Dan Gagne: The story behind Biddeford’s legendary speed skater

A story by Biddeford Cultural & Heritage Center "Voices of Biddeford" project from 1939 to 2020

"Voices of Biddeford" interview with Dan Gagne on March 20,2020

Biddeford had a long, proud history as a speed skating mecca, and Dan Gagne is one of its legends. He has won countless awards, even competing nationally as part of the Air Force Skating Team and Olympic Training Team. He also nurtured the talents of many Biddeford youths through a skating club he began. A lifelong resident of Biddeford with a passion for competitive sports, Dan competed in football, pool, running, bicycle racing, snowmobile racing, and racquetball.

Dan shared stories of growing up in a French Canadian and Irish family including the thrill of winning, despite the challenges of competing in regional and national competitions; persisting through several serious injuries; how his skating connection led him to ownership of Gagne Plumbing/Heating; reflections on how Biddeford has changed; and life during the coronavirus pandemic.

View a transcript of this interview, more pictures, and additional information.

For more stories from the "Voices for Biddeford" project, visit Voices of Biddeford.

Dan Gagne 2020

Dan Gagne in 1957 with his many trophies including the big one in front from his Silver Skates Senior Division win at Boston Garden

Trophy winners from the skating club at St. Louis Skating Rink started by Dan Gagne circa 1964. Bottom, left to right: Donald Lauzier, Norm Voisine, Carol Lamontagne, Paul Lamontagne. Back, left to right: Joann Foran, Peggy Ouellette Mailman, Maureen Miller, Dan Gagne and Henry Paradis.

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