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Figure Skating at the 1932 Lake Placid Winter Games:

Men's Singles

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Host City: Lake Placid, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Arena, Lake Placid
Date Started: February 8, 1932
Date Finished: February 9, 1932
Format: Each judge ranked each skater by Ordinal Placement from first through last place. The Ordinal Placement for each judge was based on Total Points awarded by that judge to the skaters. The points were based on 60% for Compulsory Figures and 40% for Free Skating, with the tiebreaker for each judge being Compulsory Figure Points. Final placement was determined by a Majority Placement rule. Thus, if a skater was ranked first by a majority of the judges, that skater was placed first overall, and the process was repeated for each place. If no absolute majority for a place existed, the tiebreakers were, in order: 1) Total Ordinals, 2) Total Points, 3) Compulsory Figure Points.

Gold: AUT Karl Schäfer
Silver: SWE Gillis Grafström
Bronze: CAN Bud Wilson

Summary

At the 1932 Games Gillis Grafström, now 38, made a gallant try to make figure skating history. The triple Olympic Champion had won the World Championship in 1929, beating his main rival Karl Schäfer, but since then he had not appeared on the figure skating championship scene. Schäfer had taken over as the world’s leading male figure skater, winning all European titles since 1929 and world titles since 1930.

At the 1932 European Championships in Paris mid-January, he was far ahead of his nearest rivals.

Grafström made a mistake in his specialty, the compulsory figures, and Schäfer won his first Olympic gold with a clear margin. The Swedish stylist was able to recover from his mistake and secured the silver, ending his Olympic career with three gold and one silver, a medal collection even Sonja Henie was unable to match. Montgomery Wilson improved from his modest 13th place in St. Moritz to win Canada’s first ever figure skating Olympic medal, securing the bronze medal. One week later Wilson won the silver medal in the World Championships in Montreal behind Schäfer, but by then Grafström had left for Europe, ending one of the greatest and longest figure skating careers of all time. He had competed in the World Championships first in 1914 in Helsinki, and further international titles were denied him because, from 1915-1921, no figure skating championships were held due to World War I.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal MP TO TP
1 Karl Schäfer 22 Austria AUT Gold 5×1+ 9.0 2,602.0
2 Gillis Grafström 38 Sweden SWE Silver 6×2+ 13.0 2,514.5
3 Bud Wilson 22 Canada CAN Bronze 4×3+ 24.0 2,448.3
4 Marcus Nikkanen 28 Finland FIN 4×4+ 28.0 2,420.1
5 Ernst Baier 26 Germany GER 6×5+ 35.0 2,334.8
6 Roger Turner 30 United States USA 7×6+ 40.0 2,297.6
7 James Madden 22 United States USA 6×8+ 52.0 2,149.6
8 Gail Borden, II 24 United States USA 6×8+ 54.0 2,110.8
9 Kazuyoshi Oimatsu 20 Japan JPN 4×9+ 67.0 1,978.6
10 Walther Langer Czechoslovakia TCH 5×10+ 69.0 1,964.3
11 William Nagle 46 United States USA 5×11+ 78.0 1,884.8
12 Ryuichi Obitani 23 Japan JPN 4×11+ 77.0 1,856.7