Winthrop Gardiner Jr.
Henie-Onstad Art Centre
Sonja Henie was a figure skater and film star. Sonja Henie was born in Kristiania, current Oslo, the only daughter of Wilhelm Henie, a prosperous furrier and his wife Selma Lochmann-Nielsen.
Sonja Henie lived temporarily at Finse in Norway´s first indoor skating-rink to practice for her three Olympic gold medals. She took the gold medal in the 1928, 1932 and 1936 Winter Olympics. She first placed eighth in a field of eight at the 1924 Winter Olympics, at the age of eleven. During the 1924 program, she skated over to the side of the rink several times to ask her coach for directions. She was a ten-time World Champion (1927–1936) and a six-time European Champion (1931–1936). Henie won more Olympic and World titles than any other ladies figure skater. At the height of her acting career she was one of the highest paid stars in Hollywood.
Henie was married three times, to Dan Topping, Winthrop Gardiner Jr., and the wealthy Norwegian shipping magnate and art patron, Niels Onstad. After her retirement in 1956, Henie and Onstad settled in Oslo and accumulated a large collection of modern art that formed the basis for the Henie-Onstad Art Centre at Høvikodden near Oslo.
Henie was diagnosed with leukemia in the mid-1960s. She died of the disease at age 57 in 1969 during a flight from Paris to Oslo. Considered by many as one of the greatest figure skaters in history, she is buried with Onstad in Oslo on the hilltop overlooking the Henie-Onstad Art Centre.