The Most Famous

SKATERS from Norway

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This page contains a list of the greatest Norwegian Skaters. The pantheon dataset contains 313 Skaters, 19 of which were born in Norway. This makes Norway the birth place of the 7th most number of Skaters behind Germany and Japan.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Norwegian Skaters of all time. This list of famous Norwegian Skaters is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Norwegian Skaters.

Photo of Sonja Henie

1. Sonja Henie (1912 - 1969)

With an HPI of 74.91, Sonja Henie is the most famous Norwegian Skater.  Her biography has been translated into 52 different languages on wikipedia.

Sonja Henie (8 April 1912 – 12 October 1969) was a Norwegian figure skater and film star. She was a three-time Olympic champion (1928, 1932, 1936) in women's singles, a ten-time World champion (1927–1936) and a six-time European champion (1931–1936). Henie has won more Olympic and World titles than any other ladies' figure skater. At the height of her acting career, she was one of the highest-paid stars in Hollywood and starred in a series of box-office hits, including Thin Ice (1937), Happy Landing, My Lucky Star (1938), Second Fiddle (1939) and Sun Valley Serenade (1941).

Photo of Axel Paulsen

2. Axel Paulsen (1855 - 1938)

With an HPI of 66.33, Axel Paulsen is the 2nd most famous Norwegian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.

Axel Paulsen (18 July 1855 – 9 February 1938) was a Norwegian figure skater and speed skater. He invented the figure skating Axel jump and held the world title in speed skating from 1882 to 1890. In 1976 he was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

Photo of Ivar Ballangrud

3. Ivar Ballangrud (1904 - 1969)

With an HPI of 63.64, Ivar Ballangrud is the 3rd most famous Norwegian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Ivar Eugen Ballangrud (née Eriksen, 7 March 1904 – 1 June 1969) was a Norwegian speed skater, a four-time Olympic champion in speed skating. As the only triple gold medalist at the 1936 Winter Olympics, Ballangrud was the most successful athlete there.

Photo of Hjalmar Andersen

4. Hjalmar Andersen (1923 - 2013)

With an HPI of 62.43, Hjalmar Andersen is the 4th most famous Norwegian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Hjalmar "Hjallis" Johan Andersen (12 March 1923 – 27 March 2013) was a speed skater from Norway who won three gold medals at the 1952 Winter Olympic Games of Oslo, Norway. He was the only triple gold medalist at the 1952 Winter Olympics, and as such, became the most successful athlete there. Nicknamed King Glad for his famous cheerful mood, he was one of Norway's most popular sportsmen ever. Four statues of him were raised during his lifetime; in Trondheim, Hamar, Rødøy and outside Bislett Stadium in Oslo. He was honored with a funeral at the state’s expense.

Photo of Bernt Evensen

5. Bernt Evensen (1905 - 1979)

With an HPI of 61.39, Bernt Evensen is the 5th most famous Norwegian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Bernt Sverre Evensen (18 April 1905 – 24 August 1979) was a Norwegian speed skater and racing cyclist who competed in skating at the 1928 and 1932 Winter Olympics. In 1928 he became the first Norwegian skater to win an Olympic gold medal by winning the 500 m event (first place shared with Clas Thunberg). At the same Olympics, he also won silver in the 1500 m and bronze over 5,000 m. He was in second place in the 10,000 m event, 0.1 seconds behind Irving Jaffee, when the competition was cancelled because the ice had started thawing. At the 1932 Olympics in Lake Placid, Evensen won a silver medal in the 500 m. Evensen and compatriot Ivar Ballangrud were the only European Olympic speed skating medalists during those games. This can mostly be attributed to the fact that the races were skated in pack-style (having all competitors skate at the same time), a format that most European skaters were not familiar with. At the World Allround Championships, Evensen finished first in 1927 and 1934, second in 1931, and third in 1926, 1928, and 1932. At the European Allround Championships, Evensen won the gold medal in 1927 and silvers in 1928 and 1935. As a cyclist, he won 11 Norwegian championships. For his achievements in speed skating and cycling, he was awarded the Egebergs Ærespris in 1928. After World War II, he was a speed skating coach for Oslo Skøiteklub (OSK) before the speed skating revolution in 1962–1963. His grandson Stig Kristiansen became an Olympic cyclist.

Photo of Fred Anton Maier

6. Fred Anton Maier (1938 - 2015)

With an HPI of 59.85, Fred Anton Maier is the 6th most famous Norwegian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Fred Anton Maier (15 December 1938 – 9 June 2015) was a speed skater from Norway. He was among the dominating skaters throughout the 1960s, specialising in the longer distances. Maier won four Olympic medals: silver on the 10,000 m and bronze on the 5,000 m at the 1964 Olympics, and gold on the 5,000 m and silver on the 10,000 m at the 1968 Olympics. In 1968, he also became European and World Allround Champion. In total, Maier set eleven world records. For a brief week in 1968 he held four world records simultaneously, the 3,000 m, 5,000 m, 10,000 m, and the allround samalogue record. In addition, Maier excelled in cycling, winning two National Time Trial Championships bronze medals (in 1957 and 1967). In 1967, he was awarded the Egebergs Ærespris and in 1968, he won the Oscar Mathisen Award and was chosen Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year. Maier died from cancer on 9 June 2015 at the age of 76.

Photo of Roald Aas

7. Roald Aas (1928 - 2012)

With an HPI of 59.40, Roald Aas is the 7th most famous Norwegian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Roald Edgar Aas (25 March 1928 – 18 February 2012) was a speed skater and cyclist from Norway. He was born in Oslo. Aas was the number two speed skater in Norway through the entire 1950s—initially after Hjalmar Andersen, later after Knut Johannesen. He became Norwegian champion once, in 1956, but finished second seven times. Aas participated in all international championships between 1951 and 1960, almost always finishing in the top ten. He won bronze at the World Allround Speed Skating Championships in 1958, and at two European Speed Skating Championships, in 1957 and 1960. At the Oslo Winter Olympics, he won bronze on the 1500 m, while at the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics in 1960, he finally won gold, shared with Yevgeny Grishin, also in 1500 m. Aas also was a successful cyclist, winning the 1956 Norwegian Championships in both road cycling and track cycling. For his achievements as both a speed skater and a cyclist, Aas was awarded the prestigious Egebergs Ærespris in 1956. Until 1956, Aas represented Oslo Idrettslag (Oslo Sports Club) – from 1957 on, he represented Oslo Skøiteklub (Oslo Skating Club). When he ended his skating career, he became a coach at Oslo Skøiteklub.

Photo of Finn Helgesen

8. Finn Helgesen (1919 - 2011)

With an HPI of 58.26, Finn Helgesen is the 8th most famous Norwegian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Finn Helgesen (25 April 1919 – 3 September 2011) was a speed skater from Norway.

Photo of Sverre Farstad

9. Sverre Farstad (1920 - 1978)

With an HPI of 57.92, Sverre Farstad is the 9th most famous Norwegian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Sverre Farstad (8 February 1920 – 27 March 1978) was a Norwegian speed skater representing Sportsklubben Falken, Trondheim, as part of the Falken Trio also including Henry Wahl and Hjalmar Andersen. Farstad won one Olympic gold medal and one European Championship in his three-year international career.

Photo of Knut Johannesen

10. Knut Johannesen (1933 - )

With an HPI of 57.26, Knut Johannesen is the 10th most famous Norwegian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Knut ("Kupper'n") Johannesen (born 6 November 1933) is a former speed skater from Norway.

Pantheon has 19 people classified as skaters born between 1855 and 1992. Of these 19, 9 (47.37%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living skaters include Knut Johannesen, Sten Stensen, and Johann Olav Koss. The most famous deceased skaters include Sonja Henie, Axel Paulsen, and Ivar Ballangrud. As of October 2020, 8 new skaters have been added to Pantheon including Finn Helgesen, Sverre Farstad, and Knut Johannesen.

Living Skaters

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Deceased Skaters

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Newly Added Skaters (2020)

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Which Skaters were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 10 most globally memorable Skaters since 1700.