Suzanne Morrow Francis

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Suzanne Morrow Francis
Suzanne Morrow 1947.jpg
Suzanne Morrow Francis in 1947
Personal information
Country represented Canada
Born(1930-12-14)December 14, 1930
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
DiedJune 11, 2006(2006-06-11) (aged 75)
Former partnerWallace Diestelmeyer

Suzanne Morrow Francis or Dr. Suzanne Morrow Francis (December 14, 1930 – June 11, 2006) was a Canadian figure skater and a Veterinarian. She competed in Ladies' Singles in the 1948 and 1952 Winter Olympics.[1] Between 1947 and 1948, Francis competed in Pairs Mixed competitions with Canadian figure skater Wallace Diestelmeyer. Together they won the bronze medal at the 1948 Winter Olympics and the 1948 World Figure Skating Championships. They are credited as being the first pair to perform the death spiral.[1]


Competing in Ladies' Singles, Suzanne Morrow Francis came in 14th at the St. Moritz Winter Olympics but ended up in 6th place at the 1952 Oslo Winter Olympics.[2]

In 1952, Francis also earned her degree in veterinary medicine from the Ontario Veterinary College located at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario[3]. She retired from competition in 1953 but did not sever ties with figure skating.[3] While working as a Veterinarian, Francis also continued to serve as a figure skating judge and has been for over fifty years.[4] Additionally, she planned to work to work with the Peterborough Figure Skating Club.[3] Also, she was included in the top six women skaters in the world five years prior to when she had retired.[3] For a time, Francis shared a clinic with Dr. Edith Williams, the second Canadian woman to earn a degree as a veterinarian.[3][5] During that time, she also served as an All Breed dog show judge as part of the Canadian Kennel Club.[1][4]

She has always loved dogs and would not turn away from any animal that was needed of care.[3] It did not matter where she was she always had a dog by her side.[3] Her favourite dog was a German Shepherd.[3] Other than the time she went to College in Guelph for Veterinarian School her longest time she spent in school was two months because figure skating took up the majority of her time.[3] As well, because of this she mostly relied on tutors to get the help she needed to get through school.[3]

At the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Francis took the Judge's Oath, the first woman to do so at the Winter Olympics. In 1992, she was inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame together with Diestelmeyer.[1] She continued working as a veterinarian until retirement in 1995.[1][4]

Francis' Figure Skating Records[edit]

Ladies singles

Event 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953
Winter Olympics 14th 6th
World Championships 13th 4th 4th 4th 5th
North American Championships 2nd
Canadian Championships 3rd 1st 1st 1st

Pairs Mixed with Wallace Diestelmeyer

Event 1947 1948
Winter Olympics 3rd
World Championships 3rd
North American Championships 1st
Canadian Championships 1st 1st

Ice dance with Wallace Diestelmeyer

Event 1948
Canadian Championships 1st


  1. ^ a b c d e Suzanne Morrow.
  2. ^ "Suzanne Morrow Francis". Team Canada - Official 2018 Olympic Team Website. 2011-09-19. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Former Skating Champion Returns to First Love". Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: The Winnipeg Free Press. 14 July 1962. p. 16. Retrieved 27 May 2017 – via open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ a b c "Skate Canada: News & Views: News". 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  5. ^ Coates, Richard (4 September 1954). "Dog Owners and Their Pets Eventually Look Alike, Claims Lady Veterinarian". Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: The Ottawa Journal. p. 3. Retrieved 27 May 2017 – via open access publication – free to read

External links[edit]