Mrs. Mary Louise Wright devoted her life to the support and growth of the sport of figure skating as a National competitor, National, Olympic, and World judge, and mentor to countless skaters, many of whom became icons of the skating world. She was posthumously honored at the 2005 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Portland, Oregon where she was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
To honor this amazing woman, The Mary Louise Wright (MLW) Memorial Figure Skating Exhibition and Fund was established in 2005 after her passing. The MLW Scholarship Award is presented to select skaters who most exemplify the qualities and ethics demonstrated by Mrs. Wright throughout her life. In 2014, the Club incorporated the U.S. Championship Send-Off Exhibition and the MLW Silent Auction and Raffle into one event to further honor the memory of Mary Louise Wright.
This event is organized and presented by the Junior Activities Committee of The Skating Club of Boston. It is an excellent example of today’s youth dedicating time and effort to honor a woman whom they believe is a deserving figure, and a positive example of lifelong perseverance, commitment and enthusiasm to her passion, the sport of figure skating.
Mrs. Mary Louise Wright
Mary Louise Wright (MLW) was born into a family of skaters in 1923 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her mother and father skated on “natural ice – meaning there was no refrigeration system to freeze the ice – they just opened the doors of the 200’ x 300’ building and let the cold St. Paul air do the trick”. Her father, Mr. Fred W. Premer, was the first president of the St. Paul Figure Skating Club in 1936.
MLW became a High Test Judge in 1939 at the age of 16 and a National Judge in 1943 at age 19. Bud Wilson was her coach. In 1941, she became the 24th Gold Medalist in figures. She was the first person to pass the test who had not been a Senior Ladies competitor. Her brother, who also skated, became the 30th Gold Medalist in the country.
MLW was a member of the first Saint Paul Four team with Janette Ahrens, Robert Uppgren and Lyman Wakefield and their team was the “North American Four” champions in 1941. She was a Senior Ladies Silver Medalist from the Midwest region in 1942.
She and Benjamin (Ben) Wright were married in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1953. In the 1950s, she was the only woman judge on the North American panels. She judged at two Olympics – 1964 and 1992 – and 13 world competitions. In 1992, both she and her husband, Ben Wright, were Olympic judges.
In 2005, MLW was posthumously elected to the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.