs team Ludowika Eilers-Jakobsson and Walter Jakobsson. (World Figure Skating Hall of Fame)

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By World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame
(03/22/2013) - Dr. Lawrence Mondschein, chair of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, has announced that 1964 Olympic champion Sjoukje Dijkstra of the Netherlands has been elected to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame by a panel of esteemed electors.

"I feel very proud to be in the hall of fame for figure skating," Dijkstra said. "This is a wonderful completion to my skating career."

Dijkstra is a three-time Olympian (1956, '60, '64) and two-time Olympic medalist, earning the gold medal in 1964 and the silver in 1960. Dijkstra won six consecutive Dutch championships (1959-64), five consecutive European championships (1960-64) and three consecutive world championships (1962-64). She was also named Dutch Sportswoman of the Year for six consecutive years (1959-64) and received the 1964 Knight of Royal Order.

She performed with Holiday on Ice from 1964-72. In 2005, she was awarded the Fanny Blankers-Koen Trophy for her contributions to Dutch sports.

"I am thrilled by the election of Sjoukje Dijkstra," Mondschein said. "In the early 1960s, Sjoukje completely dominated ladies figure skating and became the first Dutch athlete to earn an Olympic Winter Games gold medal. She has been recognized by the government and sports federations of the Netherlands on many occasions and remains a national treasure."

The hall's Golden Committee, which considers athletes and others whose contributions came before World War II, selected Finland's Viktor Balck and pairs team Ludowika Eilers-Jakobsson of Germany and Walter Jakobsson of Finland.

Balck (1844-1928) was one of the most prominent leaders during the infancy of the international sports movement, helping form the International Skating Union in 1892 and the International Olympic Committee in 1894.

Eilers-Jakobsson (1884-1968) and Jakobsson (1882-1957) competed in three Olympics, winning the gold medal in the first Games at which figure skating was competed (1920) and earning the silver medal at the first Olympic Winter Games (1924).