Laila Schou Nilsen

Olympic medal record
Representing  Norway
Women's alpine skiing
1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Combined

Laila Schou Nilsen (18 March 1919 – 30 July 1998) was a Norwegian speed skater, alpine skier and tennis player. She was one of the pioneers in Norwegian as well as international speed skating for women.

Schou Nilsen after the downhill event at the 1936 Olympics.


Laila Schou Nilsen won the last unofficial World Championship for women (from a series of three that were organised by the club OSK) at Oslo Frogner stadion in 1935. At the World Championships of Davos, Switzerland in 1937, she won all four distances (500 m, 1,000 m, 3,000 m, and 5,000 m) in world record time. She also won the World Championships in Oslo in 1938. The record on the 500 m (46.4) lasted until 1955, when Tamara Rylova of the Soviet Union beat it at the Medeo track in Alma Ata. Her record on 1,500 m lasted until 1950.

Laila Schou Nilsen became Norwegian champion of speed skating in 1935, 1937, 1939, and 1940.

At the 1936 Winter Olympic Games, she won the bronze in the alpine combined. For this, she was the same year awarded the Egebergs Ærespris for her achievements in alpine skiing, in speed skating, but also in tennis, where sho won a number of Norwegian championships.

After the World War II Laila Schou Nilsen competed in alpine skiing at the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, where she finished 7th in downhill and 14th in slalom.

She was also a member of the national team in handball, and participated in the Monte Carlo Rally in 1963.

Speedskating Medals

An overview of speedskating medals won by Laila Schou Nilsen at important championships she participated in, listing the years in which she won each:

Championships Gold medal Silver medal Bronze medal
World Allround (1935)
Norwegian Allround 1935


Note that the World Allround Championships were unofficial from 1933 to 1935

Personal speed skating records

To put these personal records in perspective, the WR column lists the official world records on the dates that Laila Schou Nilsen skated her personal records.

500 m46.430 January 1937Davos49.3
1,000 m1:38.831 January 1937Davos1:42.3
1,500 m2:38.123 January 1937Oslo-Frogner stadion2:40.0
3,000 m5:29.630 January 1937Davos6:12.0
5,000 m9:28.331 January 1937Davos10:15.3
Old combination207.56331 January 1937Davosnone




  1. Teigen 1989, pp. 225–226.
  2. Eng et all. 1999, p. 292.


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  • Eng, Trond; Gjerde, Arild and Teigen, Magne. Norsk Skøytestatistikk Gjennom Tidene, Menn/Kvinner, 1999 (6. utgave). Askim/Skedsmokorset/Veggli, Norway: WSSSA-Skøytenytt, 1999.
  • Eng, Trond; Gjerde, Arild; Teigen, Magne and Teigen, Thorleiv. Norsk Skøytestatistikk Gjennom Tidene, Menn/Kvinner, 2004 (7. utgave). Askim/Skedsmokorset/Veggli/Hokksund, Norway: WSSSA-Skøytenytt, 2004.
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  • Teigen, Magne. Komplette Resultater Internasjonale Mesterskap 1889 – 1989: Menn/Kvinner, Senior/Junior, allround/sprint. Veggli, Norway: WSSSA-Skøytenytt, 1989.
Preceded by
Bjarne Bryntesen
Egebergs Ærespris
Succeeded by
Johan Haanes
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