Bradley Zimmer was not only one of the top local roller skaters in the 1950s and 1960s, but also one of the top competitors in the nation. Zimmer's father, the late Oscar Zimmer, owned the roller rink at Celoron Park and taught him to skate at the age of one. Zimmer had to be one of the youngest skaters around and eventually he became one of the youngest in each age group as he went into competition.
His list of titles is impressive and was topped when he was the Junior Men's Singles National Champion in 1959 at Lincoln, Nebraska. At the time he was only 14. The previous year he had begun training with Edward "Fuzzy" Bossart who was coaching in Pittsburgh. Zimmer would go to Pittsburgh once a week and was pleased later when Bossart moved to Erie, Pennsylvania. Bossart was been responsible for numerous national champions.
In 1960, when Zimmer was 15 and a ninth-grader at Southwestern Central School, he teamed with Darlene Edwards of Erie, Pennsylvania to win the Junior National Pairs Championship. To reach the nationals they won the Junior Regional Pairs Championship at Norfolk, Va., and Pennsylvania Junior Pairs Championship.They won the latter three times in Reading and Philadelphia.
Zimmer won the Pennsylvania State Senior Men's Singles title three times, the first when he was only 13. He also won the Eastern Regional Junior Singles three times. He claimed the Eastem Regional Intermediate Men's Singles and was a runner-up in the National Intermediate Singles. The intermediate division was a new group added between junior and senior competition.
Zimmer's last solo competition was in 1963 at Lincoln, Nebraska, when he finished third in the National Senior Men's Singles. Zimmer's last competitive action was in 1965 at Fort Worth, Texas, when he and Edwards finished fourth in the National Senior Pairs Championships. At that time, Edwards was one of the youngest competitors in the Senior Pairs. Edwards, who is now Darlene Edwards Walters, went on to win a title at the 1975 world meet in Rome.
ln 1965 Zimmer graduated from Jamestown Community College and began working for the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities. When he was a youngster he always wanted to be a teaching pro and that became his occupation in his spare time, both in Jamestown and Erie. He became part owner of Westlake Rink, which became known as Evan's West, in Erie. That rink is where he won his first meet ever at the age of 12.
Bradley Zimmer was inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.
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