Sarah Meier (figure skater)

Sarah van Berkel (née Meier) (born 4 May 1984) is a Swiss former figure skater. She is the 2011 European champion, a two-time European silver medalist (2007 & 2008), the 2006 Grand Prix Final bronze medalist, and an eight-time Swiss national champion (2000–2001, 2003, 2005–2008, 2010).

Sarah van Berkel
European Championships 2011 Sarah MEIER – Gold Medal.jpg
Meier at the 2011 European Championships
Personal information
Country representedSwitzerland
Born (1984-05-04) 4 May 1984 (age 38)
Bülach, Switzerland
Height1.64 m (5 ft 5 in)
Former coachEva Fehr
Mark Pepperday
Former choreographerSalomé Brunner
Tatiana Druchinina
Skating clubBülacher Eislaufclub
Began skating1988
RetiredJanuary 2011 (competitive skating), February 15 (show skating)
ISU personal best scores
Combined total171.88
2008 Worlds
Short program60.87
2006 Europeans
Free skate113.00
2008 Europeans

Personal lifeEdit

Meier was born on 4 May 1984 in Bülach, Switzerland.[1] Many members of her family were involved in skating and other ice sports.[2] Her mother has served as an international figure skating judge and her sister has participated in synchronized skating.[3][4] Her aunt, Eva Fehr, a former figure skater, was her coach.[5] Her father, uncle, and two cousins have played ice hockey.[2]

On 3 August 2018, Meier married Swiss triathlete Jan van Berkel.[6][7]


Meier in 2010

Early careerEdit

Meier first stepped on the ice at the age of two years.[5] She liked it so much that her mother sent her to children's courses at the age of four. When Meier was five years old she began taking private lessons and soon started to compete. She landed her first double Axel at the age of ten and performed her first triple Lutz when she was twelve.[5] By the age of thirteen, she could land all of the triple jumps in practice. During the summers, there was no ice in her home town of Bulach so she moved around to Oberstdorf, Germany, and Flims in Switzerland.[5]

Meier made her first junior Grand Prix appearance in 1997, finishing 10th at JGP Slovakia. She continued to skate primarily in the junior ranks through the 1999–2000 season and won the bronze medal at the 2000 World Junior Championships in Oberstdorf.

2000–2001 seasonEdit

Meier began her season competing at junior events; she won medals at two JGP events, including gold in the Czech Republic. She then finished 5th at the 2001 European Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, and 12th at the 2001 World Championships in Vancouver, Canada.

2001–2002 seasonEdit

In November 2001, Meier twisted her left ankle and tore ligaments, resulting in the loss of three months of training.[5][8] As a result, she missed her second Grand Prix event and the Swiss Championships.[8] She finished 13th at the 2002 European Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, and at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

2002–2003 seasonEdit

Meier finished 5th and 7th at her two Grand Prix assignments. She withdrew from the 2003 European Championships due to a foot injury,[9] and finished 19th at the 2003 World Championships in Washington, D.C.

2003–2004 seasonEdit

Before the start of the season, Meier developed tendonitis in her right foot due to new boots and was unable to train from July to December.[5] Making her return to competition, she placed 10th at the 2004 European Championships in Budapest, Hungary, and then 13th at the 2004 World Championships in Dortmund, Germany.

2004–2005 seasonEdit

Meier repeated her tenth place showing at the 2005 European Championships in Turin, Italy, and finished 14th at the 2005 World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

2005–2006 seasonEdit

Meier placed fourth at the 2006 European Championships in Lyon, France; it was the best continental result of her career to that point. She finished 8th at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, and then 6th at the 2006 World Championships in Calgary, Canada.

2006–2007 seasonEdit

Meier began her Grand Prix season with a fourth-place result at the 2006 Skate America in October. In November, she outscored Hungary's Júlia Sebestyén by 12 points to win the gold medal at the 2006 Cup of Russia. As a result, she qualified to the Grand Prix Final, where she took the bronze medal.

In January, Meier won silver at the 2007 European Championships in Warsaw, Poland. It was the first European podium finish for a Swiss woman since Denise Biellmann won gold in 1981.[10]

2007–2008 seasonEdit

Meier placed fourth at the 2007 Trophee Eric Bompard and won silver at the 2007 NHK Trophy, finishing 1.52 points shy of the champion, Carolina Kostner. In January, she won another silver medal, at the 2008 European Championships in Zagreb, Croatia. She placed 6th at the 2008 World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.

2008–2009 seasonEdit

Meier competed in few events in her final three seasons due to a string of injuries.[11][12] She missed much of 2008–2009 due to spinal disc herniation and muscle problems, although she was able to compete at the 2009 World Championships and earned an Olympic spot for Switzerland with her ninth place showing.[4][13]

2009–2010 seasonEdit

During the season, Meier struggled with an Achilles tendon inflammation.[4][1] She withdrew from the 2009 NHK Trophy because she was unable to put too much pressure on her toe pick.[14] She finished 5th at the 2010 European Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, and then 15th at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. After a bad fall in the short program, she failed to qualify for the free skate at the 2010 World Championships in Turin, Italy.

The many injuries Meier had suffered during the latter part of her career led her to consider retirement after the 2009–2010 season, but she eventually decided to remain in the eligible ranks for one last season, mainly in order to compete in her home country at the 2011 Europeans in Bern.[15]

2010–2011 seasonEdit

Meier damaged ligaments in her foot at the 2010 Skate Canada,[4] forcing her to withdraw from the event. The injury occurred on her favorite jump, the Lutz, denting her confidence.[16] Forced to sit out the Grand Prix season and Swiss Championships,[17] Meier announced prior to the 2011 European Championships in Bern that it would be her final competitive event. She ranked third in the short program and second in the free skate, but her combined score was high enough to become the European champion.[17][18][19] She reaffirmed her decision to retire immediately following her win, calling it "the right moment to stop... the perfect ending."[16]

Post-competitive careerEdit

In May 2011, Meier announced that she would join Switzerland's "Art on Ice" Production as an executive for its talent team, responsible for talent scouting, looking after members of the team and working with parents, teachers, schools, team experts and Swiss Ice Skating. She is also involved in finding sponsors for Swiss skating.[20][3]

Meier continued to skate as a pro skater, in shows and other events. She withdrew from the 2011 Japan Open due to swelling in her foot; the ligaments had not fully healed after the 2010 Skate Canada injury.[3] In 2013, she began working as a journalist.[21] In February 2015, she retired from show skating at Art on Ice.[22]


Meier (left) with the other medalists at the 2008 European Championships.


Season Free skating
Pro-am events




Season Short program Free skating Exhibition
Love in the Time of Cholera
by Antonio Pinto:
  • White Suit
  • Raelejo
  • Divided Love


  • Samba
    by Steve Stevens
  • Brazilliance
    by Steve Stevens
  • La Folia In Black
    by Tokuhide Nimi
  • Red Autumn
    by Tokuhide Nimi

  • La Folia In Black
    by Tokuhide Nimi
  • Red Autumn
    by Tokuhide Nimi

Finding Neverland
by Jan A. P. Kaczmarek:
  • Impossible Opening
  • The Kite
  • Impossible Opening

  • Big Love Adagio
    performed by Bond

  • Big Love Adagio
    performed by Bond

  • Pure Mood
    by Spyro Gyra
  • No Woman, No Cry
  • Could You Be Loved
    by Bob Marley & The Wailers

  • Anna and the King
    by George Fenton
  • Kodo Drums
  • Starlight
    by Trace
  • Miss Saigon
    by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg
  • I Will Always Love You
    by Whitney Houston

Competitive highlightsEdit

GP = Grand Prix; JGP = Junior Grand Prix

Event 96–97 97–98 98–99 99–00 00–01 01–02 02–03 03–04 04–05 05–06 06–07 07–08 08–09 09–10 10–11
Olympics 13th 8th 15th
Worlds 12th 19th 13th 14th 6th 7th 6th 9th 26th
Europeans 16th 5th 13th WD 10th 10th 4th 2nd 2nd 5th 1st
GP Final 3rd
GP China 6th
GP France 5th 4th
GP NHK Trophy 7th 7th 2nd WD
GP Russia 1st
GP Skate America 4th
GP Skate Canada 5th 5th WD
Finlandia 9th 3rd
Nebelhorn 2nd 5th
Nepela 2nd
Universiade 5th
International: Junior[52]
Junior Worlds 10th 3rd
JGP Final 4th
JGP Canada 6th
JGP Czech 1st
JGP France 3rd
JGP Hungary 4th
JGP Norway 5th
JGP Slovakia 10th
JGP Ukraine 11th
EYOF 2nd
Gardena 7th J
Heiko Fischer 3rd
Swiss Champ. 1st N 1st J 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
Team events[53][54][55]
Japan Open 3rd T
3rd P
2nd T
2nd P
2nd T
2nd P
3rd T
4th P
Levels: N = Novice; J = Junior. WD = Withdrew
T = Team result; P = Personal result. Medals awarded for team results only.
Pro-am events[52][56]
Event 2012–13 2014–15
Medal Winners Open 4th 2nd


  1. ^ a b c "Sarah MEIER: 2010/2011". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 23 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Sarah MEIER: 2008/2009". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 9 July 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d Vernon, Nadin (25 October 2011). "Catching up with Sarah Meier". Absolute Skating.
  4. ^ a b c d Remmel, Ia (6 April 2011). "Sarah Meier: The Bern Miracle". Absolute Skating. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Mittan, Barry (5 April 2004). "Switzerland's Sarah Meier Returns to Skate". GoldenSkate. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  6. ^ Gründlers, Berit-Silja (3 August 2018). "Eisprinzessin Sarah Meier heiratet ihren Prinzen Jan". Schweizer Illustrierte (in German).
  7. ^ Germann, Mathias (3 August 2018). ""Wir wünschen uns Kinder"". (in German).
  8. ^ a b c "Sarah MEIER: 2000/2001". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 20 April 2001.
  9. ^ a b "Sarah MEIER: 2002/2003". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 18 June 2003.
  10. ^ a b "Sarah MEIER: 2006/2007". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 26 June 2007.
  11. ^ Stephens, Thomas (27 January 2011). "Swiss ice skaters considered rink outsiders". Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  12. ^ Golinsky, Reut (2009). "Sarah Meier: "I can be aggressive on ice"". Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  13. ^ "Sarah Meier: "I cried every day in the dressing room"". FigureSkating-Online. 4 July 2009. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  14. ^ Vernon, Nadin (2009). "Sarah Meier: "It was a good feeling just to be here"". Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  15. ^ "Euro joy for tearful Meier, debut boy Amodio". Agence France-Presse. 29 January 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  16. ^ a b Reinhold-Kany, Klaus (4 February 2011). "It's a storybook ending for Switzerland's Meier". Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  17. ^ a b Flade, Tatjana (29 January 2011). "Korpi leads ladies after short program". Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  18. ^ Dunbar, Graham (29 January 2011). "Meier, Amodio wins individual golds at Europeans". Associated Press. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  19. ^ Flade, Tatjana (29 January 2011). "Sarah Meier captures ladies European title". Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  20. ^ Vernon, Nadin (2 May 2011). "Next steps for European Champion Sarah Meier". Absolute Skating.
  21. ^ a b Bertoloni, Anna; Golinsky, Reut (19 March 2014). "Catching up with Sarah Meier". Absolute Skating.
  22. ^ Spitzenpfeil, Ruth (4 February 2015). "Adieu ohne Wehmut: Der leichtfüssige Abschied der Sarah Meier" [Adieu without melancholy: The light-footed farewell of Sarah Meier]. Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German).
  23. ^ 木下グループpresents メダル・ウィナーズ・オープン2015 [Kinoshita Group presents Medal Winners Open 2015] (Television production, BS-TBS) (in Japanese). Japan: TBS. January 17, 2015.
  24. ^ Bertoloni, Anna. "Art on Ice 2015 (Photos)". Absolute Skating. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  25. ^ "Medal Winners Open". Golden Skate. Archived from the original on October 12, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  26. ^ ertoloni, Anna (8 February 2013). "Music on Ice 2013". Absolute Skating.
  27. ^ Remmel, Ia (12 June 2013). "ASarah Meier after Bern". Absolute Skating.
  28. ^ Remmel, Ia (11 February 2013). "Art on Ice: the number one show worldwide". Absolute Skating.
  29. ^ Meier, Sarah (10 January 2013). "Met the guys from 2Cellos today smile emoticon So now I'm ready to practice my routine to "We found love"!" (facebook).
  30. ^ a b c "Sarah Meier Official Home Page: PROGRAMME". Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  31. ^ Art on Ice 2013 - Sarah Meier & Kristoffer Berntsson (YouTube). Art on Ice. 11 June 2013.
  32. ^ Jangbro, Eva Maria (13 February 2012). "Art On Ice: A show that tickles the senses!". Absolute Skating.
  33. ^ Art on Ice 2012 - Sarah Meier & Mick Hucknall (YouTube). Art on Ice. 2 May 2013.
  34. ^ Vernon, Nadin (13 February 2011). "Art on Ice 2011: A dream within a dream". Absolute Skating.
  35. ^ "Sarah MEIER: 2009/2010". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 8 September 2009.
  36. ^ Art on Ice 2010 - Seven & Sarah Meier (YouTube). Art on Ice. 28 July 2011.
  37. ^ "Sarah MEIER: 2008/2009". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 9 November 2008.
  38. ^ Shinkarenko, Olga. "The festival mood of Art on Ice 2009". Absolute Skating. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  39. ^ "Sarah MEIER: 2007/2008". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 26 May 2008.
  40. ^ Bennett, Gemma Louise. "Art On Ice 2008". Absolute Skating. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  41. ^ 2008 ISU European Figure Skating Championships - Gala (Television Production). SVT2. January 2008.
  42. ^ Art on Ice 2007 - Sarah Meier und Robin Gibb (YouTube). Art on Ice. 6 October 2011.
  43. ^ "Sarah MEIER: 2005/2006". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 30 June 2006.
  44. ^ Art on Ice 2006 - Lisa Stansfield mit Sarah Meier & Kevin van der Perren (YouTube). Art on Ice. 4 August 2006.
  45. ^ "Sarah MEIER: 2004/2005". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 8 March 2005.
  46. ^ Art on Ice 2005 - Lovebugs & Sarah Meier (YouTube). Art on Ice. 9 August 2011.
  47. ^ "Sarah MEIER: 2003/2004". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 18 June 2004.
  48. ^ "Sarah MEIER: 2003/2004". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 28 October 2003.
  49. ^ Hayward, Justin (1 February 2004). "From Justin: Buzzing with excitement".
  50. ^ "Sarah MEIER: 2002/2003". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 16 December 2002.
  51. ^ "Sarah MEIER: 2001/2002". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 11 August 2002.
  52. ^ a b c d "Competition Results: Sarah MEIER". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013.
  53. ^ "2006 Japan Open detailed results". Japan Skating Federation Official Results & Data Site.
  54. ^ "2007 Japan Open detailed results". Japan Skating Federation Official Results & Data Site.
  55. ^ "2008 Japan Open detailed results". Japan Skating Federation Official Results & Data Site. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24.
  56. ^ "Medal Winners Open 2015 detailed results". Japan Skating Federation Official Results & Data Site. Archived from the original on January 16, 2015.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Swiss Sportswoman of the Year
Succeeded by