Lela Brooks

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Brooks, on the far right, standing with fellow Olympic speedskaters Charles Gorman and Valentine Bialas in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada in 1926

Lela Alene Brooks (February 7, 1908 – September 11, 1990) was a Canadian world record-holding speed skater.

Career[edit]

Born in Toronto, Brooks was the first female member of the Old Orchard Skating Club and began setting Ontario and Canadian records in 1923 at the age of 15. By the end of 1925, when she was 17, Brooks had broken six world records. She would ultimately set 17 world records over her skating career.

At the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, she participated in three demonstration events with all competitors from Canada and the United States. She made it to the finals in all three events, but placed no higher than fourth. Her time in the 1500 m heats, 2:54.0, was more than 15 seconds under the official world record, but the time wasn't recognised since the race was skated under the North American mass start rules.

She qualified for the 1936 Winter Olympics but chose to retire. Later that year, she married druggist Russ Campbell and moved to Owen Sound, Ontario. She died there at age 82.

Brooks was inducted into the Speed Skating Canada Hall of Fame (1972) and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame (1972).

Championships[edit]

The following list appeared in the Toronto Telegram of February 14, 1931. Perhaps a dozen or more championships were won by Brooks but are not shown on this list.

1923[edit]

  • 440 yards, Girls under 18 - Ontario Championship
  • 1 mile Indoor, Open - Ontario Championship

1924[edit]

  • 440 yards, Girls under 16 - Canadian Championship
  • 880 yards, Girls under 18 - Canadian Championship
  • 880 yards, ladies' Open - Canadian Championship
  • Winner of Star Silver Skates Derby

1925[edit]

  • 440 yards, Girls under 16, Ontario Championship
  • 3/4 mile, Open - Ontario Championship
  • 880 yards, Open - Ontario Championship
  • 220 yards, Open - Canadian Championship
  • 880 yards, Girls under 18 - Canadian Championship
  • 440 yards, Open - Canadian Championship
  • 880 yards, Open - Canadian Championship
  • 1 mile, Open - Canadian Championship
  • 880 yards, Under 18 - Indoor Ontario Championship
  • 220 yards, Open - Indoor Ontario Championship
  • 440 yards, Open - Indoor Ontario Championship
  • 880 yards, Open - Indoor Ontario Championship
  • Chicago Silver Skate Derby - Winner and Lap Prize Winner
  • 220 yards, Ladies Open - Chicago
  • 440 yards, Ladies Open - Chicago
  • 220 yards, - International Championships, Pittsburgh
  • 440 yards, - International Championships, Pittsburgh
  • 1 mile, - International Championships, Pittsburgh
  • For 3 years - Winner of Sidney E. Ballard Trophy, presented to the girls under 18, Old Orchard Speed Skating Club Annual Competition - 440, 880, 1-mile (1.6 km)

1926[edit]

  • 880 yards, under 18 - Canadian Championship
  • 440 yards, Open - Canadian Championship
  • 880 yards, Open - Canadian Championship
  • 1 mile, Open - Canadian Championship
  • 220 yards, - Outdoor International Championships, Detroit
  • 440 yards, - Outdoor International Championships, Detroit
  • 880 yards, - Outdoor International Championships, Detroit
  • 1 mile, - Outdoor International Championships, Detroit
  • 440 yards, - Indoor International Championships, Pittsburgh
  • 1 mile, - Indoor International Championships, Pittsburgh
  • 440 yards,- Ladies Open - Worlds Championships, St. John, New Brunswick
  • 880 yards,-Ladies Open - Worlds Championships, St. John, New Brunswick
  • 1 mile, - Ladies Open - Worlds Championships, St. John, New Brunswick
  • Over all - Ladies World Champion, St. John New Brunswick
  • 220 yards, Open - Middle Atlantic Championships, Newburgh, New York
  • 440 yards, Open - Middle Atlantic Championships, Newburgh, New York
  • 880 yards, Open - Middle Atlantic Championships, Newburgh, New York

1927[edit]

  • 220 yards, Ladies Open, Indoor International Championships, Pittsburgh
  • 880 yards, Ladies Open, Indoor International Championships, Pittsburgh
  • 1 mile, Ladies Open, Indoor International Championships, Pittsburgh
  • 440 yards, Outdoor Canadian Championships
  • 880 yards, Outdoor Canadian Championships
  • 1 mile, Outdoor Canadian Championships
  • 220 yards, Indoor Canadian Championships, Quebec City
  • 440 yards, Indoor Canadian Championships, Quebec City
  • 880 yards, Indoor Canadian Championships, Quebec City
  • 1 mile, Indoor Canadian Championships, Quebec City
  • 220 yards, Ladies Open, City of Toronto Championships
  • 440 yards, Ladies Open, City of Toronto Championships

1928[edit]

  • 220 yards, Middle Atlantic Championships, Newburgh, New York
  • 440 yards, Middle Atlantic Championships, Newburgh, New York
  • 220 yards, Indoor Championships, Detroit
  • 440 yards, Indoor Championships, Detroit
  • 880 yards, Indoor Championships, Detroit
  • 1 mile, Mardi Gras Carnival, Detroit, broke World's Record at 3:13 4/5
  • Winner of Oakland Sports Coupe for breaking World's Record at Mardi Gras Carnival, Detroit
  • 1 mile, Canadian Championship, Broke World's Record

1929[edit]

  • 440 yards, North American Championship, Detroit
  • 220 yards, Ontario Outdoor Championship
  • 440 yards, Ontario Outdoor Championship
  • 880 yards, Ontario Outdoor Championship

1930[edit]

  • 1/2 mile, North American Outdoor Championships, Ottawa Broke World's Record
  • 3/4 mile, North American Outdoor Championships, Ottawa
  • Broke the World Record in both cases
  • North American Point Champion

1932 - 1933[edit]

  • 880 yards, International Invitation, Detroit
  • 1 mile, International Invitation, Detroit
  • 1 mile, Open - Skate Derby, Detroit
  • Championship - United States Western Indoor Meet
  • 880 yards & 1-mile (1.6 km), International Match Races with Helen Bina, US National Champion
  • 1 mile, Toronto Championships at Varsity
  • 440 yards, Toronto Championships at Varsity

1934[edit]

  • North American Indoor Championships, Toronto

1935[edit]

  • Points Champion, North American Indoor, St. Johns, New Brunswick