Hosting the 1960 World Figure Skating Championships, Canada welcomed more than 80 of the world’s elite skaters to Vancouver, British Columbia, in March to compete in the final ritual of winter. The 1960 world meet was the first hosted by Canada since 1932.
The event would mark the fifth and final victory for Carol Heiss, the last ladies champion to win five consecutive world titles. It would also be the first and only World Championship appearance of the up-and-coming Laurence Owen, who died less than a year later with 72 others, including her mother, sister, and teammates, in the crash of Sabena Airlines Flight 548 in Brussels, Belgium, while en route to the 1961 World Championships, scheduled for Prague, Czechoslovakia.
Shown here are two pins issued to commemorate the 1960 World Championships in Vancouver: one in a silver-color base metal with light-blue enamel fill and one in a bronze-color metal in relief. The pins, identical in design, feature a portion of the world globe with focus on North America. Intersecting, superimposed ovals mirror the fascination with global travel and space-related, atomic-style pictography seen in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Fifty years later, Vancouver would host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and again bring the world’s elite skaters together in their quest for excellence.