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Charlie Gorman

Full name: Charles Ingraham "Charlie" Gorman
Nickname(s): The Man with the Million Dollar Legs
Gender: Male
Born: July 6, 1897 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Died: February 11, 1940 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Affiliations: Saint John
Country: CAN Canada
Sport: Speed Skating

Biography

The first winter Olympian from the Canadian province of New Brunswick, Charlie Gorman was a speed skater from a young age, winning the Canadian Maritime championships in 1912 at the age of only 15. His career was placed in jeopardy when he received a shrapnel wound in his leg serving as a machine gunner in World War I, and doctors told him that he could never compete again. Nevertheless he continued to train and, in 1923, he placed joint-second at the United States national speed skating championship. The following year he represented Canada at the 1924 Winter Olympics in the 500, 1000, 5000 m and allround events, but never placed higher than seventh. It was nevertheless a successful year for him, however, as he won the United States national and world championships within the span of two weeks. He lost these titles in 1925, but regained the latter the following year by defeating five-time Olympic champion Clas Thunberg. He participated in the 1928 Winter Olympics, in the 500, 1500, and 5000 m events, but again failed to place higher than seventh and retired from active competition later that year, still holding seven world records and numerous North American ones as well. He then owned and operated gas stations in Saint John, New Brunswick prior to his death in 1940, at the age of 42, from a skin disease. His funeral procession was attended by thousands, but he was buried under a simple footstone with the name "Charlie" written on it. He was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1955 and the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1970. The city erected a stone in the 1960s and named the Charlie Gorman Arena in his honor, but it was not until 2010 that funds were raised for a proper memorial and gravestone for the local and international legend.

Personal Bests: 500 – 43.9 (1928); 1500 – 2:28.4 (1928); 5000 – unknown.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1924 Winter 26 Chamonix Speed Skating Men's 500 metres Canada CAN 7
1924 Winter 26 Chamonix Speed Skating Men's 1,500 metres Canada CAN 11
1924 Winter 26 Chamonix Speed Skating Men's 5,000 metres Canada CAN AC
1924 Winter 26 Chamonix Speed Skating Men's Allround Canada CAN AC DNF
1928 Winter 30 Sankt Moritz Speed Skating Men's 500 metres Canada CAN 7
1928 Winter 30 Sankt Moritz Speed Skating Men's 1,500 metres Canada CAN 12

Men's 500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1924 Winter 26 Chamonix Speed Skating Canada Final Standings 7 45.4
1928 Winter 30 Sankt Moritz Speed Skating Canada Final Standings 7 43.9

Men's 1,500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1924 Winter 26 Chamonix Speed Skating Canada Final Standings 11 2:35.4
1928 Winter 30 Sankt Moritz Speed Skating Canada Final Standings 12 2:28.4

Men's 5,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank
1924 Winter 26 Chamonix Speed Skating Canada Final Standings AC

Men's Allround

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank PTS TP T
1924 Winter 26 Chamonix Speed Skating Canada Final Standings AC DNF
1924 Winter 26 Chamonix Speed Skating Canada 500 metres 5 45.4
1924 Winter 26 Chamonix Speed Skating Canada 5,000 metres AC
1924 Winter 26 Chamonix Speed Skating Canada 1,500 metres 7 2:35.4
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