Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 26, 1960: House of Jenkins

SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. - The 1950s were a great time for the Jenkins brothers of American figure skaters.

First came Hayes Jenkins, the older brother, who dominated from 1953 to 1956. After a disappointing fourth-place finish at the 1952 Winter Olympics, Hayes Jenkins began his four-year stretch of dominance, winning four straight World Championships and four straight U.S. Championships from 1953-56. He capped off his run with a gold medal at the 1956 Olympic games, after which he retired and married Carol Heiss, Olympic silver medalist in 1956 and gold medalist from 1960.

Following Hayes in the figure skating world was his brother David. David had good results in the world and U.S. circuits while his brother was dominating, but never broke through with a win. After getting a bronze behind his brother at the 1956 Olympics, David had his chance for the spotlight as his brother retired.

He took full advantage, duplicating his brother's feat of winning four straight U.S. Championships, giving the family eight championships in a row. David also won three straight World Championships, making it seven straight for the brothers.

The Jenkins family reached its pinnacle in the 1960 Winter Olympics held in California. At the absolute top of his game, David Jenkins cruised to his first gold medal, sweeping the first place votes from the judges. His gold gave the brothers two straight Olympic golds.

David Jenkins had a chance to win his fourth straight World Championship after the 1960 Olympics wrapped up, but he declined, choosing instead to turn professional. At the time he turned professional, a Jenkins had won the gold in a remarkable 17 straight major skating competitions.

No comments:

Post a Comment