Peter Burrows

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1938 - 2014
Prominent figure skating coach Peter Burrows passed away on April 9, 2014, in Port Washington, NY, after a valiant struggle with a brief illness. He was 75.

Burrows was born in Manchester, England on July 27, 1938. He trained first with Gladys Hogg and then his main coach, Arnold Gerschwiler, in London and in Davos, Switzerland. His competitive record includes British Novice, Junior and Senior Men's titles, British Junior and Senior Pairs titles, and World Team member. He was slated to compete in the 1960 Olympics held in Squaw Valley, but withdrew due to injury, going on to star in the BBC TV show "Hot Ice and Cool Music."

In 1966, Burrows emigrated to the United States at the invitation of Hans Gerschwiler, teaching at the South Mountain Arena in New Jersey. He subsequently taught for the Skating Club of New York at the original Skyrink in Manhattan on 33rd Street, and on Long Island, NY at Twin Rinks and Racquet and Rink during the 1970s. He coached Dorothy Hamill in the period leading up to the 1976 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, where Hamill won the Ladies' gold medal. Hamill credited him for her win in her autobiography "A Skating Life." His work with her established him as one of the most pre-eminent coaches in the United States.

In the late 1970s, Skip Butler, then manager of Racquet and Rink, made the fortuitous introduction between Burrows and Barry Wolkon, the owner of Sport-O-Rama in Monsey, NY. Thus began a thirty-five year association with Sport-O-Rama, where Burrows became a United States World and Olympic coach, as well as an international coach to skaters around the globe. He coached Elaine Zayak to her Junior World, and Senior National and World championship titles. He produced 14 Olympians, 26 World team members and numerous United States national medalists. Among his other luminaries were Michael Chack, Rocky Marval, Calla Urbanski, Kyoko Ina, and Jason Dungjen.

He directed a school at the Iceland arena in New Hyde Park, NY for 19 years, as well as managing and consulting for several schools in the tri-state area. Burrows was a Professional Skaters Guild of America master rated coach, inducted into the PSGA Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Imperial Professional Skating Union Gold Medal Award for training a world champion.

Many of his former students became successful as skating coaches in their own right, or pursued prosperous careers in fields unrelated to skating as lawyers, doctors and investment bankers. Upon his passing, his students have noted that his work ethic and discipline instilled in them valuable life skills and treasured memories, and that "Mr. B," as he was affectionately known, was "a coach's coach." He was an avid golfer and squash player.

Burrows is survived by his wife, Katherine.

There will not be a memorial service at the present time. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Peter Burrows to Little Shelter in Huntington, NY.
Funeral Home
All Faiths Burial & Cremation Service
189-06 Liberty Ave
Saint Albans, NY 11412
(718) 277-8900
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Published on from Apr. 11 to Apr. 12, 2014
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