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1975 World Champion and 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Dianne DeLeeuw


About.com Figure Skating  Guide Jo Ann Schneider Farris and 1975 World Champion Dianne DeLeeuw

About.com Figure Skating Guide Jo Ann Schneider Farris and 1975 World Champion Dianne DeLeeuw

Jo Ann Schneider Farris Personal Photo Collection

World Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist:

Dianne DeLeeuw won the ladies title at the 1975 World Figure Skating Championships and went on to win a silver medal at the 1976 Olympic Games.

Citizen of Both the United States and Holland:

Dianne's mother is from Holland, so Dianne holds dual citizenship in both the United States and Holland. As an international figure skating competitor, she competed for the Netherlands.


Dianne was born on November 19, 1955 in Orange, California.

Carried the Flag for Holland in the 1976 Olympics:

Dianne was the flag carrier for the Netherlands at the 1976 Winter Olympic Games.

How Dianne Began Skating:

Dianne's mother, being from Holland, always ice skated. She went with her mother to a skating "Coffee Club" class when she was a little girl and immediately took to ice skating.

After that, she became more serious about figure skating and her family decided to take advantage of her dual citzenship by skating for the Netherlands. It was decided that international competition experience was the best route for Dianne.

Outstanding Competition and Test Record:

Dianne is a World Champion, European Champion, Olympic Silver Medalist, Six-time National Champion, and U.S. Figure Skating and Canadian Figure Skating Figure and Freestyle Gold Medalist.

Education and Hobbies:

Dianne graduated from high school when she was only sixteen years old. She enjoys crafts and needlework, but doesn't have much time to enjoy those hobbies since she's at the ice rink so much. She loves yoga.

Other Sports Dianne Enjoys:

Dianne works out every day at the gym or does yoga. She competed twice in the "Superstar" competition which was the original reality show, so she has tried a lot of sports.

Dianne's Coaches:

Doug Chapman, Dianne's husband, was her main coach. Her choreographer was Cathy Steele.

Dianne Participated in Five World Championships:

1972 – 17th place
1973 – 15th place
1974 – 3rd place
1975 – 1st place
1976 – 3rd place

Dianne's Worlds Experience:

Dianne's favorite Worlds was in 1975 when she won the gold. She says that the Broadmoor was her favorite place to skate and she remembers all the friends and family who were present who cheered her on.

Dianne's Olympic Experience:

Dianne took part in two Olympics. She writes: "1972 was all fun, seeing the sights and events in Japan (I placed 15th). 1976 was all business. My only great memories were carrying the Dutch flag at the Opening Ceremonies and an outdoor practice before the games started. That practice was at the speed skating oval filled in with ice. On the first night of practice, there were only a few skaters and the ice was not sectioned off, so there was ice as far as you could see under the stars. I didn't want to get off!"

Life and Accomplishments Since the Olympics:

Dianne writes: "After the Olympics I toured with Ice Follies and Holiday on Ice. I also did TV shows. Then, I did some smaller shows. Finally, I ended up teaching at an Ice Capades Chalet in Brea, California. I was hooked on teaching young ones!"

Favorite Students:

Dianne writes: "I love skating students that give their best and love skating no matter the level. I have several adult students that are passionate and there are so many wonderful young ones at my new home rink, Westminster Ice Arena."

Most Accomplished Skaters Dianne Has Trained:

Dianne's first real success was Jacqueline Hernandez. She began teaching her in a tiny tot class. Jacqueline became the Juvenile National Champion.

Dianne DeLeeuw, Technical Specialist:

Dianne's new challenge is being a U.S. Figure Skating Technical Specialist. She is certified as a Regional Specialist, but hopes to become a National Technical Specialist.

Family and Extended Family:

Dianne's states that her family includes her husband, Doug Chapman, and a hundred kids she teaches skating to.

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