Denise Biellmann

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Denise Biellmann
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-W1129-0027, M. Thomas, D. Bielmann, K. Witt.jpg
Biellmann (center) in November 1980
Personal information
Country represented   Switzerland
Born (1962-12-11) December 11, 1962 (age 52)
Zurich, Switzerland
Height 1.60 m (5 ft 3 in)
Coach Heidi Biellmann
Retired 1981 (age 18)

Denise Biellmann (born December 11, 1962) is a Swiss professional figure skater. She was the European and World Champion in 1981 and won the Swiss Championships three times.


Amateur career[edit]

Born in Zurich, Biellmann won her first international championship in Belgium at age eight, and at eleven, she won the Swiss junior figure skating championships.[2] At 14, she competed at the 1977 European Championships and placed second in the free skating portion of the competition.

At the age of 15, she was the first female skater to land the triple lutz in competition, which she performed for the first time at the 1978 European Championships.[3] At the same event, she became the first woman to receive a 6.0 in technical merit, receiving the score from British judge Pauline Borrajo.[3] She was 12th in figures, first in the free skate, and finished fourth overall.[3]

At the 1980 Winter Olympics, she won the free skating event and placed fourth overall.

The Biellmann spin was named after her, although she did not invent the spin but popularized it. It was present in skating at least since the 1965 European Championships when Tamara Moskvina performed it. It remains the only figure skating spin to be officially named after a person in ISU regulations. Nevertheless, by the end of her ISU career, the spin was causing her back pain.[3]

Biellmann retired from amateur competition at age 18, shortly after her win at the 1981 World Championships.

Professional career[edit]

Biellmann performing in the gala at the 2011 European Championships

Biellmann remains involved in the international figure skating community as a participant in both professional shows and competitions.

She participated in Pro7 Season 1, partnered with television presenter Pierre Geisensetter, and in Season 2, partnered with actor Patrick Bach.

She participated in the Eurovision Dance Contest 2007 representing Switzerland with partner Sven Ninnemann.

Competitive highlights[edit]

Event 1972–73 1973–74 1974–75 1975–76 1976–77 1977–78 1978–79 1979–80 1980–81
Winter Olympic Games 4th
World Championships 15th 10th 5th 5th 6th 1st
European Championships 6th 4th 3rd WD 1st
Swiss Championships 5th J. 1st J. 11th 3rd 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st
NHK Trophy 1st
Richmond Trophy 3rd
  • J = Junior level; WD = Withdrew


  1. ^
  2. ^ Denise Biellmann website
  3. ^ a b c d Stevenson, Alexandra (2011). "2011 European Championships Preview". Retrieved March 31, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Switzerland Cornelia Bürki
Swiss Sportswoman of the Year
Succeeded by
Switzerland Ruth Keller
Preceded by
Switzerland Ruth Keller
Swiss Sportswoman of the Year
Succeeded by
Switzerland Erika Hess