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Donald Gilchrist

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Donald Gilchrist
Personal information
Full nameDonald Hunter Gilchrist
Country representedCanada
Born(1922-01-02)January 2, 1922
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
DiedMarch 14, 2017(2017-03-14) (aged 95)
PartnerMarlene Smith
Eleanor O'Meara
Skating clubToronto Skating Club
Began skatingFebruary 1928
Retiredc. 1950

Donald Hunter Gilchrist (January 2, 1922 – March 14, 2017) was a Canadian figure skater. As a pair skater with Marlene Smith, he became the 1949 North American silver medallist and a two-time Canadian national champion (1949–1950). He was a three-time national silver medallist in men's singles.

Personal life

Gilchrist was born on January 2, 1922, in Toronto. He graduated from the University of Toronto (Trinity) in 1950 and married Christiane Legier in 1952; the couple would have three children – Nancy Ann, Donald, and Jean.[1] He died at age 95 on March 14, 2017.[2]


Figure skating

Gilchrist began skating when he joined the Toronto Skating Club in February 1928.[1] Competing in men's singles, he won silver at three consecutive Canadian Championships, from 1940 to 1942.

After a partnership with Eleanor O'Meara, he teamed up with Marlene Smith. The pair won two national titles (1949–1950) and silver at the 1949 North American Championships.

Gilchrist began judging international skating competitions in 1951.[2] He judged at the 1952 Winter Olympics and at multiple World Championships (1952, 1959, 1964, 1967), and also served as a referee.[3]

He was a substitute member of the International Skating Union (ISU) Single & Pair Skating Technical Committee (from 1953), a main member of the technical committee (1969–1971, 1973–1980), an ISU Council member (1980–1992), and an ISU Honorary Member (from 1992).[3] He was inducted into the Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1996.[4]


Gilchrist served as a marksman and captain in the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps during the 1940s.[1] He worked for Canada's Department of Defence Production in Washington (1952 to the 1960s), as director general of the Trade Commissioner Service (from 1966), as a vice-president of the Canadian Commercial Corporation, as consul general in Los Angeles (from 1974), and as minister-counsellor at the embassy in the Netherlands (1982–1986).[1]

Competitive highlights

Pairs with Smith

Event 1949 1950
World Championships 7th
North American Championships 2nd
Canadian Championships 1st 1st

Pairs with O'Meara

Event 1940
Canadian Championships 3rd

Men's singles

Event 1937 1939 1940 1941 1942
Canadian Championships 3rd J 2nd J 2nd 2nd 2nd
J = Junior level


  1. ^ a b c d "Obituary: Donald Hunter Gilchrist". The Ottawa Citizen / March 18, 2017. Archived from the original on May 28, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Skating Community Mourns the Passing of Donald Gilchrist". Skate Canada. March 17, 2017. Archived from the original on May 28, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Communication No. 2081" (PDF). International Skating Union. March 24, 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 28, 2017.
  4. ^ "1996 Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame Induction". Skate Canada. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Canadian Figure Skating Championships" (PDF). Skate Canada. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 5, 2017.
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Donald Gilchrist
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