Barbara Underhill

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Barbara Underhill
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1983-0329-027, Barbara Underhill, Paul Martini.jpg
Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini, March 1983
Personal information
Full nameBarbara Ann Underhill
Country represented Canada
Born (1963-06-24) June 24, 1963 (age 55)
Port Elgin, Ontario
Height4 ft 11 in (150 cm)
PartnerPaul Martini
Skating clubGranite Club
Oshawa FSC

Barbara Ann Underhill (born June 24, 1963) is a Canadian former pair skater. With partner Paul Martini, she is the 1984 World champion, the 1979–1983 Canadian national champion, and the 1978 World Junior champion. They represented Canada at the 1980 Winter Olympics, where they placed 9th, and at the 1984 Winter Olympics, where they placed 7th. In 2009, she was named to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.[1]


Partnership with Martini[edit]

Underhill/Martini won gold at the 1978 World Junior Championships in Megève, France, ahead of Jana Blahová / Ludek Feno of Czechoslovakia. In 1979, they won their first senior national title and made their World Championship debut, finishing 11th. They placed 9th at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

Underhill/Martini finished fourth at the 1982 World Championships in Copenhagen, having placed fifth in the short program and fourth in the free skate. The pair reached the podium at the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki. After placing third in both segments, they were awarded the bronze medal behind Elena Valova / Oleg Vasiliev of the Soviet Union and Sabine Baeß / Tassilo Thierbach of East Germany.

In February 1984, Underhill/Martini finished 7th at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. In March, they competed at the 1984 World Championships in Ottawa. Ranked second to Olympic gold medalists Valova/Vasiliev in the short program and first in the free skate, Underhill/Martini won Canada's first world figure skating title since Karen Magnussen in 1973.[2]

Later career[edit]

Underhill worked for 16 years as a skating TV commentator until 2006.[3] She then began working with hockey players to develop their speed and power.[3][4] Underhill initially worked with the Guelph Storm, of which her husband Rick Gaetz is a part owner.[1] She then began working with NHL teams—first the Anaheim Ducks, followed by the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning.[1][3] Underhill was named in the 2011 edition of The Hockey News's list of the 100 most influential people in ice hockey due to her power skating coaching.[5] Underhill joined the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs as the team's Skating Consultant on April 20, 2012.[6]

Underhill also appeared on CBC TV's Battle of the Blades.

Personal life[edit]

Underhill was born in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Underhill married Rick Gaetz, with whom she has two sons, Matthew and Scott, all of whom are involved in hockey.[3] On September 15, 1992, she had twin girls, Sam and Stephanie, but lost Stephanie in a drowning accident on May 29, 1993, hours before Game 7 between Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Gardens.[7][8] In 1998 Underhill started the Stephanie Gaetz Keepsafe Foundation to reduce injuries in childhood, with a focus on water safety.[7]

Competitive highlights[edit]

(with Martini)

Event 77–78 78–79 79–80 80–81 81–82 82–83 83–84
Winter Olympics 9th 7th
World Champ. 11th 11th 7th 4th 3rd 1st
Skate America 1st
NHK Trophy 1st 1st
Prize of Moscow News 5th
Nebelhorn Trophy 1st
Ennia Challenge Cup 5th 1st
St. Gervais 1st
International: Junior
World Junior Champ. 1st
Canadian Champ. 1st J. 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
J. = Junior level


  1. ^ a b c Riches, Sam (March 14, 2014). "The Woman Who's Teaching the NHL How to Skate". Pacific Standard. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  2. ^ Goldstein, Wesley (March 23, 1984). "For Canada's Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini, two weeks..." UPI. Archived from the original on March 15, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Elfman, Lois (May 19, 2011). "Underhill giving hockey players the edge". IceNetwork. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  4. ^ Feschuk, Dave (July 15, 2013). "Maple Leafs making strides with Barbara Underhill". Toronto Star.
  5. ^ The Hockey News, Volume 64, Number 14, January 17, 2011, p.23, Publisher: Caroline Andrews, Transcontinental Media
  6. ^ "Leafs hire ex-figure skater as skating coach". Sportsnet. April 20, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Egan, Kelly (October 28, 2005). "Her fairy tale life was over when her child fell into a pool". Ottawa Citizen. Archived from the original on November 14, 2012.
  8. ^ Hudson, Kathryn (April 2010). "Barbara Underhill: Skating superstar". Archived from the original on 2012-04-02.

External links[edit]