Sjoukje Dijkstra

Sjoukje Rosalinde Dijkstra (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌʃʌukjə ˈdɛikstra], born 28 January 1942) is a Dutch former competitive figure skater. She is the 1964 Olympic champion in ladies' singles, the 1960 Olympic silver medalist, a three-time World champion (1962–1964), five-time European champion (1960–1964), and the six-time Dutch national champion (1959–1964).[1]

Sjoukje Dijkstra
Sjoukje Dijkstra c1965.jpg
Sjoukje Dijkstra in 1965
Personal information
Full nameSjoukje Rosalinde Dijkstra
Alternative namesSjoukje Kossmayer
Country representedNetherlands
Born (1942-01-28) 28 January 1942 (age 79)
Akkrum, Netherlands
Height1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
Former coachArnold Gerschwiler
Former training locationsRichmond, London

Personal lifeEdit

Sjoukje Rosalinde Dijkstra was born on 28 January 1942 in Akkrum, Netherlands. She is the daughter of Lou Dijkstra, a speed skater who competed in the 1936 Winter Olympics.[1] She married Karl Kossmayer, with whom she has two daughters, Rosalie and Katja.[2]


In the 1953–54 season, Dijkstra was awarded her first senior national medal, bronze behind Nellie Maas and Joan Haanappel, and was assigned to her first ISU Championship, the 1954 Europeans in Bolzano, where she placed 19th. She finished 12th at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

After four seasons ranked second to Haanappel, Dijkstra defeated her for the Dutch national title in the 1958–59 season. She also stood on ISU Championship podiums for the first time, taking silver at the 1959 Europeans and bronze at the 1959 Worlds.

Dijkstra won silver behind Carol Heiss at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California and at the 1960 World Championships in Vancouver. She became the dominant ladies' single skater after Heiss retired from competition.

Dijkstra won all the World and European Championships held between 1961 and 1964 (except the 1961 World Championships, which were cancelled following the Sabena Flight 548 crash). After taking her sixth consecutive national title, she went on to win gold at the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. It was the first gold for the Netherlands at the Winter Olympics.[3] She is the last person to have won Olympic gold in ladies' figure skating after winning a silver or bronze medal at a prior Olympics.

During her competitive career, Dijkstra was coached by Arnold Gerschwiler in Richmond, London. While her main strength was compulsory figures, she was also a very powerful and athletic free skater who could perform high-quality double Axel jumps and flying spins, and who skated with easy movement and strong flow.[4][5] At 1.68 metres, she was fairly tall for a skater, and one magazine article noted that "she is much more slender in person than she appears on the ice".[4]

After 1964, Dijkstra turned professional and toured with Holiday On Ice from 1964 to 1972.[1] She became the advisor to the figure skating section of the Dutch Skating Federation in 1985. In 2005, she was awarded the Fanny Blankers-Koen Trophy for her contributions to Dutch sports. On January 9, 2014, she was inducted into the International Figure Skating Hall of Fame at a ceremony during the 2014 U.S. Championships in Boston, Massachusetts.


Event 53–54 54–55 55–56 56–57 57–58 58–59 59–60 60–61 61–62 62–63 63–64
Olympics 12th 2nd 1st
World Champ. 21st 16th 12th 16th 3rd 2nd 1st 1st 1st
European Champ. 19th 7th 6th 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
Richmond Trophy 2nd 3rd 1st 1st 1st
Dutch Champ. 3rd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st


  1. ^ a b c d "Sjoukje Dijkstra". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 2020-04-17.
  2. ^ "Sjoukje Dijkstra nu achter de kassa" [Sjoukje Dijkstra]. De Telegraaf (in Dutch). 30 May 2001. Archived from the original on 5 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Netherlands: Olympic Tradition". NBC. Archived from the original on 2014-02-26.
  4. ^ a b "Europe's World Champions... 1962", Skating magazine, June 1962
  5. ^ "Lady Champion of the World", Skating magazine, June 1963
  6. ^ "World Figure Skating Championships Results: Ladies" (PDF). International Skating Union. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 June 2011.
  7. ^ "European Figure Skating Championships Results: Ladies" (PDF). International Skating Union. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 June 2011.
Preceded by
Dutch Sportswoman of the Year
1959 to 1964
Succeeded by