Dianne de Leeuw
|Dianne de Leeuw|
Dianne de Leeuw in 1974
|Full name||Dianne Margaret de Leeuw|
19 November 1955 |
|Height||1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)|
Since there were few international opportunities for U.S. skaters, de Leeuw's mother decided she should try to compete for the Netherlands. She won her first national title in the 1970–71 season and was assigned to the 1971 European Championships in Zürich, where she placed 19th. To gain a berth to the 1972 Winter Olympics, de Leeuw was required to finish in the top ten at the 1972 European Championships. She managed to place ninth and made her Olympic debut, finishing 16th. She then made her first appearance at the World Championships.
De Leeuw's international breakthrough came in the 1973–74 season. Her first ISU Championship medal was silver at the 1974 European Championships in Zagreb, behind Christine Errath. At the 1974 World Championships in Munich, she was awarded the bronze medal and stepped onto the podium with Errath and Dorothy Hamill.
In 1975, de Leeuw repeated as silver medalist at the European Championships in Copenhagen, while Errath again won gold. She became World champion at the 1975 World Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado, finishing ahead of Hamill and Errath, and was voted the 1975 Dutch female athlete of the year.
De Leeuw won gold at the 1974 European Championships in Geneva. At the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, she carried the Dutch flag and made daily trips to Germany for ice time. She received the silver medal, while Hamill and Errath obtained gold and bronze respectively. After taking bronze at the 1976 World Championships in Gothenburg, de Leeuw retired from ISU competition. She toured with Holiday on Ice and the Ice Follies and then became a coach, working at the Westminster Ice Palace in Westminster, California and Anaheim Ice.
- "Dianne de Leeuw". Sports Reference.
- Elfman, Lois (April 2014). "Sharing a Love for Skating: Olympian de Leeuw reflects on her journey". Skating Magazine. p. 8.
|Flagbearer for Netherlands
|Dutch Sportswoman of the Year
Keetie van Oosten
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