EVA PAWLIKS AMATEURKARRIERE
EVA PAWLIK´S  AMATEUR CAREER


(INFORMATION IN ENGLISH SEE BELOW)

 Karriere mit Stolpersteinen

Dass Eva Pawlik nicht schon 1947 und 1948 Europa-Gold holen konnte, hatte nichts mit ihren sportlichen Leistungen zu tun. 1947 war Österreich aus politischen Gründen von der Teilnahme an internationalen Meisterschaften ausgeschlossen. 1948 durfte Eva Pawlik zwar endlich unter Beweis stellen, Europas beste Läuferin zu sein. Das half aber wenig: Europameisterin wurde nämlich eine Nichteuropäerin (Barbara Ann Scott aus Kanada). 


Olympia-Silber
Nach der Einschätzung von Sandra Stevenson (BBC Book of Skating) war es wenig überraschend, dass Nordamerikaner, deren sportliche Entwicklung nicht durch den Weltkrieg unterbrochen war, nach 1945 die Konkurrenz aus Europa in Schach halten konnten. Dass Eva Pawlik aus Österreich 1948 bei den Olympischen Spielen und der Weltmeisterschaft nur die Silbermedaillen gewann, soll unter anderem daran gelegen sein, dass sie mit schmutzigen Schuhen und gestopften Löchern in ihren Strumpfhosen lief. Die Schuhe waren so alt, dass sie auf die versuchte Reinigung nicht mehr ansprachen. Angesichts der Güterknappheit in ihrem Land sei dies jedoch das Beste gewesen, das sie bewerkstelligen konnte.

In ihrem Buch "Dünnes Eis" (1956) beschreibt die Weltmeisterin von 1952, Jacqueline du Bief, ihre Eindrücke von den Olympischen Winterspielen 1948, an denen sie bereits teilgenommen hatte:

"Ich möchte die unglaublichen Worte wiedergeben, die ein Funktionär von sich gab: 'Eva (Pawlik) ist vielleicht besser als Scott, doch kann man kein Mädchen zur Olympiasiegerin machen, das Löcher in seinen Strümpfen hat und mit schmutzigen Eissschuhen auftritt.' (Es war Stopfwolle, die den Eindruck von 'Löchern' vermittelte, und die Eisschuhe sahen schmutzig aus, weil sie so oft getragen worden waren, dass sie abgenützt wirkten.) Von diesem Tag an hatte ich große Zweifel, ob der Eiskunstlauf wirklich ein 'Sport' wäre. ..."

The three Olympic medalists:
Olympic Champion Scott in the middle, runner-up Pawlik on the left and bronze medalist Altwegg on the right

Olympic victory ceremony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsSMRXPXQf8


Eva Pawlik bei den Olympischen Spielen 1948
Eva Pawlik at the 1948 Olympics

Eva Pawlik über den Olympischen Kunstlaufbewerb 1948:
Eva Pawlik about the 1948 Olympic figure-skating event:
http://www.oesterreich-am-wort.at/treffer/atom/134ABF3C-03C-0009A-00000C78-134A0539/

Metro Goldwyn Mayer machte Eva Pawlik 1948 ein verlockendes Angebot: In einem Hollywood-Film sollte der Kunstlauf der Vize-Olympiasiegerin mit Gene Kellys Tanz kombiniert werden. Pawlik hatte die Größe abzulehnen, um ihren Amateurstatus für das Jahr 1949 zu erhalten. Die Chancen für die bevorstehenden Meisterschaften standen gut. Nicht nur verabschiedete sich die ISU 1949 von der unüblichen Regel, dass Nordamerikaner zu den Europameisterschaften zugelassen waren. Darüber hinaus hatte sich Weltmeisterin Barbara Ann Scott entschieden, ins Profilager zu wechseln, wodurch der Weg Pawliks zu Gold nicht nur bei der EM, sondern auch bei der WM frei schien.


The later European Champions Edi Rada and Eva Pawlik together with the minister of sports, Mr. Hurdes, at the 1948 Olympics

 

INFORMATION IN ENGLISH: 


In 1947, when the first European and World Championships after World War II were held, Austrians in general were not admitted, for political reasons. Eva Pawlik was allowed to watch the Championships -- from the stand, but not as a competitor. It was one of the most difficult moments in her life as an amateur skater to know that she was probably the best European skater with good chances of winning a medal at the World´s but to be barred from participating.

In 1948, Austrians were admitted again to international skating competitions. Eva Pawlik proved to be Europe´s best skater at the European, Olympics and World Championships. Again it was hard for her to accept that the European crown was not awarded to her, but to a non-European skater. It goes without saying that Barbara Ann Scott from Canada was a wonderful and glamorous skater. But that did not change the fact that Eva Pawlik was the best-ranked European lady figure skater at the 1948 European Championship but was awarded only the silver medal.
 
 
 

Coach Edi Scholdan and Eva Pawlik in Colorado Springs
Trainer Edi Scholdan und Eva Pawlik in Colorado Springs
 
 
In Sandra Stevenson´s opinion (BBC book of skating) it was "not surprising that North Americans, whose skating activities had not been interrupted" during World War II, "should do well when the sport resumed in 1947. When Eva Pawlik of Austria unsuccessfully challenged Barbara Ann Scott in 1948 one reason given for her failure was that she skated with dirty boots and holes in her tights. The boots were so old that they no longer responded to cleaning and the holes were darned. It was the best she could manage with all the shortages in her country."
 
From the book "Thin Ice" (published in 1956) written by 1952 World Champion Jacqueline du Bief who described the 1948 Olympics she had alreaday participated in:

"I would like to mention the unbelievable words I heard from the lips of an official: 'Eva (Pawlik) is perhaps better than Scott but you can't make a girl who has holes in her stocking and dirty boots an Olympic Champion.' (The 'holes' were darns and her boots looked dirty because they were so much worn.) From the day I greatly doubted if skating were a sport. ..."

One also has to take into account the circumstances under which Eva Pawlik had to develop her skating. There were hardly any indoor skating halls in Austria. So the training was mainly restricted to the time from October to March. The competitors from the United States and from Canada had the chance to do their training during the whole year.
 
The economic shortages in Austria after World War II were enormous. As the Viennese Ice Skating Rink gave Eva Pawlik a box of lump sugar for her free programme in a skating exhibition, there was discussion of whether this present could endanger her amateur status. She had to give some of the sugar back. To compare the circumstances: Barbara Ann Scott received a convertible from the city of Ottawa. Avery Brundage from the International Olympic Committee, asked her to give it back so as not to endanger her amateur status. She did so and got the car back again after her Olympic victory and her second World title in 1948.
 
It goes without saying that Barbara Ann Scott was a glamorous skater and a worthy Olympic Champion. All the more it is remarkable that Button´s coach was in favor of Eva Pawlik.

In the summer of 1948, when Barbara Ann Scott had turned professional, Eva Pawlik was celebrated as the world´s highest ranking amateur skating queen in the United States. She did some training in Colorado Springs with Edi Scholdan, who was destined to die in 1961 (in an air crash involving the US figure skating team). In the Broadmoor Ice Revue produced by Scholdan, she appeared together with famous US Champion Gretchen Merrill. Pawlik´s 21st birthday was celebrated in Hollywood, where a figure skating exhibition took place. MGM offered Eva Pawlik the opportunity to star in a Hollywood movie. Gene Kelly´s dancing should be combined with Eva Pawlik´s skating. Billy Wilder should be the director, Helen Rose should design the costumes. Although this offer was a chance to become a Hollywood star, Eva Pawlik declined in order to keep her amateur status for the next year. She was said to have the best chance of winning the 1949 European and World titles.

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