Tenley Albright
Team USAFigure Skating

Tenley Albright

Two-time Olympian (1952, 1956); two-time Olympic medalist (1 gold, 1 silver) Helsinki 1952, silver (singles) Cortina d’Ampezzo 1956, gold (singles)

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    Athlete Bio

    Tenley Albright


    Newton Center, MA


    Radcliffe College; Harvard Medical School

    Began skating at 6 years old...Contracted polio at age 11 and was confined to bed for a year...Won her first national novice figure skating title at age 13... Became the U.S. women’s champion at age 16...Was the first American woman to win the world figure skating championship...Won five consecutive U.S. women’s national championships from 1952-56...Was the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating...Attended Harvard Medical School as one of five women in a class of 135...Founded and directed MIT Collaborative Initiatives...Served as a delegate to the World Health Assembly.

    Tenley Albright was the first American woman to win the world figure skating championships and an Olympic gold medal. The Newton Center, Massachusetts, native was also the first to win the world, North American and United States titles in a single year. Albright began dominating the sport in 1952, when she won five consecutive U.S. women’s championships through 1956, while also claiming two North American and two world championship titles in 1953 and 1955. During her skating career, Albright enrolled as a pre-med student at Radcliffe College with the hopes of becoming a physician like her father. She retired from skating shortly after the Olympic Winter Games Cortina d’Ampezzo 1956, rejecting offers to skate professionally and entering Harvard Medical School instead. Dr. Albright became a general surgeon and taught at Harvard Medical School. She received eight honorary degrees, was the first woman on the executive committee of the United States Olympic Committee and served as a delegate to the World Health Assembly.
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