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Frances Dafoe

Full name: Frances Helen Dafoe (-Melnik)
Gender: Female
Born: December 17, 1929 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Affiliations: Toronto Skating Club
Country: CAN Canada
Sport: Figure Skating

Medals: 1 Silver (1 Total)

Biography

In 1955, a year before she and partner Norris Bowden won a silver medal at the 1956 Winter Olympics, such was the prominence of Frances Dafoe in the world of figure skating that she was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Prior to her induction she and Bowden had spent four years (1952-1955) as Canadian pairs champions, three (1953-1955) as North American champions and two (1954-1955) as world champions in figure skating pairs. They were also runner up at the World Championships in 1953 and 1956 and 4th in 1952. The duo had competed at the 1952 Winter Olympics, finishing fifth, but at the 1956 Games they were defeated narrowly (and controversially) by only the Austrians. Among the moves that Dafoe and Bowden pioneered were the twist lift, the overhead lasso lift, the throw jump, and the "leap of faith". After retiring as a competitor in 1956, she worked as a costume designer, designing costumes for figure skaters, as well as for television, theatre and ballet performances. Perhaps her most notable work was the design of 650 costumes for the closing ceremonies for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. She later worked as a figure skating judge, which was delayed not only due to a suspension from the Canadian Figure Skating Association, but also by Bowden’s career, as the duo were not permitted to be world-level judges at the same time, and Dafoe felt that the older Bowden should have his turn first. Eventually, however, she was a judge at the 1984 World Championships and the 1994 Winter Olympics. In 1991 she was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In addition to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, she was also inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1958 and the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in 1993.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1952 Winter 22 Oslo Figure Skating Mixed Pairs Canada CAN 5
1956 Winter 26 Cortina d'Ampezzo Figure Skating Mixed Pairs Canada-1 CAN 2 Silver

Mixed Pairs

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Partner Phase Unit Rank
1952 Winter 22 Oslo Figure Skating Canada CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings 5
1952 Winter 22 Oslo Figure Skating Canada CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #1 3
1952 Winter 22 Oslo Figure Skating Canada CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #2 3
1952 Winter 22 Oslo Figure Skating Canada CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #3 5
1952 Winter 22 Oslo Figure Skating Canada CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #4 6
1952 Winter 22 Oslo Figure Skating Canada CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #5 6
1952 Winter 22 Oslo Figure Skating Canada CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #6 7
1952 Winter 22 Oslo Figure Skating Canada CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #7 7
1952 Winter 22 Oslo Figure Skating Canada CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #8 7
1952 Winter 22 Oslo Figure Skating Canada CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #9 4
1956 Winter 26 Cortina d'Ampezzo Figure Skating Canada-1 CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings 2
1956 Winter 26 Cortina d'Ampezzo Figure Skating Canada-1 CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #1 2
1956 Winter 26 Cortina d'Ampezzo Figure Skating Canada-1 CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #2 2
1956 Winter 26 Cortina d'Ampezzo Figure Skating Canada-1 CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #3 1
1956 Winter 26 Cortina d'Ampezzo Figure Skating Canada-1 CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #4 2
1956 Winter 26 Cortina d'Ampezzo Figure Skating Canada-1 CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #5 3
1956 Winter 26 Cortina d'Ampezzo Figure Skating Canada-1 CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #6 1
1956 Winter 26 Cortina d'Ampezzo Figure Skating Canada-1 CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #7 1
1956 Winter 26 Cortina d'Ampezzo Figure Skating Canada-1 CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #8 3
1956 Winter 26 Cortina d'Ampezzo Figure Skating Canada-1 CAN Norris Bowden Final Standings Judge #9 1