Dr. Franklin Nelson: 1933-2019

Dr. Franklin Nelson: 1933-2019

Former U.S. Figure Skating President Dr. Franklin Nelson passed away Tuesday, Feb. 6, after a long illness. He was 85.

Nelson started his skating career in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and continued at the Skating Club of Boston while a student at Harvard University, where he earned his bachelor’s and medical degrees.

Nelson served as U.S. Figure Skating president from 1989 to 1992. He was the last president who also was a U.S. champion, winning the 1955 junior dance title with Sidney Foster. Foster & Nelson took seventh place in the 1956 World Championships, held in the former West Germany. Soon after the event, Nelson joined the U.S. Navy.

Nelson served on U.S. Figure Skating’s board of directors for 10 years, was a vice president (1980-83) and Dance Committee chair (1975-78). As a physician, Nelson was the first chair of the U.S. Figure Skating Sports Medicine Committee and was an original and longtime member of the ISU Sports Medicine Committee.

An ISU judge, Nelson served on the pairs panel at the 1984 Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo and judged several World Championships.

Nelson also served U.S. Figure Skating as a team leader for the 1973 and ’74 World Championships. He also was a team leader for the 1976 U.S. Olympic Team, which featured future Hall of Famers Tai Babilonia & Randy Gardner, Linda Fratianne, Dorothy Hamill, Terry Kubicka, Colleen O’Connor & Jim Millns and David Santee.

 Funeral arrangements are still being made at this time.