Elizabeth Ann Manley, CM (born August 7, 1965) is a Canadian former competitive figure skater. She is the 1988 Olympic silver medallist, the 1988 World silver medallist, and a three-time Canadian national champion.
Early life and training
Manley was born in 1965 in Trenton, Ontario, the fourth child and only daughter in her family. Her father's military career necessitated occasionally moving, and when Manley was nine years old, her family moved from Trenton to Ottawa. After her parents' divorce in the 1970s, she was raised by her mother, Joan.
Manley began skating at an early age. Her mother invested much time and money in her daughter's figure skating career.
Manley won the bronze medal at the 1982 World Junior Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany. Later that season, she competed at her first senior World Championships and finished 13th in Copenhagen, Denmark.
In the 1982–83 season, Manley relocated from Ottawa to Lake Placid, New York to receive more intensive training but became depressed and homesick, which resulted in her hair falling out and weight gain. She finished off the podium at the Canadian Championships and briefly dropped out of the sport, but resumed her skating career after Peter Dunfield and Sonya Dunfield agreed to coach her in Ontario. They worked with her at the Gloucester Skating Club in Orleans, Ontario.
Manley competed at the 1984 Winter Olympics, placing 13th, and the World Championships between 1984 and 1987. At the 1987 Worlds, she was in a position to vie for the world title after compulsory figures and the short program, but a poor result in the long program left her in fourth place overall in the competition.
Entering the 1988 Winter Olympics, few skating pundits and media analysts considered Manley to be a contender for an Olympic medal, and she received no offers of sponsorships. Battling illness, she nevertheless did well in compulsory figures and the short program. Heading into the long program, she was in third place behind the East German skater Katarina Witt and the American skater Debi Thomas. Witt and Thomas were both favourites for the gold medal, and the media had dubbed their rivalry as the "Battle of the Carmens", as both women chose to skate to music from the opera Carmen. Witt skated her long program cleanly but conservatively, and Thomas fell apart in her long program. Elizabeth Manley, however, gave the performance of her life, winning the long program and coming within a fraction of a point of beating Witt for the Olympic title. Her come-from-behind victory made her a national celebrity in Canada.
After winning the silver medal at the 1988 World Championships, Manley retired from amateur skating.
Manley performed in ice shows and television specials, and competed in professional events, for a number of years afterwards, being notable for her unusually imaginative programs. She now works as a figure skating coach and occasional media commentator. In 1988, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada.
In 1990, Manley published an autobiography: Thumbs Up!; a second volume of autobiography, As I Am: My Life After the Olympics, followed in 1999. Manley has been popular at ice shows, and even professional competitions, for a rather unusual trademark: she jumps off the ice, in mid-performance, and onto the lap of a randomly selected male spectator.
In September 1990, radio personality The Real Darren Stevens as a radio stunt, admitted that he suffered from a rare affliction: being a Canadian who can't skate. While on the air, he openly "stalked" fellow Ottawa native Manley to teach him how to skate. Finally, after about 150 days, in January 1991, Manley put the skates on Stevens, and taught him how to skate.
Manley starred as Red Riding Hood in CBC's 1992 television film The Trial of Red Riding Hood which premiered on the Disney Channel two years later.
In 2014, Manley was inducted into the Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.
Manley married TV Producer David N. Rosen on June 2019 .
Manley is a spokesperson for mental health issues due to her own battle with depression, which began before the 1984 Olympics. As of 2009,she is also an official spokesperson for Ovarian Cancer Canada's Winners Walk of Hope. Her mother died from ovarian cancer in July 2008 and her father died of Alzheimer's disease in 2010.
Manley is a spokesperson for Herbal Magic weight loss.