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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

FRANCES DAFOE

Inducted in 1955

Member Details

Date of Birth: January 17, 1929
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario
Date of Passing: September 23, 2016
Sport: Figure skating
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1953-1956

Held North American pairs title

1953

World Championships, the first Canadians to win a world pairs figure skating title

1954

Reclaimed World Championship title

1956

Cortina d'Ampezzo Olympic Games - Silver medal

Honoured Member FRANCES DAFOE
Inspire

Story

Combining incredible athletic ability with their unique artistry, Norris Bowden and Frances Dafoe were the nation's finest pairs figure skaters throughout most of the 1950s. True pioneers in their sport, Bowden and Dafoe brought figure skating to a new level of sophistication with their imaginative new lifts and jumps. Bowden and Dafoe held the Canadian pairs title from 1952-55 and the North American pairs title from 1953-56. Their style, however, was considered to be too "athletic" by many comparatively conservative European judges, and the pair received only a fifth place standing at the 1952 Olympics. They were recognized, however, as World Champions in 1954, becoming the first Canadians to win a world pairs figure skating title. Bowden and Dafoe continued to shine on the international stage, reclaiming their world title in 1955 and winning a silver medal at the 1956 Olympics. After her glorious victories with Bowden, Dafoe remained involved in figure skating as a judge, team leader, and costume designer, outfitting such greats including Toller Cranston. A fashion designer by profession, she also made a name for herself designing costumes for television, theatre, and ballet.


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