Jeanette Altwegg was born in Mumbai, India on 8th September 1930 the daughter of Swiss born Hermann Altwegg. Her family were living at 4A Parkfield Road L17 in 1938 but by 1939 had moved to Crosby. Her father was described in the electoral register of 1939 as ‘manager and salesman East Indian cotton’.
A natural athlete she reached the Wimbledon junior finals in 1947 but then gave up tennis to concentrate on ice skating. This was well judged as her bronze medal at the 1948 Olympics was followed by gold at the 1951 European and World Championships. The pinnacle of her career came in 1952 when she became the first British woman to win a gold medal at the winter Olympics. A knee injury precluded any question of her pursuing a professional career. In 1953 she was awarded the CBE.
retiring from skating, Altwegg worked at the Pestalozzi Children's Village in Switzerland. She married Marc Wirz, the
brother of Swiss skater Susi Wirz. They had four children before divorcing in 1973.
Their daughter Christina Wirz was a member of Switzerland's 1983 World champion
curling team. Jeanette Altwegg died in Switzerland in June 2021 aged 90.
Jeanette Altwegg's home in the late 1930's
© Liverpool Footprints