2005 Hall of Fame Inductee Mary Louise Wright Passes Away

Mary Louise and Benjamin Wright

(12/16/04) — U.S. Figure Skating is saddened at the passing of Mary Louise Wright, a longtime member of the figure skating community and former U.S. fours champion. Wright, 81, died Wednesday, Dec. 15, after a long battle with cancer. Wright will be inducted posthumously into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame at the 2005 State Farm U.S. Championships in Portland, Ore.

Wright enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the sport of figure skating. Born in St. Paul, Minn., in 1923 to Frederic and Marie Premer, both strong advocates for skating in the Twin Cities, Wright excelled at the sport at an early age and became just the 24th skater to pass the gold figure test. She quickly rose through the ranks of the ladies division, skating in at the novice level in 1938, the junior level in 1939 and 1940 and capturing the silver medal for senior ladies and senior dance with Arthur Preusch Jr. at the 1942 Midwestern Sectional Figure Skating Championships. She was also a member of the 1940 U.S. fours champion team and the1941 North American fours champion team.

In addition to her success on the ice, Wright also excelled as a skating judge. She received her first appointment as a judge in 1939 and became a national judge in 1943. Between 1948-1961 she added appointments as a national dance judge, an international judge, a world

Mary Louise Wright (née Premer) (second from right) with her fours teammates (L-R): Robert Uppgren, Janette Ahrens and Lyman Wakefield Jr.
judge and a world dance judge. Wright continued to serve as an honorary world judge and honorary world dance judge.

Over the course of her off-ice career, Wright judged 13 World Figure Skating Championships, two Olympic Winter Games (1964 and 1992), four North American Championships, 30 U.S. Championships, in addition to many other international, regional and sectional competitions.

She served as team leader for an assortment of international competitions, including the 1983 World Championships and the 1984 World Junior Championships. She has proven to be invaluable to U.S. Figure Skating,

serving as chair of the College Committee from 1951-1953, and as vice chair of a number of technical committees. She was also a member of the Judging Standards Committee from 1943-1945, which prepared the first training manual for singles judges titled; “Evaluation of Errors in School Figures.”

Wright is an honorary member of the Skating Club of Boston and was co-founder of the University of Minnesota FSC. She is survived by her husband, former U.S. Figure Skating President Benjamin T. Wright. She will be missed dearly by the entire figure skating community.

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