Hans Gerschwiler, 96, of Pinehurst, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, surrounded by his loving family.
Born on June 20, 1921, near Zurich, Switzerland, to Johann and Ida Rosa Gerschwiler. Hans traveled to England, where he became a legendary figure skater, coached by his uncles Jacque and Arnold.
Hans won both the World Figure Skating Championship and European Figure Skating Championship in 1947. In 1948, he was a silver medalist behind American icon Dick Button in both the Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and the European Championship. Not surprisingly, respectful of each other’s world class talent, the two competitors remained lifelong friends. It would be 58 years until another Swiss skater medaled at the Olympics.
Hans was considered one of the best school skaters in the world and directed his talent toward teaching and training skaters in Canada and the U.S. He began his coaching career in Schumacher, Canada, where he met his wife, Nancy Jane Clarke, of Toronto.
Hans is survived by his wife of 64 years, Nancy, along with four children, Linda Sue Labbett (Brian Labbett), Geoffery Gerschwiler, Nancy Jill Gerschwiler-Steck (Paul Steck) and Hans Peter Gerschwiler (Miriam Garcia Gerschwiler). A son, David Arnold predeceased him.
He was grandfather to Nick Labbett, Trishia Botting, Megan Farrell, Julia Steck, Bradley Gerschwiler, Brian Steck, Gabrielle Gerschwiler and Hans Anthony Gerschwiler and great-grandfather to Wesley and Ella Botting.
He will be sadly missed.
Funeral services will be private.
Online condolences may be made at www.bolesfuneralhome.com.