Worlds Rewind: Montreal 1932

As the countdown begins to the ISU World Figure Skating Championships ® 2020 in Montreal, Quebec, we look back at previous world championships staged in Canada. We begin the ten-part series with the 1932 world championships – also in Montreal.

Montreal, the wait is over.

Eighty-eight years after hosting the inaugural world figure skating championships on Canadian soil back in 1932, the historic city will once again welcome the world for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships ® 2020 March 16th to 22nd at the Centre Bell.

The top men’s, ladies’ and pairs skaters in the world made the trip to Canada for the world championships from February 17-20, 1932, with figures being held at the Montreal Winter Club and free skating taking place at the iconic Forum.

The 1932 world championships came on the heels of the Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, NY, and many of the athletes that competed at the Olympics boarded trains for the short ride north to Montreal. It turned out to be a worthwhile trip for Olympic gold medallists from Lake Placid – all would win gold again at the world championships.

In the men’s competition, Austria’s Karl Schäfer earned first-place votes from all judges in figures and free skating, cruising to his third of seven consecutive world titles. Toronto’s Montgomery Wilson earned Canada’s first men’s world championship medal with a silver, also a unanimous decision from all judges. Ernst Baier of Germany claimed bronze.

The 1932 world championships also marked the first time Japanese skaters competed in the event, with Kazuyoshi Oimatsu placing seventh and Ryoichi Obitani finishing eighth.

Norway’s Sonja Henie continued her domination of the ladies’ discipline in Montreal, winning her sixth of ten straight world titles. Fritzi Burger of Austria took silver and Canada’s Constance Wilson-Samuel from Toronto, the sister of Montgomery Wilson, won bronze.

Just days after winning gold at the Lake Placid Olympics, the husband/wife team of  Andrée Brunet and Pierre Brunet from France won pairs gold in Montreal, finishing ahead of Hungary’s Emília Rotter and László Szollás and Americans Beatrix Loughran and Sherwin Badger.

The Canadian sibling tandem of Wilson-Samuel and Wilson, who won medals for Canada in the men’s and ladies’ events, teamed up in the pairs event to place sixth.

As the 1932 world championships came to a close in Montreal, the event would not return to Canada for close to three decades, when Vancouver hosted worlds in 1960. Canada has hosted the world championships ten times, the last time in 2013 in London, Ontario.

And next March, Montreal will welcome the world again.

All-event tickets for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships ® 2020  are on sale now and can be purchased online at, by phone at 1-855-310-2525 or in person at the Centre Bell Box Office.

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