|Full name||Valda Rosemary Osborn|
17 September 1934 |
Wembley, Middlesex, England
Valda Rosemary Osborn (born 17 September 1934 in Wembley, Middlesex, England) was a British figure skater. She was the 1953 European champion and World bronze medalist. She represented Great Britain at the 1952 Winter Olympics (in Oslo, Norway) where she placed 11th.
Personal life 
Valda Osborn was born in Wembley, England in 1934 and started skating at age 2½ at Wembley Ice Rink. She later moved to Richmond (Surrey), England when World War II caused the Wembley Rink to be closed for the duration in order to save electricity. She lived close to Richmond Bridge and was a short walk to Richmond Ice Rink which was the only one left open during the War. When she wasn't skating she had private tutors for her schooling. After turning professional in 1953, she lived in Brighton, Whitley Bay, Manchester and Feltham. Later after she retired she travelled around Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. She finally settled in Northern Cyprus and lived there for 13 years. She has now returned to England and lives in Rustington on the English south coast under her married name Valda Foggin. She has two grandchildren, James (1989) and Charlotte (1993).
Valda started skating at 2½ years at Wembley Ice Rink and was coached by Arnold Gerschwiler. Arnold was her only coach during her entire amateur career. At age 5, Valda won her first competition for "Under Sixes". At 9½ years she passed the NSA gold medal at Richmond Ice Rink on 6 June 1944 (D-Day). She was the youngest skater to pass her Gold and she still holds this record to this day. She continued skating at Richmond during and after the War. She became the British Champion in 1952 and again in 1953 under the guidance of Arnold Gerschwiler. In 1953 Valda won the European Championship at Dortmund, Germany. She is the last British women's figure skater to win the European championship to this date. Valda Osborn was awarded the Harry E. Radix skating pin after winning the 1953 European Championship title. Valda is the only European champion that was awarded the Radix pin. In 1953 Valda won the Bronze medal at the World Championship in Davos, Switzerland.
During her amateur career she was featured in British magazines such as Everybody's Weekly (20 December 1947) and Illustrated (26 January 1952). She was also interviewed on the BBC radio show In Town Tonight.
Valda Osborn can be seen at the following sites: 1. BritishPathe.com; European Ice Skating Championships (1953). Approx. last 60 seconds of video. 2. BritishPathe.com: Skating Champions (1948). Valda Osborn is shown skating with Aja Zanova and Joan Lister. 3. HBO "Reflections on Ice" video. Valda is shown on podium at 1953 World Championship in Davos. This is about halfway through (around 30 minutes) the 60 minute show. Valda is on the left. Tenley Albright is in the center and Gundi Busch is on the right.
She turned professional in 1953 and starred in Tom Arnold's Ice Circus in Brighton and then starred in Tom Arnold's Robinson Crusoe on Ice in the winter of 1953 at the Grand Theatre, Leeds.
Valda then turned to coaching ice skaters in Manchester, Whitley Bay, Brighton and finally in Richmond. When Richmond Ice Rink closed down and the property was redeveloped, Valda retired.
|Winter Olympic Games||11th|
- "Arnold Gerschwiler: Ice-skating coach who spent 60 years training Olympic competitors and film stars at Richmond Ice Rink". The Times. 17 September 2003. Retrieved 26 January 2010.