Erna Elvira FREDERIKSEN
First Deaflympic Games: Stockholm 1939
Deceased: 12 Sep 2010
She grew up near Østerbro Stadium in Copenhagen where her father was inspector and she soon became a strong player in tennis.
Her first international appearance at the World Games for the Deaf (now Summer Deaflympics) was in Stockholm 1939 at the age 22 where she won a silver medal in women’s single. She no doubt could have taken part in London 1935 but Denmark sent a small team only to these games without tennis players. Ten years later, at the Copenhagen Games 1949 she started her raid to win gold medals in not only singles but also women’s doubles and mixed doubles. It was no surprise that she won 3 gold medals in all three events. Due to a traffic accident she was unable to take part in Brussels 1953 (where she was a favorite to win all three tennis events). However, she took revenge at the next three games, Milan 1957, Helsinki 1961 and Washington 1965 where she took all 5 gold medals and 1 silver medal. She continued to win medals in Belgrade 1969 and Malmö 1973.
In total she won 11 gold, 4 silver and 1 bronze medals over a period of 34 years. It would have been more if not World War II led to a break of 10 years.
She played in the Maere cup for Denmark several times and was the anchor when Denmark won the cup 1968, 1974 and 1976. Her last international appearance in tennis was the Maere Cup 1982 where she was 65 years old.
She was an international star also in badminton but this sport was not on the World Games programme until she was too old to take part. She no doubt would have won a lot of medals in this sport too.
She was appointed the Danish Deaf Sports person for the 20th Century.
Erna Frederiksen leaves a daughter and a son-in-law. Her husband, Torkil, a well-known leader, national and international, died in 1978.
|Deaflympics / World Championships||Sport||Event||Result|
|Copenhagen 1949||Tennis||Mixed Doubles|
|Milan 1957||Tennis||Mixed Doubles|
|Helsinki 1961||Tennis||Mixed Doubles|
|Washington DC 1965||Tennis||Doubles||Gold|
|Washington DC 1965||Tennis||Mixed Doubles|
|Washington DC 1965||Tennis||Singles||Gold|
|Belgrade 1969||Tennis||Mixed Doubles|
|Malmo 1973||Tennis||Mixed Doubles|