Lydia Stephans

Inducted May 14, 1994

Lydia was born October 19, 1960. She was inspired watching Dianne Holum and Anne Henning on television competing at the 1972 Winter Olympics, which led to her joining the Northbrook Skating Club. Three years after starting, she won the 1976 National Short Track Championship as a Junior and followed with the 1978 Championship as an Intermediate. For five years, starting in 1980, she held a spot on eight World teams in both Long Track and Short Track. In 1982, she won the National Short Track Championship as a Senior and in 1983 the North American Short Track Championship. She was a member of the 1984 Olympic Team and the World Sprint Team. As a member of the World Short Track Team in 1984, she won a bronze medal in two events. Lydia served as the National Short Track Coach at the U. S. Olympic Education Center at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan for the 1985-1986 season. She served on the USISA Board of Directors from 1984-89. Lydia was inducted into the National Speedskating Hall of Fame on May 14, 1994 in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Lydia Stephans had only a short international speed skating career, lasting two years, 1983-84, with her best international finish her 13th at the 1984 Winter Olympics in the 1,000 m. But her career outside of skating has been impressive. In 1986 Stephans accepted a position with ABC Sports in the Olympic Division, and eventually became the first female vice-president at ABC Sports, responsible for their flagship program, Wide World of Sports. She was also in charge of their NASCAR, tennis and golf events. In 1999 she moved to the Oxygen Network as their President and Executive Producer, helping that new network become established. After three years in that position, Stephans went to the MSG Network, where Executive Vice-President in charge of programming and production. But in 2006, she left MSG to form her own new venture, Peace Tree Media. Stephans, later Murphy-Stephans, was a graduate of National-Louis University, with a degree in journalism in 1982, and she earned a masters in broadcast journalism from Northwestern in 1985. She has received 19 Emmy Awards and led MSG Network to receive 31 Emmy Awards and 15 ProMax Awards during her tenure at that network.

Personal Bests: 500 42.79 (1984); 1000 1:24.14 (1983); 1500 2:13.59 (1983); 3000 4:42.91 (1983); 5000 8:20.29 (1983).