Karen Magnussen is the only singles figure skating World Champion to come from British Columbia. She is the third Canadian female and the last one to win the Women’s World title.
Karen Magnussen started skating at the age of six at the Kerrisdale Skating Club with her first coach Dr. Hellmut May. After two years of commuting from North Vancouver each day she moved her skating to the North Shore. Her coach between the ages of 8 to 10 was Edy Rada.
It was when she teamed up with coach Linda Brauckmann things changed. Just two years after starting with Linda, Karen won the Canadian Junior Championship. Between 1967 to 1973 she was always on the senior podium winning five national titles and two silvers. She was a dominant athlete.
Between 1967 and 1968 Karen competed in two World Championships placing 12th then 7th, but injury sidelined her for most of the 1969 season. Six months later she was back on the ice. At the 1970 World Championships she placed 4th. In 1971, in Lyon, France, she was on the podium.
Back on track and gaining momentum, Karen won the 1972 Olympic Silver medal in Sapporo, Japan.
After the Sapporo Games Karen went on to win the Silver Medal at the World Championships in Calgary. At the 1973 World Championships in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia she struck gold and earned the figure skating title of World Champion.
When asked what was her fondest memory Karen said, “I suppose it was getting the job done at the ‘73 Championships. I was sitting in the kiss and cry with Linda. I put my head down on her shoulder and realized what I had achieved...job done….goal accomplished. It was a very special moment.”
Karen retired in 1973 and began coaching in Boston where she met her husband Tony. She has given back to skating in a material way. BC bursaries are closing in on $750,000 through the Karen Magnussen foundation.


Karen Magnussen

Karen on Linda Brauckmann