Peggy Fleming Skates to Gold – February 10, 1968
Peggy Fleming won the gold medal in Women’s Figure Skating on February 10, 1968. She was the only American to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France.
The New York Times described Fleming’s win as “a victory of the ballet over the Ice Follies approach to figure skating.”
Women’s figure skating became an Olympic sport in 1908, but no American woman was able to take a gold medal in the event until Tenley Albright did it at Cortina, Italy in 1956. The U.S. followed up its win in Cortina when Carol Heiss, who had been the silver medalist in 1956, stepped up and took the gold medal at Squaw Valley, California, in 1960.
Disaster struck a year later when all 18 members of the U.S. team were killed in a plane crash in Belgium. They were on their way to the World Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
Still in the throes of its rebuilding phase, Peggy Fleming at the age of 15, led the U.S. women skaters by placing 6th at the 1964 Winter Olympics at Insbruck, Austria.