Born: May 29, 1901

Died: May 13, 1985

Married: Genevieve Valquette

Richard E. "Duke"  Donovan was an American speed skater who competed in the 1924 Winter Olympics.   He trained on the Petrova Rink the summer of 1923.

He held the World record for the 5000 and 10,000 meter races at one time.

Lake Placid NewsNovember 23, 1923 


Makes Home There and Plans to Train for Amateur Championships

Has Left Johnson City

Shoe Town Speedster Was Handicapped Last Year by Injuries, But Made Good Showing Nevertheless--Expected to Come into His Own This Year.

(from Adirondack Enterprise)

Richard "Duke"  Donovan, amateur ice skating star, has arrived in Saranac Lake with the intention of training on the local rink and skating under Saranac Lake colors this coming season.

He has accepted a position with the Shane Construction company, which firm is erecting the new high school building here. Donovan's home is in St. Paul, Minn., but he comes from Binghamton, and last year skated with the Johnson City outfit.

Due to injuries received in one of the early season races last year Donovan was handicapped when it came to the finals. He made an excellent showing in several of the preliminary races and is undoubtedly a skater of merit, who will, with the advantage of training in this climate, be among the stars of the coming winter.


"Duke" Donovan has skated some great races on Mirror Lake rink. He was the Silver Cup Champion of 1922. His friends here believe him to be a clean skater as well. Lake Placid people are expecting him to do even a little better this year, as many feel that "Duke" has never as yet quite come into his own. Friends here will welcome the friendly rivalry that Donovan's presence here will [inject into?] the February races.