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Pairs Figure Skating Olympic Medalist Coach Ron Ludington Dies At 85

By Todd Kortemeier | May 15, 2020, 12:19 p.m. (ET)

Ron Ludington poses for an Olympic headshot in 1960.

 

An Olympic figure skating medalist who went on to a six-decade career coaching other Olympic medalists, World Figure Skating Hall of Famer Ron Ludington has died at 85.

“While we mourn the loss of a loving father, grandfather, brother and friend, we also recognize his distinguished career in U.S. figure skating and wish to celebrate that,” said Karen Ludington Gullotti, one of Ludington’s two children.

Ludington’s own skating career was in pairs, winning four national championships in a row from 1957 to 1960 with his partner and then-wife Nancy Ludington. The Ludingtons also earned a bronze medal at the 1959 world championships before their ultimate triumph the next year, a bronze medal at the Olympic Winter Games Squaw Valley 1960.

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That was the last year of competitive skating for Ludington, who then began a coaching career back in his native New England. Among the skaters he coached were Kitty and Peter Carruthers, who won the pairs silver medal in Sarajevo Lake Placid in 1984. In 1987, Ludington became the director of the University of Delaware’s Ice Skating Science Development Center. He held the position for 23 years, retiring in 2010 but continuing to coach skaters at the center. At the time, Ludington had coached skaters in nine consecutive Olympic Winter Games.

Delaware has since become one of the country’s top training centers for skating. Olympian Nathan Bartholomay was one of the many skaters to work with Ludington over the years at Delaware, and posted a tribute to social media late Thursday.

“He had such a wealth of knowledge to offer to anyone who was there in front of him,” Bartholomay said. “I consider myself very lucky to have worked with him for many years.”

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.