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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

NORRIS BOWDEN

Inducted in 1955

Member Details

Date of Birth: August 13, 1926
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario
Date of Passing: April 9, 1991
Sport: Figure skating
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1947

Won Canadian Men's Single Figure Skating title

1952-55

Held Canadian pairs title

1953-56

Won North American pairs title

1954, 1955

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

1956

Silver medal at Olympics

Honoured Member NORRIS BOWDEN
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 took figure skating to a new level 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, and the pair only received a 5th place standing at the 1952 Olympics. They were finally recognized 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 over the next few years, defending their world title in 1955 and winning a silver medal at the 1956 Olympics. For his part, Norris Bowden was an accomplished champion before he started skating with Dafoe. He won the men's single figure skating title in 1947 but turned down the chance to compete in the 1948 Olympics in order to finish his Masters in Commerce at the University of Toronto. After his glorious triumphs with Dafoe, Bowden continued his involvement in figure skating as a judge and a team leader. He also enjoyed a successful career in insurance.


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