Hattie Briggs

Athlete - Hattie Briggs
Hattie Briggs

Hattie was 13 when she first tried speed skating, and in just a years time, she won her local club championship. She went on to win Edsel Ford Trophy, presented by Edsel Ford himself in 1930 in Dearborn Michigan. In 1932 she represented her country at the Lake Placid Olympics, where she placed second in the 1000 metre final. Hattie won the 1933 and 1934 North Amercian In-Door speed skating title in St. Louis, placing first in the ¾ and 1 mile , and ½ and ¾ mile categories, respectively.

Hattie was to participate in the 1936 Olympics in Garmisch, Germany, which ultimately was a bitter dissappointment for the local Speed skater. The German competitor fell ill the day before the event, so Adolf Hitler, cancelled the women’s speed skating event entirely. However, she was permitted to march with the Canadian athletes in the opening ceremonies. It was during these opening ceremonies that Hattie proudly wore her blue Huntsville, Ontario sweater that Town Council had presented to her prior to her departure.

After the 36 Olympics she travelled to France to compete in Paris, where she placed second. Then on to England to make some guest appearances. Touring the world, Hattie won numerous trophies, and medals, but she recalled that her most prized possession, was, when she appeared on the same programme with the beautiful world champion figure skater Sonja Henie.

When asked why she chose her sport, she merely said, “it was a lot fun and I enjoyed travelling the world, I always had an itchy foot. I just seemed to fit Speed Skating”
Hattie hung up her speed skates in 1936, but continued to skate with the Huntsville Figure Skating club until 1956.