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Norval Baptie

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Norval Baptie (March 18, 1879 - November 26, 1966) was a World record holding speed skater, a champion figure skater, and pioneering ice showman. He was inducted into the Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1963.

Born in Bethany, Ontario, he grew up in Bathgate North Dakota, United States. By the age of 14 he was the North Dakota speed skating champion. In 1897, he challenged World champion Jack McCullough to a race, and easily won. Over his career, he won almost 5000 races and lost one. He shattered every amateur and professional speed skating record.

After his speed skating career, Baptie moved into stunt and figure skating. He set new records for broad jump, skating backwards, jumping over barrels, and even skating on stilts. Baptie began doing solo exhibition shows, which eventually evolved into the World's first ice shows. In the 1930s, he directed shows that featured Sonja Henie, a champion figure skater.

He was also influential in the design of Skates. He helped design the tubular racing skate and eliminated the curled figure skating blade.

In 1938, he retired from the ice. However, he became a professional coach. He continuted to coach even after losing both legs from complications from diabetes.

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