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Direct Link To This Post Topic: In Honor of BHM - Figure Skating History
    Posted: Feb 04 2011 at 10:43am
If you don't know, now you know: I am obsessed with figure skating. When I saw Nancy's thread about dedicating our avis to our black heroes, I knew there would be a figure skater in mine. I don't want to go through the long story of how I found out about Mabel, I'll just say that I was googling skating tights in my complexion. Ouch Anyhoo, learning about her allowed me to learn about even more black skaters and this thread is in their honor. Stay tuned.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 04 2011 at 10:43am
I am looking forward to it!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 04 2011 at 10:46am
Awwwwww.

I LOVE it when BHM is like this. I felt warm inside when u mentioned you found her after googling tights in your complexion. I'm sold. Lol Can't wait to hear more about her Smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 04 2011 at 10:54am
Mabel Fairbanks


Mabel Fairbanks saw a Sonja Henie figure skating movie. That movie inspired Mabel to try figure skating.

In 1938, Mabel bought a pair of black leather skates in a pawnshop. She paid $1.50 for the skates. The skates were too big, so she stuffed the insides of the boots with cotton.

She first skated on a frozen pond in Harlem and then went to Central Park to practice. Due to her race, at first she was not allowed to skate at indoor ice rinks, but eventually indoor arenas did let her come inside to practice. Due to racial prejudice, those indoor ice rinks would not allow her to practice with the general public.

Maribel Vinson Owen, a figure skating champion and coach of champions, trained Mabel in secret. She taught Mabel for no charge during the hours the ice rink was not open to the public.

Mabel was not allowed to join any figure skating clubs or compete because she was an African American. Since she was not allowed to compete, she decided to be in professional ice shows. Again, she was not allowed to be in certain shows because of her color. Mabel went on to create her own ice shows and toured the world performing in the 40's and 50's.

In the 60's, Mabel began coaching figure skaters. She coached skaters such as Kristy Yamaguchi, Rudy Galindo and Scott Hamilton (in his younger years). She paired Tai Babilonia (an African American skater) and Randy Gardner, who went on to win US Nationals five times and the world championships.

She also coached Atoy Wilson (an African American) who was the first AA to win a National event. She also coached Richard Ewell and Michelle McCladdie who were the first AA pairs to win a US Pairs title.

In 1997 she was the first AA to be inducted in the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 04 2011 at 11:04am
The skates were too big, so she stuffed the insides of the boots with cotton.

History has a funny way of remaining relevant and ironic lol. It's kind of poignant that although the shoe didn't neccesarily fit, she stuffed it with cotton and the rest is history. My God life can be so profound. Thanks for sharing!


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 04 2011 at 11:05am
Atoy Wilson



I can't find much on this figure skaterOuch. I do know that he is the first African American to be accepted for membership in the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club. He is also the first African American to win a national event. He went on to tour with the Ice Follies, a touring ice show company, and starred in Holiday on Ice. The clip of that performance is below.




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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 04 2011 at 11:08am
Originally posted by SeducTress SeducTress wrote:

The skates were too big, so she stuffed the insides of the boots with cotton.

History has a funny way of remaining relevant and ironic lol. It's kind of poignant that although the shoe didn't neccesarily fit, she stuffed it with cotton and the rest is history. My God life can be so profound. Thanks for sharing!





You know Seductress, I never thought of it that way. Now that you mentioned it, it makes it even more touchingCry.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 04 2011 at 11:09am
Thanks !!
 
I could only tell a wee bit that you like Figure Skating.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 04 2011 at 11:16am
Bobby Beauchamp



He won the silver medal at the Junior World Championships, becoming the first African-American to win a medal at a world's event. He went on to skate with the Ice Capades.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 04 2011 at 11:17am
Originally posted by Rumbera Rumbera wrote:

Thanks !!
 
I could only tell a wee bit that you like Figure Skating.



LOL
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