Donald Gilchrist – The Father of World Synchro

Do you know that the late Donald Gilchrist could be called “The Father of World Synchro”?

Over a span of 26 years, Donald Gilchrist served on the International Skating Union, first as a member of the Figure and Pair Technical Committee and then as a Council Member. On the Council, he successfully lobbied the ISU to adopt synchronized skating as an ISU Sanctioned Event, a move that put synchro on the world figure skating map.

Marlene Smith & Donald Gilchrist

His 89 years of involvement in figure skating featured a multitude of other accomplishments including being a  3-time Canadian silver medalist in Men and a 2-time Canadian Champion in Pairs (with partner Marlene Smith), and officiating at many Canadian, World and Olympic Championships. As a result of these accomplishments, Don was inducted into both the Skate Canada and World Halls of Fame.

As if this were not enough, he had a stellar professional career away from the rink. After serving in the army in World War II, he graduated from the University of Toronto and became an international diplomat with postings in Washington, Los Angeles, and the Netherlands. He was also a devoted husband to wife, Christiane, and proud father of 3 children.

We lost a great friend of figure skating in general and synchronized skating in particular when Donald died last year at the age of 95.

More on Mr. Gilchrist can be found at these links on the Skate Canada website.

Skating community mourns the passing of Donald Gilchrist

Skate Canada Hall of Fame induction of Donald Gilchrist