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Christopher Nicol[1] Bowman (March 30, 1967 – January 10, 2008) was an American figure skater. He was a two-time World medalist (silver in 1989, bronze in 1990), the 1983 World Junior champion, and a two-time U.S. national champion. He competed in two Olympic Winter Games, placing 7th in 1988 and 4th in 1992.

Christopher Bowman
Christopher Bowman 1.jpg
Bowman in 1989
Personal information
Full nameChristopher Nicol Bowman
Country representedUnited States
Born(1967-03-30)March 30, 1967
Hollywood, California, U.S.
DiedJanuary 10, 2008(2008-01-10) (aged 40)
North Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Former coachFrank Carroll
Toller Cranston
John Nicks
Skating clubLos Angeles FSC


Early yearsEdit

Bowman was born in Hollywood, California. In his childhood, he appeared in commercials and two episodes of the TV series Little House on the Prairie.


In 1983, Bowman won the World Junior Championships and the U.S. national junior title.

Bowman withdrew from the 1986 U.S. Championships after finishing second in the short program; he had a separation between his right tibia and fibula.[2] The following season, he took the silver medal at U.S. nationals and was assigned to his first senior World Championships, finishing 7th.

In 1988, Bowman won the bronze medal at the U.S. Championships and was sent to his first Olympics, where he finished 7th. He then placed 5th at the 1988 World Championships.

Bowman's left shin was cut in an accident with another skater in December 1988.[3] He won his first senior U.S. national title in 1989.[4] He then won his first World medal, silver, at the 1989 World Championships.

Bowman withdrew from the 1990 U.S. Championships but received a berth to the 1990 World Championships where he took the bronze medal. After the event, he parted ways with Frank Carroll, who had coached him for eighteen years. Toller Cranston and Ellen Burka were his next coaches,[5] followed by John Nicks. Bowman won his second national title in 1992.[4] He was sent to his second Olympics and placed 4th.

In Inside Edge by Christine Brennan, Bowman admitted to having had a $950 a day cocaine habit during his eligible career, and that he had checked into the Betty Ford Center before the 1988 Olympic Games.[6] Cranston also later described Bowman's drug problems in his book Zero Tollerance.[7]

He was known as "Bowman the Showman" for his crowd-pleasing performances.[8][9] Brian Boitano, the 1988 Olympic champion, told the Chicago Tribune: "If I had to pick the three most talented skaters of all time, I would pick Christopher as one. He had natural charisma, natural athleticism, he could turn on a crowd in a matter of seconds and he always seemed so relaxed about it."[8]

Bowman retired from competitive skating after the 1992 World Championships and toured with Ice Capades the following year. He left the tour in 1993 when Dorothy Hamill purchased Ice Capades. For some years thereafter, Bowman worked as a skating coach, first in Massachusetts and then in the Detroit area, where he lived from 1995 until 2007, and as a skating commentator. Prior to his death, he had returned to southern California to make a comeback in acting, with a role as an assistant coach in Down and Distance.[10]

Personal life and deathEdit

Bowman was divorced from skating coach Annette Bowman Jasinkiewicz with whom he had a daughter, Bianca (b. 1997).[8][9]

Bowman was pronounced dead on January 10, 2008, at 12:06 p.m. after being found in a motel in the North Hills area of Los Angeles.[10] He was 40 years old. The Los Angeles County Coroner determined that Bowman died from an accidental drug overdose.[11]

Competitive highlightsEdit

Event 82–83 83–84 84–85 85–86 86–87 87–88 88–89 89–90 90–91 91–92
Olympics 7th 4th
Worlds 7th 5th 2nd 3rd 5th 4th
Goodwill Games 6th
Fujifilm Trophy 1st
Inter. de Paris 1st
NHK Trophy 1st
Skate America 4th 1st 1st 2nd 1st
Skate Canada 2nd
Moscow News 4th
St. Ivel 3rd 2nd
International: Junior
Junior Worlds 1st
U.S. Champ. 1st J 9th 4th WD 2nd 3rd 1st WD 2nd 1st
J = Junior level; WD = Withdrew


  1. ^ Schudel, Matt (January 12, 2008). "Christopher Bowman; Skating Star Had an Affinity for Trouble". Washington Post. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  2. ^ Swift, E.M. (February 17, 1986). "Books Or Blades, There's No Doubting Thomas". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  3. ^ Harvey, Randy (February 8, 1989). "For Trenary, It Figures to Be a Skater's Waltz". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ a b "Past U.S. Champions - Senior" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 9, 2012.
  5. ^ Hersh, Phil (October 21, 1990). "Bowman changes style, not essence". Chicago Tribune. Baltimore Sun.
  6. ^ Brennan, Christine. Inside Edge. ISBN 0-684-80167-1.
  7. ^ Cranston, Toller. Zero Tollerance. ISBN 0-7710-2334-0.
  8. ^ a b c Martindale, Mike (January 11, 2008). "Ex-skating champion dies of possible drug overdose". ESPN. The Associated Press. Retrieved May 31, 2010.
  9. ^ a b Martindale, Mike (May 30, 2010). "Skater Bowman's troubled life to play out in court". The Detroit News. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2010.
  10. ^ a b Petski, Denise (January 10, 2008). "Men's figure skating champion Christopher Bowman dies at 40". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  11. ^ "Coroner: Christopher Bowman died of accidental drug overdose". ESPN. Associated Press. February 8, 2008.
  • Wright, Benjamin T. Skating in America.

External linksEdit