Wilson, Jean

Jean Wilson, speed skater (b at Glasgow, Scot 19 July 1910; d at Toronto 3 Sept 1933). After winning international honours, she died of the muscular disease myasthenia gravis. Wilson started SPEED SKATING when she was 15. A strong, natural skater, by 1931 she was able to challenge the sport's reigning queen, Lela BROOKS, and prior to the 1932 Winter Olympics established herself as N American champion. At the Olympics in Lake Placid, in which speed skating was a demonstration event, she won the 500 m event. Although she set a world record in the 1500 m in her preliminary heat, she was closely beaten by America's Kit Klein in the final. She fell while leading the 1000 m race. Within months of the Olympics, she entered hospital and battled her rare disease for a year before succumbing at age 23.