Peggy Fleming

Last updated

Peggy Fleming
Former U.S. Olympian Peggy Fleming holds a Gold at the Pavilion.jpg
Personal information
Country representedUnited States
Born (1948-07-27) July 27, 1948 (age 70)
San Jose, California, United States
Height5 ft 4 in (163 cm) [1]
Former coach William Kipp, Carlo Fassi
Skating clubArctic Blades FSC, Lake Arrowhead
Broadmoor Skating Club, Colorado Springs

Peggy Gale Fleming [2] (born July 27, 1948) is an American former figure skater. She is the 1968 Olympic Champion in Ladies' singles and a three-time World Champion (1966–1968). Fleming has been a television commentator in figure skating for over 20 years, including several Winter Olympic Games.

Figure skating Ice sport performed on figure skates

Figure skating is a sport in which individuals,ice dance, pairs, or synchronized on figure skates on ice. It was the first winter sport included in the Olympics, in 1908. The four Olympic disciplines are men's singles, ladies' singles, pair skating, and ice dance. Non-Olympic disciplines include synchronized skating, Theater on Ice, and four skating. From Intermediate through Senior-level competition, skaters generally perform two programs which, depending on the discipline, may include spins, jumps, moves in the field, lifts, throw jumps, death spirals, and other elements or moves.

Figure skating at the 1968 Winter Olympics was held at Le Stade Olympique de Glace in Grenoble, France.

The World Figure Skating Championships ("Worlds") is an annual figure skating competition sanctioned by the International Skating Union. Medals are awarded in the categories of men's singles, ladies' singles, pair skating, and ice dancing. Generally held in March, the World Championships are considered the most prestigious of the ISU Championships, which also include the European Championships, the Four Continents Championships, and the World Junior Championships. With the exception of the Olympic title, a world title is considered to be the highest competitive achievement in figure skating.


Life and career

Fleming was born in San Jose, California, the daughter of Doris Elizabeth (née Deal) and Albert Eugene Fleming, a newspaper journalist [2] and former U.S. Marine. [3] She began skating at age nine [4] when her father took Peggy and her three sisters skating. In 1961, when Peggy was twelve years old, her coach William Kipp was killed in the crash of Sabena Flight 548 along with the rest of the United States figure skating team while en route to the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships. Fleming was subsequently coached by Carlo Fassi. Her unusual style led to five U.S. titles, three World titles and the gold medal in the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble, France.

San Jose, California City in California, United States

San Jose, officially the City of San José, is the economic, cultural and political center of Silicon Valley, and the largest city in Northern California. With an estimated 2017 population of 1,035,317, it is the third-most populous city in California and the tenth-most populous in United States. Located in the center of the Santa Clara Valley, on the southern shore of San Francisco Bay, San Jose covers an area of 179.97 square miles (466.1 km2). San Jose is the county seat of Santa Clara County, the most affluent county in California and one of the most affluent counties in the United States. San Jose is the most populous city in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area, which contain 7.7 million and 8.7 million people respectively.

Sabena Flight 548 Fatal crash of Boeing 707 in Belgium, 15th Feb 1961

Sabena Flight 548 was a Boeing 707-329 aircraft that crashed en route from New York City to Brussels, Belgium, on February 15, 1961. The flight, which had originated at Idlewild International Airport, crashed on approach to Zaventem Airport, Brussels, killing all 72 people on board and one person on the ground. The fatalities included the entire U.S. Figure Skating team, who were travelling to the World Figure Skating Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Despite a thorough investigation, the precise cause of the crash remains a mystery; the most likely explanation was thought to be a failure of the tail stabilizer-adjusting mechanism.

Carlo Fassi was an Italian figure skater and international coach whose students included several World and Olympic champions. As a single skater, he was the 1953 World bronze medalist, a two-time European champion, and a ten-time Italian national champion (1945–54).

Peggy's mother played a memorable role in her daughter's Grenoble Olympic medal, as she chose a color for the skating costume, chartreuse, named after the liqueur of that color produced by neighboring Carthusians in their founding monastery, which also gives the name "chartreuse" to the region, thereby perhaps inspiring local French audience support for Peggy's virtually flawless performance [5] . Her award in Grenoble was singularly important for the American athletes and the nation as a whole, for this was the only gold medal that the U.S. Olympic team won in the 1968 Winter Olympics. It signaled a return to American dominance in the sport of women's figure skating following the unprecedented tragedy of the 1961 Sabena plane crash.

Chartreuse is a color between yellow and green that was named because of its resemblance to the green color of one of the French liqueurs called green chartreuse, introduced in 1764. Similarly, chartreuse yellow is a yellow color mixed with a small amount of green that was named because of its resemblance to the color of one of the French liqueurs called yellow chartreuse, introduced in 1838.

Liqueur alcoholic beverage, sweetened and flavored distilled spirit

A liqueur is an alcoholic drink flavored variously by fruits, herbs, spices, flowers, nuts or cream combined with distilled spirits. Often served with or after dessert, they are typically heavily sweetened and un-aged beyond a resting period during production, when necessary, for their flavors to mingle.

Carthusians Catholic Church religious order founded in 1084

The Carthusian Order, also called the Order of Saint Bruno, is a Catholic religious order of enclosed monastics. The order was founded by Bruno of Cologne in 1084 and includes both monks and nuns. The order has its own Rule, called the Statutes, rather than the Rule of Saint Benedict, and combines eremitical and cenobitic monasticism.

After becoming an Olympic champion, Fleming turned professional, performed on TV shows including five NBC specials of her own and toured with many skating shows, like Ice Capades. During the Cold War, Fleming had filmed a TV show in USSR [6] and skated to Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto in China. [7] Since 1981, she has been a skating commentator for ABC Sports. [6] In 1993, the Associated Press released results of a national sports study [8] that ranked Fleming as the third most popular athlete in America, behind fellow Olympians Mary Lou Retton and Dorothy Hamill. [9]

Ice Capades entertainment show

The Ice Capades were traveling entertainment shows featuring theatrical ice skating performances. Shows often featured former Olympic and US National Champion figure skaters who had retired from formal competition. Started in 1940, the Ice Capades grew rapidly and prospered for 50 years. A decline in popularity ensued in the 1980s, and the show went out of business around 1995. There have been several attempts to revive the show and its name.

Cold War Geopolitical tension after World War II between the Eastern and Western Bloc

The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins between 1946, the year U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U.S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, and the Truman Doctrine of 1947, and ending between the Revolutions of 1989, which ended communism in Eastern Europe as well as in other areas, and the 1991 collapse of the USSR, when nations of the Soviet Union abolished communism and restored their independence. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.

The Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto, along with the Yellow River Piano Concerto, is one of the most famous orchestra works of Chinese music. It is an orchestral adaptation of an ancient legend, the Butterfly Lovers. Written for the western style orchestra, it features a solo violin played using some Chinese techniques.

Peggy Fleming was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998. The cancer was detected in its early stages, and surgery was successful. She became a breast cancer activist who recommends not procrastinating and advocates for early detection. [10]

Breast cancer cancer that originates in the mammary gland

Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, a newly inverted nipple, or a red or scaly patch of skin. In those with distant spread of the disease, there may be bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, or yellow skin.

Fleming and her husband, Greg Jenkins, owned and operated Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery in California. The winery produced close to 2,000 cases of wine a year with names as "Choreography" a Bordeaux style blend from Napa Valley and a "Victories Rose" from the San Francisco Bay Syrah. [11] Profits from the "Victories Rosé" went towards charities that supported research towards breast cancer. [11] The winery closed in 2011. [12]

In 1988, a Peggy Fleming all-porcelain doll was made by Franklin Mint Heirloom Porcelain Dolls.

In 2007, Fleming appeared in the movie Blades of Glory as a judge.

In 2010, Art of the Olympians produced a 30-minute documentary. [13] She is also an artist with works on display with the Art of the Olympians. [14]

Along with former Olympian Vonetta Flowers, Fleming was injured and briefly hospitalized after a traffic accident while riding in U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's motorcade at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. [15]

Personal life

In June 13, 1970, Fleming married her teenage sweetheart Greg Jenkins, a dermatologist and a former amateur figure skater. [16] [17] The couple have two sons, Andy (born in 1977) and Todd (born in 1988), [6] and three grandchildren. [18]


Peggy Fleming at the 1968 Olympics on a 1983 Paraguayan stamp Peggy Fleming 1983 Paraguay stamp.jpg
Peggy Fleming at the 1968 Olympics on a 1983 Paraguayan stamp
Winter Olympics 6th1st
World Championships 7th3rd1st1st1st
North American Championships 2nd1st
U.S. Championships 2nd N.3rd J.1st1st1st1st1st

Awards and honors

See also

Related Research Articles

Winter Olympic Games major international sporting event

The Winter Olympic Games is a major international multi-sport event held once every four years for sports practiced on snow and ice. The first Winter Olympic Games, the 1924 Winter Olympics, were held in Chamonix, France. The modern Olympic Games were inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, leading to the first modern Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896. The IOC is the governing body of the Olympic Movement, with the Olympic Charter defining its structure and authority.

Sarah Hughes figure skater

Sarah Elizabeth Hughes is a former American competitive figure skater. She is the 2002 Olympic Champion and the 2001 World bronze medalist in ladies' singles.

Mary Lou Retton 1984 Olympic gymnastics all-around champion

Mary Lou Retton is a retired American gymnast. At the boycotted 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, she won a gold medal in the individual all-around competition, as well as two silver medals and two bronze medals. Her performance made her one of the most popular athletes in the United States of America.

1968 Winter Olympics 10th edition of Winter Olympics, held in Grenoble (France) in 1968

The 1968 Winter Olympics, officially known as the X Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1968 in Grenoble, France, and opened on 6 February. Thirty-seven countries participated.

Dorothy Hamill figure skater

Dorothy Stuart Hamill is a retired American figure skater. She is the 1976 Olympic champion and 1976 World champion in ladies' singles.

Carol Heiss US figure skater and actress

Carol Elizabeth Heiss Jenkins is an American former figure skater and actress. Competing in ladies' singles, she became the 1960 Olympic champion, the 1956 Olympic silver medalist, and a five-time World champion (1956–1960).

The 1968 Winter Olympics, officially known as the X Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event held in Grenoble, France, from 6 to 18 February 1968. A total of 1,158 athletes representing 37 National Olympic Committees (NOCs)—including Morocco's first delegation—participated in 35 events from 10 different sports and disciplines. The team relay (4 × 7.5 km) event in biathlon was contested for the first time.

Lidiya Skoblikova speed skater

Lidiya Pavlovna Skoblikova is a retired Russian speed skater and coach. She represented the USSR Olympic team during the Olympic Winter Games in 1960, 1964 and 1968, and won a total of six gold medals, which is still a record for a speed skater. She also won 25 gold medals at the world championships and 15 gold medals at the USSR National Championships in several distances. She was also the first athlete to earn six gold medals in the Winter Olympics and the first to earn four gold medals at a single Olympic Winter Games. She was the most successful athlete at the 1960 and 1964 Winter Olympics, sharing the honour for 1960 Games with her compatriot Yevgeny Grishin.

Gabriele Seyfert East German figure skater

Gabriele "Gaby" Seyfert is a German former figure skater. She is a two-time World champion, and the 1968 Olympic silver medalist.

Sjoukje Dijkstra figure skater

Sjoukje Rosalinde Dijkstra is a Dutch former competitive figure skater. She is the 1964 Olympic champion in ladies' singles, the 1960 Olympic silver medalist, a three-time World champion (1962–1964), five-time European champion (1960–1964), and the six-time Dutch national champion (1959–1964).

Yuna Kim South Korean figure skater

Yuna Kim, also credited in eastern name order as Kim Yuna or Kim Yeon-ah, is a South Korean former competitive figure skater. She is the 2010 Olympic champion and 2014 silver medalist in ladies' singles; the 2009 & 2013 World champion; the 2009 Four Continents champion; a three-time Grand Prix Final champion; the 2006 World Junior champion; the 2005 Junior Grand Prix Final champion; and a six-time South Korean national champion.

Maribel Yerxa Owen was an American figure skater.

Hana Mašková was a Czech figure skater who competed for Czechoslovakia. She was the 1968 Olympic bronze medalist, a two-time World bronze medalist, and the 1968 European champion.

The 1961 United States Figure Skating Championships was an event organized by U.S. Figure Skating to determine the U.S. national champions and the U.S. team for the 1961 World Championships. Medals were awarded in three colors: gold (first), silver (second), and bronze (third) in four disciplines – men's singles, ladies' singles, pair skating, and ice dancing – across three levels: senior, junior, and novice. The event was held at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from January 25 to 29, 1961. The competition was dedicated to the memory of Howard D. Herbert, president of the United States Figure Skating Association, who had died suddenly just a few days before the competition opened.

Sandi Sue Sweitzer is an American former figure skater who competed in pairs with Roy Wagelein. They won the silver medal at the 1968 U.S. Championships and competed at the 1968 Winter Olympics.

Marie Millikan, née Víchová, is a former competitive figure skater who represented Czechoslovakia at the 1968 Winter Olympics.

Aimee Buchanan figure skater

Aimee Buchanan is an American-Israeli figure skater who competes in ladies' singles for Israel. She is a two-time Israeli national champion and competed in the team event at the 2018 Winter Olympics.


  1. "Peggy Fleming". July 27, 1948. Archived from the original on June 25, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  2. 1 2 "Peggy Flemming".
  3. "Peggy Fleming (2012) Remembers". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  4. Woolum, Janet (1998) Outstanding Women Athletes: Who They Are and How They Influenced Sports in America. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN   1-57356-120-7. p. 124
  6. 1 2 3 Hilton, Lisette (2005). "Fleming launched modern era of figure skating". ESPN Classics.
  7. "Peggy Fleming" (videos). Peggy Fleming's Official Site. 2014.
  8. Wilstein, Steve (May 17, 1993). "Retton, Hammill most popular American athletes". Associated Press.
  9. "Athletes". Archived from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  10. "American Breast Cancer Guide – Celebrities Inspiration Roundup". April 27, 2006. Archived from the original on April 27, 2006. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  11. 1 2 Sports Illustrated, July 2, 2007, p. 87
  12. Hamilton, Marianne L. (January 16, 2012). "Fleming Jenkins tasting room closes for good". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  13. hosted by Fleming
  15. Associated Press (February 14, 2010). "Fleming injured in accident in Biden's motorcade". Team USA. Archived from the original on October 5, 2011.
  16. Borden, Timothy (2004). "Fleming, Peggy". Notable Sports Figures.
  17. Kaminsky, Peter (November 1, 1999). "Picks and Pans Review: The Long Program". People Magazine. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014.
  18. "Peggy Fleming". 2014.