Olympic medal record
Representing  Norway
Women's alpine skiing
Bronze medal – third place 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.
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.

Event Result Date Venue WR
500 m 46.4 30 January 1937 Davos 49.3
1,000 m 1:38.8 31 January 1937 Davos 1:42.3
1,500 m 2:38.1 23 January 1937 Oslo-Frogner stadion 2:40.0
3,000 m 5:29.6 30 January 1937 Davos 6:12.0
5,000 m 9:28.3 31 January 1937 Davos 10:15.3
Old combination 207.563 31 January 1937 Davos none




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


  • Eng, Trond. All Time International Championships, Complete Results: 1889 – 2002. Askim, Norway: WSSSA-Skøytenytt, 2002.
  • 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.
  • Eng, Trond and Teigen, Magne. Komplette Resultater fra offisielle Norske Mesterskap på skøyter, 1894 – 2005. Askim/Veggli, Norway: WSSSA-Skøytenytt, 2005.
  • Teigen, Magne. Komplette Resultater Norske Mesterskap På Skøyter, 1887 – 1989: Menn/Kvinner, Senior/Junior. Veggli, Norway: WSSSA-Skøytenytt, 1989.
  • Teigen, Magne. Komplette Resultater Internasjonale Mesterskap 1889 – 1989: Menn/Kvinner, Senior/Junior, allround/sprint. Veggli, Norway: WSSSA-Skøytenytt, 1989.
Awards Preceded byBjarne Bryntesen Egebergs Ærespris 1936 Succeeded byJohan Haanes