Sonja Henie of Oslo Norway made more money than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig combined. Henie changed figure skating forever when she dazzled the crowd and the judges at the 1927 World Championships in her home town. While the other skaters wore ankle length skirts, Sonja came on the ice with a thigh length skirt that allowed her freer movement and accentuated her performance. While the other skaters looked serious and contemplative, Sonja skated out on the ice with a huge smile. While the other skaters followed a relatively conservative program, Sonja skated faster with greater skill and more athleticism than her contemporaries--and she performed a much more difficult program to which she added ballet-like choreography. In one performance at the World Championships, she pushed women's figure skating into the modern era. She would go on to win 10 world championships in a row and take gold in three consecutive Olympics. Sonja also struck gold with her endorsements, her skating tours and her movies. She was a modern star in many ways.
Reference: Nike is a Goddess, Edited by Lissa Smith - Atlantic Monthly Press.