Tenley Emma Albright, M.D. (born July 18, 1935 in Newton Centre, Massachusetts) became the first American female skater to win a Figure skating Olympic gold medal, at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. She also won the U.S. Championships 5 times, from 1952 to 1956; was World Champion in 1953 and 1955; and had been the silver medalist at the 1952 Winter Olympics.
Albright retired from competitive skating after the 1956 season. Unlike most elite-level skaters, she never skated professionally. A graduate of The Winsor School in Boston, she had entered Radcliffe College in 1953 as a pre-med student, and after her Olympic triumph she focused on completing her education. Albright graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1961, and went on to become a surgeon. Her interest in medicine was spurred by being hospitalized for an attack of Polio as a child.
Her husband is former Ritz-Carlton hotel owner Gerald Blakely.
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- People have said to me, 'What connection does surgery have to figure skating?' Whatever you do, if you do it the best you can, has a relation to whatever else you do.
- If you don't fall down, you aren't trying hard enough.
- I would bet you that most people who have succeeded, even though they had an idea of what they wanted to do, didn't just say, "I want to be..." and then name a title, or say "happy" or something like that. I bet it's because they loved what they were doing.
- IOC Athlete Biography
- Newsweek article about Albright's experience with polio
- CNNSI.com - 100 Greatest Female Athletes
- Tenley Albright's U.S. Olympic Team bio