Born in Budapest, Hungary to a Hungarian father of German decent and Czech mother, Karol Divín grew up in Bratislava, Slovakia, then part of Czechoslovakia. As a youth, besides skating, Divín played football and tennis, but coached by his father, he showed the most promise as a figure skater. For a decade from 1954-64, Divín was one of the top male European single skaters. He won Olympic silver in 1960, World Championships silver in 1962 and bronze in 1964. He was the European Champion in 1958 and 1959, while taking silver at the 1957 and 1962 European Championships and bronzes at the 1954-56 and 1964 European Championships, and also won the Czechoslovakian title from 1954-64. After finishing his sporting career, Divín worked as a figure skating coach, first in Czechoslovakia and later in North Bay, Ontario. He has also acted as an international judge in professionals competitions.