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Former Olympian Colledge dies at age 87

Figure skater competed in 1932 Winter Games

April 21, 2008
Lake Placid News
LAKE PLACID — Magdelina Cecilia Colledge, who at age 11 represented Britain as a figure skater in the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, died April 12 at age 87.

Born Nov. 28, 1920, Colledge had been the last living competitor from the 1932 Olympic Winter Games, according to Liz DeFazio, director of the 1932 & 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum. Colledge remains the youngest-ever British Olympian.

In the winter of 2007, Colledge returned to Lake Placid, where she had enchanted spectators with her novel performance at such a young age. Colledge attended a Diamond Dinner Dance held by the Olympic Center, in which several young figure skaters re-enacted her prodigious style in a tribute to her legacy on the ice.

“I was only 11 at the time, so I don’t remember a great deal,” Colledge told the Lake Placid News during this visit. “I was here to skate, and I basically did what I was told.”

Colledge said her start in the sport “just sort of happened. My mother was at the world championships, saw the skaters and said, ‘That’s what my little girl is going to do.’”

Her mother’s intuition proved true.

Colledge had an innovative style and was the first woman to perform a double jump during competition at the European Championship in Berlin in 1936.

Following her competitive career, Colledge coached for about a year in Lake Placid in the early 1950s before moving to the Boston area, where she continued to coach and remained active in figure skating.

For her contributions to the sport, she was elected into the U.S. Figure Skating Association Hall of Fame in 1980.

She leaves no close relatives, and, following cremation, her ashes will be flown back to England to be interred at the family plot at Brookwood, Surrey.



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