Tenley Albright

Tenley Albright

Albright in 1956
Personal information
Full name Tenley Emma Albright
Country represented  United States
Born (1935-07-18) July 18, 1935
Newton Centre, Massachusetts
Residence Brookline, Massachusetts
Former coach Maribel Vinson
Skating club Skating Club of Boston

Tenley Emma Albright (born July 18, 1935) is an American former figure skater and surgeon. She is the 1956 Olympic champion, the 1952 Olympic silver medalist, the 1953 and 1955 World Champion, the 1953 and 1955 North American champion, and the 1952–1956 U.S. national champion. Albright is also a graduate of Harvard Medical School. In 2015 she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.[1]

Figure skating career

At age 11 Albright suffered an attack of polio. Skating was her therapy to regain muscle strength.[2]

Albright won the silver medal at the 1952 Olympics. She won her first World title in 1953, silver in 1954, a second gold medal in 1955, and her fourth medal, silver, in 1956.[3]

In 1956, while training for the Olympics, Albright fell due to a rut in the ice and cut her right ankle joint to the bone with her left skate.[4] The cut was stitched by her father, a surgeon.[4][5] At the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, she became the first American female skater to win an Olympic gold medal.[6]

Albright retired from competitive skating after 1956 but has maintained a prominent role in the figure skating profession as a member of the Executive Committee of the U.S. Olympic Committee.[5]

Medical career

A graduate of The Winsor School in Boston, Albright entered Radcliffe College in 1953 as a pre-med student,[5] and focused on completing her education after the 1956 Olympics.[6] She graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1961, went on to become a surgeon,[6][7] and she practiced for 23 years, continuing as a faculty member and lecturer at Harvard Medical School. For a while she chaired the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. As a director, she has served both not-for-profits such as The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and for-profit enterprises such as West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc., and State Street Bank and Trust Company.[8] She is currently the Director of the MIT Collaborative Initiatives.[9]

Personal life

Albright was married to Tudor Gardiner, a lawyer, from 1962 to 1976. In 1981 she married former Ritz-Carlton hotel owner Gerald Blakeley, who shares her association with Woods Hole and is chair of The Morehouse School of Medicine.[10]


Event 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956
Olympic Games 2nd 1st
World Championships 6th WD 1st 2nd 1st 2nd
North American Championships 3rd 1st 1st
U.S. Championships 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
Eastern Sectionals 1st 1st
WD = Withdrew


  1. October 3, 2015. "10 women honored at Hall of Fame induction". Democratandchronicle.com. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  2. Life Magazine, March 2, 1953 page 78
  3. "World Figure Skating Championships Results: Ladies Medalists" (PDF). International Skating Union.
  4. 1 2 Longman, Jere (February 25, 1994). "Baiul Is Injured In Skating Collision". The New York Times.
  5. 1 2 3 Deitsch, Richard (2000). "Sports Illustrated for Women: 100 Greatest Female Athletes". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011.
  6. 1 2 3 Fulton, Jean C. (2002) [1992]. Dawson, Dawn P, ed. Great Athletes. 1 (Revised ed.). Salem Press. pp. 29–31. ISBN 1-58765-008-8.
  7. "Biography and Video Interview of Tenley Albright". Academy of Achievement.
  8. accessed 23Jul2013
  9. accessed 23Jul2013
  10. , accessed 23Jul2013
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