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Madge Syers

Full name: Florence Madeleine (Mabel-) "Madge" Syers (Cave-)
Gender: Female
Born: September 16, 1881 in Kensington, Greater London, Great Britain
Died: September 9, 1917 in Weybridge, Surrey, Great Britain
Affiliations: Prince's Skating Club, Knightsbridge (GBR)
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Figure Skating

Related Olympians: Wife of Edgar Syers.

Medals: 1 Gold, 1 Bronze (2 Total)

Biography

Florence Madeline Cave, known to her friends “Madge” was one of fifteen children of Edward Jarvis Cave, a gentleman of independent means. Like many young girls in her position, she joined fashionable London Society at the Prince’s Skating Rink in Knightsbridge, but unlike most of her contemporaries, Madge took her skating seriously and it was through the sport that she met her future husband, Edgar Syers. Syers, who was 19 years her senior, wielded a considerable influence on Madge Caves development as a skater. He encouraged her to forsake the outdated “English” style with its minimal body movement, and in which she had won the 1899 Challenge Shield, and adopt the free and flowing “International’ style of skating. Madge Caves soon became the world’s leading woman skater. She won the first British pairs competition in 1899 with her future husband. The following year Madge and Edgar Syers were married and soon afterwards they finished second in one of the first international pairs competitions in Berlin.

Although the newly married couple was a formidable combination in pairs competitions, it was in individual events that Madge Syers really shone. As there was no rule prohibiting women from competing, she created a sensation by entering the World Championships in 1902 where – even more sensationally – she finished second to the great Ulrich Salchow of Sweden. The authorities immediately barred women from the championships, but in 1905 the ban was rescinded and the following year a separate ladies’ event was introduced at the world championships. Madge easily won this event in 1906 and 1907, but it was not until 1920 that these events were retroactively recognized as official world championships. She also won the first British singles championship in 1903, finishing ahead of Horatio Torromé, and in 1904 she defeated her husband to retain the title. With this record, Madge Syers was a clear favorite for the 1908 Olympic women’s singles and with all five judges placing her a clear first in both the compulsory figures and the free skating, she was an undisputed winner of the gold medal. She also won a bronze medal partnering her husband in the pairs event. After the 1908 Olympics, Madge Syers, who was also a prize winning swimmer and equestrienne, retired because of ill health and she died at the early age of 35.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Women's Singles Great Britain GBR 1 Gold
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Mixed Pairs Great Britain-2 GBR 3 Bronze

Women's Singles

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank MP TO TP O CFP FSP
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Final Standings 1 5×1+ 5.0 1,262.5
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Final Standings Judge #1 1 255.5 1.0 147.5 108.0
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Final Standings Judge #2 1 236.0 1.0 150.5 85.5
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Final Standings Judge #3 1 266.5 1.0 163.0 103.5
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Final Standings Judge #4 1 262.0 1.0 154.0 108.0
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Final Standings Judge #5 1 242.5 1.0 152.5 90.0
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Compulsory Figures 1 5×1+ 5.0 767.5
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Compulsory Figures Judge #1 1 147.5 1.0
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Compulsory Figures Judge #2 1 150.5 1.0
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Compulsory Figures Judge #3 1 163.0 1.0
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Compulsory Figures Judge #4 1 154.0 1.0
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Compulsory Figures Judge #5 1 152.5 1.0
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Free Skating 1 4×1+ 5.5 495.0
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Free Skating Judge #1 1 108.0 1.0
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Free Skating Judge #2 1T 85.5 1.5
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Free Skating Judge #3 1 103.5 1.0
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Free Skating Judge #4 1 108.0 1.0
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain Free Skating Judge #5 1 90.0 1.0

Mixed Pairs

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Partner Phase Unit Rank
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain-2 GBR Edgar Syers Final Standings 3
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain-2 GBR Edgar Syers Final Standings Judge #1 2T
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain-2 GBR Edgar Syers Final Standings Judge #2 2T
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain-2 GBR Edgar Syers Final Standings Judge #3 3
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain-2 GBR Edgar Syers Final Standings Judge #4 3
1908 Summer 26 London Figure Skating Great Britain-2 GBR Edgar Syers Final Standings Judge #5 3
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