Denise Biellmann




Denise Biellmann (born 11 December 1962) is a Swiss professional figure skater. She was the European and World Champion in 1981 and won the Swiss Championships three times.



Denise Biellmann
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-W1129-0027, M. Thomas, D. Bielmann, K. Witt.jpg
Biellmann (center) in November 1980
Personal information
Country represented   Switzerland
Born (1962-12-11) 11 December 1962 (age 56)
Zurich, Switzerland
Height 1.60 m (5 ft 3 in)
Coach Heidi Biellmann
Retired 1981 (age 18)




Amateur career

Born in Zurich, Biellmann won her first international championship in Belgium at age 8; and, at age 11, she won the Swiss Junior Figure Skating Championships.[2] At age 14, she competed at the 1977 European Championships and placed second in the Free Skate portion of the competition.

At the age of 15, she was the first female skater to land the triple lutz in competition, which she performed for the first time at the 1978 European Championships.[3] At the same event, she became the first woman to receive a 6.0 in Technical Merit, receiving the score from British judge Pauline Borrajo.[3] She was 12th in Figures, first in the Free Skate, and finished fourth over all.[3]

At the 1980 Winter Olympics, she performed poorly in Compulsory Figures; but she won the Free Skate and placed fourth over all.

The Biellmann spin was named after her; she popularized the spin but did not invent it. It was present in skating at least since the 1965 European Championships when Tamara Moskvina performed it. It remains the only figure skating spin to be officially named after a person in ISU regulations. Nevertheless, by the end of her ISU career, the spin was causing her back pain.[3]

Biellmann retired from amateur competition at age 18, shortly after her win at the 1981 World Championships.

Professional career

Biellmann performing in the gala at the 2011 European Championships

Biellmann remains involved in the international figure skating community as a participant in both professional shows and competitions.

She participated in Pro7 Season 1, partnered with television presenter Pierre Geisensetter, and in Season 2, partnered with actor Patrick Bach.

She participated in the Eurovision Dance Contest 2007 representing Switzerland with partner Sven Ninnemann.

She won the prestigious Challenge of Champions, regarded as the most important professional event, a record 5 times. Along with all her other titles making her perhaps the most successful professional skater ever.

Competitive highlights

Winter Olympics               4th  
World Champ.       15th 10th 5th 5th 6th 1st
European Champ.         6th 4th 3rd WD 1st
NHK Trophy                 1st
Richmond Trophy           3rd      
St. Gervais         2nd   1st    
International Challenge Cup             1st    
Swiss Champ. 5th J 1st J 11th 3rd 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st
J = Junior level; WD = Withdrew


  1. ^
  2. ^ Denise Biellmann website
  3. ^ a b c d Stevenson, Alexandra (2011). "2011 European Championships Preview". Archived from the original on September 21, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2011.

External links