Elizabeth Manley

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Elizabeth Manley
Elizabeth Manley.jpg
Elizabeth Manley at the 2010 Winter Olympics
Personal information
Country representedCanada
Born (1965-08-07) August 7, 1965 (age 57)
Trenton, Ontario
Height1.52 m (5 ft 0 in)
Former coachPeter Dunfield
Sonya Klopfer
Former skating clubGloucester Skating Club
Former training locationsOrleans, Ontario
Medal record
Representing  Canada
figure skating: Ladies' singles
Winter Olympics
Silver medal – second place 1988 Calgary Ladies' singles
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 1988 Budapest Ladies' singles
World Junior Championships
Bronze medal – third place 1982 Oberstdorf Ladies' singles

Elizabeth Ann Manley, CM (born August 7, 1965) is a Canadian former competitive figure skater. She is the 1988 Olympic silver medallist, the 1988 World silver medalist and a three-time Canadian national champion.

Early life and training[edit]

Manley was born in 1965 in Trenton, Ontario, the fourth child and only daughter in her family. Her father's military career necessitated occasionally moving, and when Manley was nine years old, her family moved from Trenton to Ottawa.[1] After her parents' divorce in the 1970s, she was raised by her mother, Joan.[2]

Competitive career[edit]

Manley began skating at an early age. Her mother invested time and money in her daughter's figure skating career.[2]

Manley won the bronze medal at the 1982 World Junior Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany.[3] Later that season, she competed at her first senior World Championships and finished 13th in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In the 1982–83 season, Manley relocated from Ottawa to Lake Placid, New York to receive more intensive training but became depressed and homesick, which resulted in her hair falling out and weight gain.[4] She finished off the podium at the Canadian Championships and briefly dropped out of the sport, but resumed her skating career after Peter Dunfield and Sonya Dunfield agreed to coach her in Ontario.[4] They worked with her at the Gloucester Skating Club in Orleans, Ontario.

Manley competed at the 1984 Winter Olympics, placing 13th,[5] and the World Championships between 1984 and 1987. At the 1987 Worlds, she was in a position to vie for the world title after compulsory figures and the short program, but a poor result in the long program left her in fourth place overall in the competition.

Entering the 1988 Winter Olympics, few skating know-hows and media analysts considered Manley to be a contender for an Olympic medal. Battling illness, she nevertheless did well in compulsory figures and the short program. Heading into the long program, she was in third place behind the East German skater Katarina Witt and the American skater Debi Thomas. Witt and Thomas were both favourites for the gold medal, and the media had dubbed their rivalry as the "Battle of the Carmens", as both women chose to skate to music from the opera Carmen.[6] Witt skated her long program cleanly but conservatively, and Thomas fell apart in her long program. Elizabeth Manley, however, gave the performance of her career, one so widely recognized as a very special performance that announcer Jim McKay said, "Wouldn't it be great if every human being could have a moment like this once in their lives?" [7] Manley won the long program and came within a fraction of a point of beating Witt for the Olympic title.[6] Figure skating writer and historian Ellyn Kestnbaum calls Manley's Olympic free skating program "athletic", with a triple loop, a triple lutz, a Salchow jump, and a toe loop jump. Kestnbaum also states that Manley skated with "a cheerful and outgoing style that...[was] pleasing to the audience".[8] Her come-from-behind placement made her a national celebrity in Canada.

After winning the silver medal at the 1988 World Championships, Manley retired from amateur skating.[6]

Later career[edit]

Manley performed in ice shows and television specials, and competed in professional events, for a number of years afterwards, being notable for her unusually imaginative programs. She now works as a figure skating coach and occasional media commentator. In 1988, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada.[9]

In 1990, Manley published an autobiography: Thumbs Up!;[10] a second volume of autobiography, As I Am: My Life After the Olympics, followed in 1999.[10]

In September 1990, radio personality The Real Darren Stevens launched a radio stunt, admitting that he suffered from a rare affliction: he was a Canadian who couldn't skate. While on the air, he openly "stalked" fellow Ottawa native Manley and begged her to teach him how to skate. Finally, after several months, Manley replied in January 1991, put skates on Stevens, and taught him how to skate.

Manley starred as Red Riding Hood in CBC's 1992 television film The Trial of Red Riding Hood which premiered on the Disney Channel two years later.[10]

In 2014, she was inducted into the Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. [11]

Personal life[edit]

Manley married television producer David N. Rosen in June 2019 .[1] .[12][1]

Manley is a spokesperson for mental health issues due to her own battle with depression, which began before the 1984 Olympics.[13] As of 2009,she is also an official spokesperson for Ovarian Cancer Canada's Winners Walk of Hope.[10] Her mother died from ovarian cancer in July 2008 and her father died of Alzheimer's disease in 2010.[2][13]

She is also spokesperson for Herbal Magic weight loss.[14]


Event 80–81 81–82 82–83 83–84 84–85 85–86 86–87 87–88
Olympics 13th 2nd
Worlds 13th 8th 9th 5th 4th 2nd
Skate America 8th
Skate Canada 6th 2nd 1st 2nd
NHK Trophy 5th
St. Ivel 1st
Nebelhorn 3rd
International: Junior
Junior Worlds 3rd
Canadian Champ. 3rd 2nd 4th 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 1st

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jackson, Emma (August 25, 2011). "Elizabeth Manley visits namesake park". YourOttawaRegion.com. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Ruicci, Peter (June 17, 2011). "Manley overcoming tough times". Toronto Sun. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  3. ^ "World Junior Figure Skating Championships Results: Ladies" (PDF). International Skating Union. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b Rosewater, Amy (February 14, 2010). "Manley says "she feels like a million dollars"". IceNetwork.
  5. ^ "Elizabeth Manley, figure skater, now 47 Canada's sweetheart, Liz Manley began skating in Ontario as a young child. By 1982 she had made it to the World Championships and placed 13th. But there was a personal cost to her early success. The intense training and social isolation from moving to Lake Placid caused her to become depressed. She lost a lot of her hair and gained weight. She briefly dropped out of skating in 1983 but returned in time for the 1984 Winter Olympics, placing 13th. She" (caption). www.vancouversun.com. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b c "1988: Skater Elizabeth Manley wins Olympic silver medal - CBC Archives". cbc.ca. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  7. ^ "The price of an Olympic moment".
  8. ^ Kestnbaum, Ellyn (2003). Culture on Ice: Figure Skating and Cultural Meaning. Middleton, Connecticut: Wesleyan Publishing Press. p. 137. ISBN 0-8195-6641-1.
  9. ^ General, The Office of the Secretary to the Governor. "The Governor General of Canada". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d "Military brat Elizabeth Manley: A Champion on Ice and a Crusader for Mental Health". cmfmag.ca. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Canada's Sports Hall of Fame". Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  12. ^ Cleary, Martin (July 26, 2007). "Life brings Ottawa's ice princess full circle". Ottawa Citizen. p. A1. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2007.
  13. ^ a b Elfman, Lois (November 8, 2012). "Busy Manley finds time to give back through show". IceNetwork.
  14. ^ "Herbal Magic Weight Loss". Herbal Magic. Retrieved 2010-08-10.