U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame member and longtime volunteer leader Anne Gerli passed away Thursday, March 3, in New York. She was 92.
A member of The Skating Club of New York and a national judge for more than 70 years, Gerli served U.S. Figure Skating as vice president (1985), Olympic representative (1981–82), U.S. World Team leader (1985) and was the chair of numerous committees.
Gerli earned her first judging appointment in 1944 and became a national singles/pairs judge in 1966. Since 1998, Gerli judged more than 500 tests and continued to do so into her 90s.
Gerli is credited with creating two important U.S. Figure Skating programs: the Accelerated Judges Program, which since 1997 has encouraged high-level test and competitive skaters to become judges; and the Young Internationals Program, which from 1995-2005 sent young skaters to European nonqualifying competitions to gain experience.
Her interest in developing and promoting young American figure skaters was the driving force behind the creation of the U.S. Junior Championships, held from 1991-2012. Her passion in this area lives on through The Skating Club of New York’s Anne Gerli Award, which honors the top juvenile skaters at Mid Atlantics.
Gerli, too, was a recipient of many awards, including the New England Amateur Skating Foundation’s LeeAnn Miele Spirit of Skating Award in 2014 and the 2008 PSA Distinguished Official Award. Gerli, a past president of the New York Figure Skating Council, was honored by U.S. Figure Skating in 1995 for her dedication to the sport of figure skating.
In 2015, she was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in Greensboro, North Carolina. “With all those people who are in [the hall], I just don’t feel like I should be there,” she humbly stated. “There are such good people, such good skaters. I feel like I’m out of my league.”
A vocal fixture at U.S. Figure Skating’s annual Governing Council, Gerli attended nearly every meeting since the early 1950s.
Gerli is survived by her daughters Coco Shean, Mary Clarke and Carol Deane. Shean is an ISU and Olympic judge.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., March 11, at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City.
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