Maribel V Owen

Maribel Vinson Owen, born in 1911 in Winchester, Massachusetts, was the only child of Thomas and Gertrude Vinson, who were both skaters themselves. Made an honorary member of the Cambridge Skating Club at birth, she began skating at age three on double-runners. Taught by Willie Frick at The Skating Club of Boston, she won the 1924 U.S. junior ladies title, several national dance championships, the pairs championship six times with partners Thomas Coolidge and George E. B. Hill, and she was nine-times U.S. ladies champion—a record that was equaled sixty-eight years later by Michelle Kwan. She was one of the most decorated female skaters in the nation. She retired competitively in 1937, with one World bronze, one World silver medal and one Olympic bronze medal.

After Maribel married Canadian champion Guy Owen, they toured the nation in their own ice show. They continued performing as they taught in St. Paul, Berkeley, and Boston. After Maribel and Guy divorced, she permanently moved her family to Boston in 1954. Maribel’s students included six-time U.S. champion Gretchen Merrill, 1956 Olympic champion Tenley Albright, and 1960 Olympic pairs bronze medalists Ron and Nancy Ludington. Maribel was proudest of the awards won by her two daughters: Maribel Jr., the 1961 U.S. pairs champion with Dudley Richards, and Laurence, the 1961 U.S. and North American champion. A Radcliffe graduate, Maribel was the author of three books on figure skating and was an AP correspondent. By 1961, she had taught more than 4,000 students.