Sonya Klopfer

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Sonya Klopfer
Personal information
Full name Sonya Dunfield
Country represented United States
Born (1934-12-26) December 26, 1934 (age 82)
New York City, United States
Retired 1952

Sonya Klopfer (married name: Dunfield, born December 26, 1934) is an American former competitive figure skater and coach. She is a two-time World medalist (bronze in 1951, silver in 1952) and the 1951 U.S. national champion.

Personal life[edit]

Klopfer was born in New York City and was named after Sonja Henie.[1] She married Canadian figure skater Peter Dunfield, with whom she had two sons.[2]


Klopfer won silver on the senior level at the 1950 U.S. Championships. She was then sent to Wembley, England to compete at her first World Championships and finished fifth.

In 1951, Klopfer was awarded the gold medal at the U.S. Championships. Having won at age 15, she was the youngest U.S. senior ladies' champion until Tara Lipinski won in 1997 at age 14.[3] Klopfer obtained the bronze medal in Milan at the 1951 World Championships, standing on the podium with Jeannette Altwegg and Jacqueline du Bief.

In February 1952, Klopfer competed at the Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway and finished fourth at the event. Her final competition was the 1952 World Championships in Paris, France. She won silver behind du Bief and then retired from competition.

From the early 1960s, Klopfer coached with her husband in New York City at the Sky Rink.[4] When the rink closed around 1983, they moved to the Gloucester Skating Club in Orleans, Ontario.[5] Her students included Dorothy Hamill, Elizabeth Manley,[4] Scott Smith, and Charlene Wong (from 1986 to 1990).[6] She was inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in 2001[7] and into the Professional Skaters Association' Coaches Hall of Fame in 2005.[8]


Event 1950 1951 1952
Winter Olympics 4th
World Championships 5th 3rd 2nd
North American Championships 1st
U.S. Championships 2nd 1st


  1. ^ "Sport: Olympic Figures". Time. December 31, 1951. 
  2. ^ "Skating community saddened by the death of Peter Dunfield". Skate Canada. May 27, 2014. 
  3. ^ Swift, E.M. (February 24, 1997). "Kid Stuff". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 1, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Elfman, Lois (May 29, 2014). "Dunfield remembered as teacher, motivator". IceNetwork. 
  5. ^ Rosewater, Amy (February 14, 2010). "Manley says "she feels like a million dollars"". IceNetwork. 
  6. ^ Elfman, Lois (January 31, 2008). "Behind the scenes of figure skating – Jan. 31". IceNetwork. 
  7. ^ "Skate Canada Hall of Fame: Honoured Members 2001". Skate Canada. Retrieved May 2014.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  8. ^