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Karen Magnussen Foundation Karen Magnussen

Karen Magnussen crowned a sparkling figure skating career with a win at the 1973 World Figure Skating Championships in Bratislava . Karen was the winner of 3 Gold medals in those championships. In the 1972 Winter Olympic Games held in Sapporo, Japan, Canada was without a medal until Karen stepped on the ice and under great pressure skated a brilliant performance winning both the silver medal and the day!! It was Canada’s only medal in that Olympic Games. Karen is also Canada’s last Woman’s World Champion.

In addition to these stunning wins, Karen has the distinction of being the youngest Canadian Skater ever to compete in the Olympic games. In the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France Karen stepped on the ice at 15 yrs. old and had and incredible 7th place finish. In 1971, at 11 years old, Karen had become the Canadian Junior National Champion .. Shortly after, at 14 years of age became Canadian Senior National Champion which she won 4 more times before retiring at age 20. This was quite a meteoric rise for a young girl who started out as a “snowflake” in an ice show at age 6.

As a result of this illustrious career Karen was inducted into the Canadian Sport Hall of Fame, Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame, the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame and the Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

After the 1973 World Championships, the then Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau held a luncheon in Karen’s honour shortly before she was taken to Rideau Hall to be presented with the Officer of the Order of Canada by then Governor General Roland Michener.

It was no surprise to anyone that Karen was nominated as Canada’s Athlete of the Year, for the years 1972 and 1973. In 2006 she was elected to the Canada’s list of The Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

Karen’s journey to the top was not without hardship. Her Story is full of inspiration and encouragement. Her positive and cheerful outlook toward attaining a goal is compelling. The way everything lit up and sparkled in her presence was known worldwide as the “Magnussen Magic”. This still exists today, as she now continues her work as a coach and philanthropist. There are many young aspiring figure skaters in British Columbia who have had the pleasure of encountering the “Magnussen Magic” and sparkle personally through her Foundation.


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