Episode 24: Emanuel Sandhu

Featuring Emanuel Sandhu

Two-time Olympian and three-time Canadian champion, Emanuel Sandhu describes himself as a perfectionist with a two-sided personality.  Recently he and Debbi Wilkes chatted about his life and career, even the COVID pandemic could not suppress his optimism, curiosity, and love of adventure. For Emanuel, ballet and skating were perfectly intertwined both in his soul and on the ice to create an unforgettable combination of athleticism and artistry.  Join Emanuel and Debbi for this revealing and inspiring conversation.

Olympian Emanuel Sandhu is a three-time Canadian Men’s Figure Skating Champion, a Grand Prix Final Champion, and back-to-back Skate Canada International Grand Prix Gold Medalist – among other international titles – and a two-time Olympian (Salt Lake City 2002, Torino 2006; alternate 1998).

Originally from Richmond Hill, Ontario, multi-talented Emanuel is an alumnus of Canada’s National Ballet School, one of the world’s premiere ballet academies, which he attended for 10 years. He placed as top three male on the #1 rated television show “So You Think You Can Dance Canada”, followed by the So You Think You Can Dance Canada National Tour.

He is the first figure skater in the world to complete a triple/triple/triple jump combination in competition (Sears Open 1999) and has invented many never-before-seen spins including the famously flexible “Sandhu Spin”, which is frequently used by today’s skaters, and is known world-wide for his breathtaking skating performances, which blend art and technique.

With an Italian-East Indian heritage, Emanuel was awarded the Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce Youth Achievement Award at age 17, as well as YTV’s Youth Achievement Award, the Premier’s Athletic Award, and was nominated for Canada’s Male Athlete of the Year Award. He has been inducted into the Richmond Hill Hall of Fame.

His work extends far beyond the ice rink and dance studio to several local and National charities which he has donated his time and celebrity to including: The Pledge to End Bullying, The Red Cross, The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Face the World Foundation, Raise-a-Reader, The Kidney Foundation of Canada and many others.

Emanuel still actively skates and dances, most recently having the honour of being invited to take company ballet class with The Bolshoi Ballet as well as participating in many shows including: Stars On Ice, Art On Ice (featured dancer and skater), Rock the Ice!, Holiday Festival on Ice, Japan Open, National Ballet of Canada’s Nutcracker Tour of Japan and Canada’s National Ballet School National Audition Tour, Wintertournee Germany, Opera On Ice Italy, Red Square Show Moscow, and many more.

Emanuel directed and choreographed the on-ice spectacular The Nutcracker by Plushenko, which toured Russia, and skated the lead roles of Stahlbaum and the Rat King.

Most recently he has performed in Swan Lake, a production which featured star ballet dancers of The Bolshoi Ballet and the Mariinsky Ballet respectively, as well as Cinderella by Plushenko. Both productions toured Russia.

He has choreographed innovative and successful programs for World and Olympic champions as well as up-and-coming international talents from around the world.  He also turns his focus to coaching not only in dance and figure skating but has also worked with hockey players in the powerskating world.

Outside the rink, his interests include anything design, space and science, business, drama, art, and music.

He sings and has recorded several of his original songs which he co-wrote.

He sang live and skated to his first single “Burn Up The Floor” in Germany.

For more news on Emanuel Sandhu, please follow him on his Social accounts:



One thought on “Episode 24: Emanuel Sandhu”

  1. Great pod cast, Debbi!

    I had forgotten about him but you have been so instrumental at bringing these “forgotten” skating legends back into the forefront of our memories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *