Pages

18 December 2014

Ina Bauer (1941-2014)

On 13 December, German competitive figure skater Ina Bauer (1941-2014) died. She won three consecutive West German national titles, in 1957, 1958 and 1959. 'Brigitte Bardot on ice' also starred in two films with Austrian alpine skier Toni Sailer.

Ina Bauer
German postcard by Starpostkarten-Vertrieb Ernst Freihoff, Essen, no. 701. Photo: Lothar Winkler.

The Ina Bauer move


Born in 1941 in Krefeld, Germany, in the midst of World War II, Ina Bauer made her first appearance on the senior level at the 1956 West German Figure Skating Championships in Cologne, where she finished second.

In the following years, she won three consecutive West German national titles, in 1957, 1958 and 1959. She competed at a total of four European and World Championships, improving her results very quickly along the way.

She invented the skating move which bears her name. The Ina Bauer is a variation on the spread eagle where one leg is bent deeply at the knee, the back and body bend backwards and the other leg traces a parallel line on a back inside edge.

Ina Bauer and Toni Sailer
German postcard by Starpostkarten-Vertrieb Ernst Freihoff, Essen, no. 703. Photo: Lothar Winkler.

Brigitte Bardot on ice


After withdrawing from the 1960 European Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Ina Bauer retired from competition at her father's request.

She then toured with Ice Follies and starred in two films with Austrian alpine skier Toni Sailer: the comedy Ein Stern fällt vom Himmel/A Star Falls from Heaven (Géza von Cziffra, 1961) and Kauf dir einen bunten Luftballon/Buy yourself a colourful balloon (Géza von Cziffra, 1961).

With her flaming red hair, she made as pretty picture and The New York Times wrote of Bauer's American debut in Ice Follies: "19-year-old Ina Bauer, three-time figure skating champion of West Germany has been called 'Brigitte Bardot on ice' and it's easy to see why."

She married Hungarian figure skater István Szenes. Ina Szenes-Bauer was 73.

Sources: Ryan Stevens (Skate Guard), Wikipedia and IMDb.

No comments: