While on the 2018 Stars on Ice tour, Elvis Stojko and Patrick Chan, two of Canada’s greatest champions share thoughts about moving their love of skating beyond competition.
Heather Kemkaran-Antymniuk – Canadian Champion
The 2018 Winter Olympic Games have come and gone, yet we never tire of hearing of one’s experience of attending the Olympics. Alumni Heather Kemkaran shares her 1980 Olympic skating memory of her greatest skating achievement. “The opening ceremonies were by far the highlight of the Olympic Games for me as I had realized my goal of representing Canada at the Olympic Games. There was a certain sense of satisfaction as I watched the Olympic flame being lit. My next fond Olympic skating memory was hearing my name announced to compete at the Olympic Games proudly paired with the words “representing Canada”. Heather placed 15th at the 1980 Winter Olympics. She also won the Canadian National Championships both in 1978 and 1980.
At the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, she was fortunate enough to see three of her friends that she trained with while in Denver, Colorado, that being Scott Hamilton, Robin Cousins, and Dorothy Hamill!
All those years of skating has impacted her life in a positive way. Heather says, “The lessons that I learned from my skating career will remain with me forever. The level of discipline and hard work required in skating has been utilized in many other areas of my life since my retirement from skating. I still remain diligent with my physical fitness which continues as a large component of my everyday life”.
Currently Heather is a successful lawyer along with her husband Ross Antymniuk at their own law firm in Winnipeg, Manitoba since 1991. Heather and Ross love to travel and try to get away a few times a year. They have two daughters, Sarah and Laura who are both currently attending University.
Work keeps her busy, but she manages to watch every skating competition on television when time allows. Heather took the time to attend Skate Canada 2017 in Regina, Saskatchewan where, after many years, friendships were rekindled. She then attended the 2018 Canadian Championships in Vancouver as an alumnus with her oldest daughter Sarah and took in all the various alumni functions and again had the opportunity to reconnect with many friends whom she had not seen in many years.
Pair Champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford Retire from Competitive Skating
Two-time world pair champions and three-time Olympic medallists Meagan Duhamel, 32, Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford, 33, Balmertown, Ont., are retiring from competitive skating. Duhamel and Radford teamed up in 2010 and would go on to become one of Canada’s most accomplished pair teams.
“I am extremely thankful and grateful for the incredible journey that the sport of figure skating gave me. I’m thankful to my family, who were my first supporters and first fans; they instilled a work ethic in me that became the base of my success and they encouraged me to dream big. Thank you to all my coaches over the years at the Walden Skating Club: Lana, Becky and Nancy. Thank you to Lee Barkell and his team at the Mariposa School of Skating from 2000-2007 and to Bruno Marcotte, Richard Gauthier, Sylvie Fullum, Julie Marcotte and Ian Connolly, my team in Montreal since 2007, who took a chance on me and believed in me during times I couldn’t find faith,” said Duhamel.
Duhamel continued, “Most importantly, thank you to my skating partners: Ryan Arnold, Craig Buntin and Eric Radford. Ryan and Craig both gave me the fundamentals of pairs skating and the tools of how to work as a pair team so that I could eventually thrive with Eric. I cherish all the moments, both good and bad, with all three of my partners. Thanks to Eric for being the best partner anyone could ask for. One more big thank you goes to all the amazing fans of figure skating in Canada. It’s been a true pleasure to share my love of skating with you all. Thank you for supporting me over the years, I truly appreciate it. Although I’m leaving the competitive world of figure skating, I will never leave the sport completely. Figure skating was my first love and I want to spend the rest of my life with this sport, in many different capacities.”
“I could never have imagined that my skating career would be filled with so many incredible and unforgettable moments. From the outdoor rink in Balmertown to the Olympic podium, there were many people whose unwavering support made it all possible and gave the journey so much more meaning. Thank you to my parents and family for believing in me and my dream from day one, to my fiancé Luis for inspiring me and giving perspective to the most difficult times, to my friends for cheering for me no matter where I was in the world and to the team of coaches, Bruno, Julie, Ian, Richard and Sylvie that made Meagan and I the best pair team we could be.” said Radford.
“Finally, I want to thank Meagan. Her incredible drive and determination always pushed and inspired me to be my best and I’m so happy we got to share all those amazing moments together. I couldn’t feel prouder that we got to represent Canada around the world throughout our career. Your love of our sport and the support you show all the athletes have given me some of the best and most special moments in my career,” finished Radford.
Duhamel and Radford won their first of seven consecutive Canadian titles in 2012 and hold the record for most national titles won by a pair team. They competed at two Olympic Winter Games, winning three medals. At the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi they won silver in the team event and at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang they won bronze in their individual event and gold in the team event. Duhamel and Radford have won four medals at the ISU World Championships, winning back-to-back gold in 2015 and 2016.
“Meagan and Eric have been champions and innovators in pair skating. Their drive to push the sport forward by executing advanced elements has truly inspired a new generation of pair skating,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “They have been staples on our national team for two quadrennials and their presence will be missed. Skate Canada thanks Meagan and Eric for their dedication to excellence and wishes them the best of luck with their future plans.”
At the 2018 Olympic Winter Games they became the first team to complete a quad throw salchow in Olympic competition. Over their career they won 14 medals on the ISU Grand Prix circuit and four medals at the ISU Grand Prix Final, winning the event in 2014. They also earned four medals at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, winning gold in 2013 and 2015.
“Meagan and Eric have been leaders worldwide in the pair discipline as they pushed the technical boundaries, which made them one of the best pairs in the world and an inspiration to future pair teams,” said Mike Slipchuk, High Performance Director, Skate Canada. “Their passion for the sport and accomplishments are evidence of their hard work and dedicated work ethic, always striving to be the best. We thank them for letting us enjoy this amazing journey with them.”
Duhamel and Radford are both currently living in Montreal, Que., and plan to stay involved in skating together through skating shows and seminars.
Duhamel is working on her lifestyle brand Lutz of Greens and has been involved with the Humane Society in the rescuing of dogs. She is finishing her studies in nutrition with a specialized certification in Sports and Fitness Nutrition and Vegetarian Nutrition and plans to develop a wellness program for figure skaters. Duhamel also plans to take the training to become a technical specialist.
Radford’s future plans include pursuing music and eventually composing for film, as well as coaching and choreography in skating. He is also planning his wedding to Spanish ice dancer Luis Fenero.
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