Podcast: Elizabeth Manley | Lacoste: Life after my figure skating career | Roch: The winding path from the club to the international scene

Featuring Elizabeth Manley

Elizabeth Manley: 1988 Olympic silver medallist and World silver medallist, a three-time Canadian national champion and Life Coach

Canada’s 1988 Olympic sweetheart, Elizabeth Manley, has turned her silver medal into an outstanding career both on and off the ice. Strong, talented and determined, she is taking another exciting step into the future by applying everything she’s learned from sport and from her battles with depression to carve out a new niche for herself, this time as a “Life Coach”.

It may be more than 30 years since Liz’s thrilling silver medal win at the Calgary Games, however her enthusiasm, work ethic and authenticity are as powerful as ever. With so much experience, ups and downs, and her willingness to share those lessons, this new direction will no doubt prove to be some of Liz’s most important contributions to skating.

Join Liz along with Alumni Chair Debbi Wilkes as they discuss this inspiring journey.


Life after my figure skating career

by Amelia Lacoste, Canadian Champion

After announcing my retirement from amateur skating in 2014, I wanted to remain in figure skating. I had been teaching part-time for a few years, but doing so on a full-time basis wasn’t an option at the time.

I still had other dreams, including participation in figure skating shows on cruise ships. At the time, I contacted a friend of mine, Marc-Olivier Bossé, who was performing at the time on a Royal Caribbean ship.  Acting on his advice, I got in touch with the director of Willy Bietak Productions, who immediately offered me a contract on the Liberty of the Seas.

I had the pleasure of practicing my craft while travelling and discovering new destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Oceania. I have crossed both the Pacific and the Atlantic. I landed three dream contracts, which gave me an opportunity to broaden my horizons and meet some great people.

Unfortunately, an ankle injury in 2016 forced me to take up a new lifestyle. I had to return home for care. Nonetheless, this life experience was most rewarding, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to any skater stepping away from competition who would like to remain active in the sport.

I then began the next phase in my life, which saw me return to school. In spite of a few obstacles and uncertainties, I managed to earn a certificate in professional make-up and returned briefly to university.  I reoriented my career and got into acupuncture. I am enrolled in acupuncture technique at Rosemont College and will graduate in May 2022.

Since returning home, I regained the urge to teach skating and joined up with a coach by the name of Van Truong.  We make a great team. Teaching skating is my way of giving back to society and sharing both my passion and values with young people. It is truly rewarding to see these skaters make progress day after day!

My career as a skater and as a coach has taught me all about resilience, perseverance and stress management.

Though times are difficult and fraught with uncertainty, we have to remain united and hold out hope. We must be patient and confident about what life has to offer. We will emerge from the experience stronger and in better shape.


The winding path from the club to the international scene 

By Nicole Roch

The news came down. I read on my Facebook page that Skate Canada’s 2021 Synchronized Skating Championships that were to take place in Sherbrooke right next door had been cancelled. This followed on the heels of another disappointment when the World Championships set for Montreal just down the road were also cancelled. There’s no doubt about it – this invisible virus has inflicted tremendous damage in all spheres of society.

While reading this news, it dawned on me why synchronized skating was so important to me. From 1977 to 1982, I sat on the Board of the Boucherville FSC. At the time, it had many members, but no sooner had the female skaters passed their preliminary figures test that several of them would leave the club. Some got into ringuette in order to take part in a team sport.

What a coincidence! Skate Canada, once known as the CFSA, incorporated synchronized skating into its structure and its organization. The Board took that opportunity to recruit male and female skaters to form teams, and in short order, we put together three teams – one each at the novice, junior and senior levels. The coaches who choreographed the end-of-season show numbers were called upon to take part in this new adventure.

We were the pioneers of this magnificent discipline. I salute the ingenuity and creativity of the coaches who taught choreography in the gymnasium, because they did not have much ice time at their disposal at 6 or 7 am. Needless to say, minutes were at a premium and none could be wasted.

That was when I began to get interested in the technical side of skating. I learned all of the ins and outs of the discipline and later became an official, not knowing where this would take me.

Synchronized skating has grown incredibly. Everyone, from athletes to parents, coaches and officials, has developed a passion for this new skating discipline. At the start of each season, we officials were excited and eager to see the new programs and gain an appreciation for them. The coaches rivaled one another in terms of creativity, innovation and cutting-edge interpretations.

Synchronized skating enabled the athletes to travel from coast to coast, discover their country and broaden their horizons. Some got a taste of international skating with the French Cup in Rouen, the Spring Cup in Milan, and the Neuchâtel Trophy in Switzerland, to name just a few, as several countries currently organize events such as these.

Personally, I further honed my craft as a judge, as I gave training sessions and seminars and worked with coaches to improve the synchronized skating programs. It was a team effort which coaches and officials had a hand in.

My passion for synchronized skating that has always driven me reached its apex the day the International Skating Union named the first two Canadian judge/referees at the world level, and I was one of them. It was one of my moments of glory. I received the Elizabeth Swan Memorial Award and the Officials Award of Excellence.  Skate Canada honoured me by making me an honourary official (judge). It’s quite an accomplishment I am most proud of, not to mention the fact it further promotes the synchronized skating family both nationally and internationally.

During the entire time I spent in this discipline, I have met marvellous people, particularly team managers, competition organizers, coaches, athletes and officials, who have left me with some excellent memories.

And what to make of this pandemic that rages on and on!  Let’s be careful, resilient and patient!

“Inspiring all Canadians to embrace the joy of skating.”

Donate Today

We’d love to hear from you! Today staying in touch is easier than ever!

E-mail us your stories, photos, thoughts, suggestions and questions. We can’t guarantee we’ll print each one however we will certainly read every word and in the case of questions, find answers to them all.

Contact Skate Canada at [email protected] 

Podcast: Ann Shaw | Chartrand: My Life On and Off the Ice | The King | Lives Lived: Paquin-Devine | And More…

Featuring Ann Shaw

Debbi Wilkes welcomes Skate Canada Hall of Fame member, Ann Shaw. As a former international dance competitor and now a retired official, Ann has experienced every part of the skating world. From judging national, world and Olympic events to serving on the ISU Dance Committee, Ann’s pedigree and contributions have helped promote and define our sport in Canada and around the world.

For skating “lifers” like Ann Shaw, passion for the sport never waivers. Ann’s commitment and vision continue to inspire and challenge how to progress the sport in its evolution.

Enjoy this special podcast as Ann shares some of her most memorable skating experiences.


Today: My Life On and Off the Ice 

by Alaine Chartrand, Canadian Champion

It has now been a year away from training and competing and what a year of growth and learning it has been. Two years ago, I made the decision to skate one more season for myself and was looking forward to the start of my Kinesiology degree at York University. Fast forward two years, and I’m still spending the majority of my time at a rink and at school – just in a different capacity. I started to work full-time as a skating coach as well as continuing my university studies, albeit in another city across the country.  

Continue reading “Podcast: Ann Shaw | Chartrand: My Life On and Off the Ice | The King | Lives Lived: Paquin-Devine | And More…”

Podcast: Marilyn Chidlow | Boland: Exceptional Volunteer | Sawyer: My Life Lessons | Radford: Navigating Uncharted Territories for Skating

Featuring Marilyn Chidlow

In this month’s alumni podcast, Debbi Wilkes welcomes former Skate Canada President, Marilyn Chidlow.  Marilyn is an Alberta native who has been involved in every level of skating volunteering including the local club level, the National Board level as the Skate Canada President from 2000 to 2006, and attending the Olympic Winter Games. Marilyn not only remembers her first steps on the ice but also some of her greatest challenges and successes as leader of Skate Canada.

In this episode, Marilyn continues to shine with the leadership and diplomacy which highlighted her Presidency of Skate Canada during some of the most memorable moments in skating history.  Her thoughtful, sensitive and positive attitude was a great role model for the organization and for the volunteers.


In Honour of an Exceptional Volunteer: Bill Boland

On August 26th, with the passing of western Ontario’s Bill Boland, skating lost a great friend and fan of the sport. From club volunteer in London, Ontario to Skate Canada’s Board of Directors, Bill’s influence and guidance helped steer the organization with vision, fairness, and common sense. We have highlighted below, Bill’s enormous contributions. We dedicate this month’s blog to Bill and his legacy.

Continue reading “Podcast: Marilyn Chidlow | Boland: Exceptional Volunteer | Sawyer: My Life Lessons | Radford: Navigating Uncharted Territories for Skating”

Podcast: Patrick Chan | Where to Begin this Skating Story? | Expo ’67: The World Comes to Canada | How to Train During and After a Pandemic | Radford’s Releases Single: Golden Hour | And more…

Featuring Patrick Chan

Three-time Olympic medalist and 10-time national champion

Patrick Chan is the most decorated male figure skater in Canadian history.  A three-time world champion (2011, 2012, 2013), a 2018 Olympic gold medalist in the team event in PyeongChang, he won two Olympic silver medals in the men’s event and team event at the Sochi games. And in January 2018, he won his 10th national title to break the all-time record held by Montgomery Wilson since 1939.

Think about the complex skills it requires to be the best in skating: power and acceleration, deep edges, body control, complicated footwork, rich and detailed choreography, and outstanding jumps and spins. Ten-time Canadian Champion Patrick Chan has them all… and he has pushed figure skating in new directions.

This month’s podcast with Debbi Wilkes, Patrick talks about his career, his retirement, his future, and the important time for reflection during the COVID-19 isolation, the longest time he has been off the ice since he started skating!

Most elite athletes are perfectionists… and Patrick Chan admits he is no different.  His drive to learn and succeed and, since retirement, he has a new appreciation for what is required to move into the next chapter of his life.  While he hopes skating will always play a significant role, Patrick is open to developing new skills and searching for his next great challenge.

As you will discover, despite the lock down, Patrick is hungry to return to the ice.


Where to Begin this Skating Story?

Joanne Shaw

by Joanne Shaw, Retired Official

When “PRECISION” first started in the 1960’s as a fun hobby, it allowed recreationally based athletes to concentrate their efforts on team skating. “PRECISION” was groups of skaters who performed moves in unison across the ice. Initially those performances were full of cutesy moves such as toe tapping, hand clapping and hip slapping… more attuned to glitzy show biz than to quality skating.

Continue reading “Podcast: Patrick Chan | Where to Begin this Skating Story? | Expo ’67: The World Comes to Canada | How to Train During and After a Pandemic | Radford’s Releases Single: Golden Hour | And more…”

Podcast: Emanuel Sandhu | Transitioning Forward into a Skater’s Future | Plan B: The Plan Most Fear but Often Brings Us Joy | Iron Lung | ISU Awards: Recipients Bourne & Browning | Lives Lived

Featuring Emanuel Sandhu

Two-time Olympian and three-time Canadian champion, Emanuel Sandhu describes himself as a perfectionist with a two-sided personality.  Recently when 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.


Transitioning Forward into a Skater’s Future

by Don Knight, Olympian, World Medalist and 3-time Canadian Champion

I have been very fortunate and have had a wonderful career and life.

I attribute a lot of it to the basic foundation that all began from my first private lesson with Ellen Burka in Dundas, Ontario right through the years of training with Mrs. Burka, Dennis Silverthorne and Sheldon Galbraith, all of whom are Skate Canada Hall of Fame members.  These years helped to develop my discipline, direction, and the ability to focus on a goal, and habits that have stayed with me my entire life.

Continue reading “Podcast: Emanuel Sandhu | Transitioning Forward into a Skater’s Future | Plan B: The Plan Most Fear but Often Brings Us Joy | Iron Lung | ISU Awards: Recipients Bourne & Browning | Lives Lived”

Podcast: Manon Perron | Osmond: Life After Gold | Skater’s Psalm | It Figures! | Five Questions with Barbara Underhill | HOF: V. Clarke | And More

Featuring Manon Perron

In these days of multitasking, there is no better expert than today’s guest on the Alumni Podcast, Manon Perron.  Manon has mastered it all, from being a skater, local/national and Olympic coach, team leader, mentor, and now as a Skate Canada Advisor to the High Performance Program.  Her energy and passion for the sport and for developing skaters’ skills beyond the ice, and her contributions to high performance are immeasurable.  Manon and Alumni Chair Debbi Wilkes caught up recently to talk about Manon’s incredible career and her continuing dedication to skating in Canada.


Life After Gold

by Kaetlyn Osmond, Three-time Olympic medalist

Winning a world championship was something I never imagined. I never believed I had the ability to accomplish something that prestigious. I never put my name beside the likes of Barbara Ann Scott, Petra Burka, or Karen Magnussen – they were the gold medal women of Canada, I wasn’t one of them. Until one day, I was.

Continue reading “Podcast: Manon Perron | Osmond: Life After Gold | Skater’s Psalm | It Figures! | Five Questions with Barbara Underhill | HOF: V. Clarke | And More”

Podcast: Cynthia Phaneuf | S. Blatz: Back at My Judging Career | Remembering Vancouver 2010 | A Bump on the Head is Never a Good Thing! | And More…

Featuring: Cynthia Phaneuf

Two-time Canadian Champion Cynthia Phaneuf opens up about her career on the ice and off the ice since her retirement back in 2012,  and expresses how her life has changed since her last competitive performance.

Not all past champions have made a smooth transition into their life-after-skating quite like Cynthia.  She now puts family first, and with three young children Cynthia fully recognizes the enormous contributions that her own family made to help her live her skating dream. Which paths will her children take? She’ll be there to support them wherever those paths may lead.  Let’s join Cynthia and Alumni Chair Debbi Wilkes as they reconnect and bring us all up to date on Cynthia’s travels and successes.


Looking Back at My Judging Career

By Susan Blatz, retired international Official

Susan Blatz at the Retirement Celebration at the 2020 Canadian Skating Championships- photo: Greg Kolz

My first memories as a judge began just after I turned 16 when I judged preliminary and junior bronze dances at Weston Summer Skating School along with two of my skating friends. Judging was an expectation from my coach, Louis Stong, so we all started out doing just that.

I continued to work my way along the path of progression and successfully passed the ISU singles and pairs judge exam in 1992 in Oberstdorf, Germany.  What a challenge! A few of us studied in the train on route from Saint-Gervais, France to Oberstdorf using the study cards I had created before leaving from Canada.  Thank heavens for study cards, they kept us focused especially when we had to memorize rules! The exam process was successful and so was the competition.

There have been so many treasured memories of competitions, meeting friends and new skaters, coaches and colleagues.

What will stay with me indelibly is the senior women’s competition in Montreal when Tracey Wainman was not able to successfully defend her title (a very sad and stressful time for many of us) and then also being on the panel 2 years later when Tracey skated a super program and won that title back. As a judge on both events, I was so excited when Tracey was announced as the winner.  What a tribute to her and what a great feeling I remember experiencing with her victory.

Tracey Wainman

I can remember back to two other competitions, one a North American Challenge and one a junior grand prix event when Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir competed.  Yes, I was assigned to the dance events at those competitions, and yes, at both competitions, Tessa and Scott skated beautifully but did not place as well as I had thought they should, according to my marks and according to the response of those watching the skating performances.  Those two skaters were such a pleasure and joy to watch and judge.

There are so many memories I have of skaters who have tried figure, free skate and dance tests.  On many occasions, skaters have challenged me to explore alternatives to some of the rules, expectations and ideas that you typically encounters at test sessions and at competitions.

I remember the fire alarm at one of the sectional championships (I was the technical representative) when we had to haul the skater off the ice in the middle of her program and evacuate the building.  My poor schedule for the rest of the day needed some real “TLC” and adjustments so we could finish before midnight!

Needless to say the skating family has been a wonderful part of my life.

My mom and dad both judged and my younger sister is involved in the accounting/data specialist role.  My older brother and middle sister are very much skating enthusiasts and follow figure skating just as closely as I do.

I value the links and friendships formed with those in the figure skating world and hope these links will stay with me despite my “retirement”.

Retirement Celebration at the 2020 Canadian Skating Championships -PHOTO: Greg Kolz
Retirement Celebration at the 2020 Canadian Skating Championships -PHOTO: Greg Kolz
Retirement Celebration at the 2020 Canadian Skating Championships -PHOTO: Greg Kolz
Retirement Celebration at the 2020 Canadian Skating Championships -PHOTO: Greg Kolz
Retirement Celebration at the 2020 Canadian Skating Championships -PHOTO: Greg Kolz

Remembering Vancouver 2010

With glowing hearts ….

By Sally Rehorick, retired international Official

Much to the astonishment of many people — the Vancouver Olympics and Paralympics are over.

I know — it was a surprise for me also.

In fact, the XXI Olympic Winter Games reached a milestone birthday in February 2020.   Ten years ago, on February 12, the Olympic flame was lit in Vancouver and we were underway.  The flame — a passionate symbol of these unique Games — glowed until February 28.   Sixteen days filled with unforgettable moments, not all joyous ones, but none more worthy than the next. Was it already a decade ago?

Vancouver 2010 celebrations and gala

I say “we” were underway for a couple of reasons. For me personally, as a member of the Vancouver Organizing Committee’s senior leadership team for three and a half years, I could hardly believe that we were, well, ready to launch.  When I joined VANOC in mid-2006, there were 146 employees.  At the time we opened, there were approximately 1200 employees and 3500 members of what is known as the Olympic and Paralympic Family. Together with the athletes and volunteers, the total number of accreditations issued was close to 95,000.  Very few of those accreditations gave access to the sports events, however. An accreditation is issued only for the the particular role of the individual and most accredited people had functions that were not related to the sport venues (e.g. translators for written documents, performers in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies).

The complexity of organizing a “Games” was reflected in my assured – and sort of terrified – feeling three months before the Games that we wouldn’t be ready to open — and I wondered if anyone else had noticed!  Not that the opening day was “perfect”.  There was the tragedy of the Georgian luge athlete.  And then there was the disappearance of the entire group of international dignitaries being bused to the opening ceremonies (who knew? very few).  Not to mention the big puddle into which Princess Anne, IOC member, stepped — no, splashed! — attempting to re-board the bus back to the hotel after the opening ceremonies.

The second reason for the “we” is that the Vancouver Games were much larger than what transpired in the Vancouver/Whistler area.  There was the torch relay, of course, that crossed Canada for 106 days giving 12.000 torch bearers a memory for a lifetime.  Oh, and by the way, did you know that Dr. Jane Moran, head of the International Skating Union’s Medical Commission and resident of Victoria was the physician for the relay and literally ran across Canada with the torch team. But there was also the fact that these Games involved the whole country:  John Furlong, our CEO of the Games, had these wise words to say at the closing ceremonies.

“The spirit and soul of all 33 million Canadians have been sewn into the fabric of these Winter Games.  This journey has not been about the few but rather the many.”

This photo represents what was the national and local spirit of the Games of 2010.

Now back to the Games 10th birthday!  The Canadian Olympic Foundation organized a gala to celebrate the occasion.

Skate Canada participated in the celebration gala by reserving a table for eight lucky people.    The gala was held, quite fittingly, in the Vancouver Convention Centre, the iconic building which housed the broadcast media during the Games. Please notice in the flyer above that the gala was a rather chic affair with “black tie optional”, which meant that the guests were all elegantly turned out, and (reasonably….) well-behaved. Also, quite fittingly, the Olympic flame burned majestically on the plaza beside the Convention Centre during the entire Games.  It was relit in celebration of the 10th anniversary and there was a parallel celebration on the plaza where one could see so many people wearing the “smurf” Olympic jackets:  the turquoise blue trademark that was the iconic uniform of both the Games staff and volunteers.

L-R: Drago Stipanic, Celina Stipanic, Liam Firus, Sally Rehorick, Patrick Chan, Elizabeth Putnam, Megan Wing, Aaron Lowe, Vaughn Chipeur, Kevin Reynolds, Alaine Chartrand
Alaine Chartrand and Joannie Rochette

The gala was a magnificent affair.  The presence of many Olympians from especially, but not only, Vancouver 2010, made the event particularly special.  These photos show the guests representing Skate Canada plus others who participated in the 2010 Games.

It is always difficult to capture the real flavour of something so grand and so full of memories.  The photos below do just that, however.

Photos courtesy of Alaine Chartrand,  2-time national women’s champion (2016, 2019)

It was an evening to remember.  Kevin Reynolds (2013 Four Continents champion, 2010 Four Continents bronze medallist, 2014 Winter Olympics team silver medallist and a six-time Canadian national medallist) sums it up this way:

“The evening was a time to reminisce on the 10 years post-Vancouver 2010. Hearing the stories of the icons and champions from the Games – to know they were feeling what we all felt as we watched them compete – was both enlightening and inspiring. To conclude a wonderful evening filled with tremendous support for our athletes, our country, and each other, what really stuck in my mind was the moving address delivered by John Furlong. He opened up about the lead up to the Vancouver 2010 Games and what made them possible: the sacrifices, the determination, the coming together of a country – an incredible story in itself. And then he looked to the future: the possibility of having the Games return to Canada, to Vancouver in 2030, and in the room rekindled the sense of excitement we all felt as we anticipated welcoming the world 10 years ago.”


I have participated in seven Olympic Games, each with a different accreditation around my neck. Five of these were as a volunteer, and two as a member of the organizing committee.  Through each of these experiences I have come to realize that there is one truism that runs through each of them:  When you are “in the Games”, you don’t “see” the Games.  I found that for each Games, I never had the whole picture because I was one of the 95,000 accredited individuals doing my job. The Games are a grand mosaic and each participant experiences a few pieces of that mosaic. In fact, for Vancouver 2010, my husband David (a volunteer in the athletes’ village) and I had to turn on the television each night to see what had happened in the Games that day!  Steve Milton, member of Skate Canada’s Hall of Fame and renowned journalist, had this to say about the role of the media in telling the story:  “How figure skating looks to the world is presented by those who report it. The story tellers link us together.” The same can be said about the Olympics.  And I am eternally grateful to journalists like Steve who link us together with accurate and rich story telling.

Vancouver 2010 celebrations and gala

A Bump on the Head is Never a Good Thing!

By Debbi Wilkes, Olympic Medalist

How times have changed!

Following Skate Canada’s announcement of its Concussion Ed mobile app, it got me thinking back to my competitive days when the word “concussion” wasn’t even top-of-mind in sport medicine. Actually I’m not even sure there was such a thing as “sport medicine”. Dark ages!!

It was 1963. Guy and I were competing at the World Championships in Cortina, Italy.

Cortina, Italy

The setting in the Italian Alps was breathtaking and a setting we wanted to take advantage of by arranging a day to take some outdoor promotional photos. Outside our hotel was a small natural ice surface nestled between snowbanks in front and snow-capped mountains in the back… a perfect picture!

The day we scheduled the shoot, the sun was shining brightly with the snow sparkling like diamonds… it was like we’d been magically transported into a fairyland. However, as we quickly discovered, the natural ice surface presented a few challenges.

With the sun shining down at full volume, large sections of the ice were soft and sticky while the shaded areas were extra hard and difficult to grip even with sharp skates. Nevertheless we chose what we considered to be the scene with the most beautiful backdrop and choreographed the exact placement of the lifts we wanted to photograph.

One of our favorites because it was so incredibly photogenic was a carry lift we called an “Adagio lift” where the woman lies upside-down on the man’s one hand with his arm fully extended above him. You might recognize it today as a “Drape”, fairly common in modern pair skating but illegal in competition back in the ‘60s.

The photograph captured that day was spectacular… but what it didn’t show was that 2 seconds later Guy lost his balance on the uneven ice and fell backwards, a move that launched me backwards too, headfirst and upside-down on to the ice from 7’ above.

Fortunately I don’t remember a thing about the fall. What I do remember is waking up in the small local mountain hospital. And a day later, after suffering what was eventually diagnosed back in Canada as a hairline skull fracture and an internal hemorrhage, one half of my face became paralyzed.

Of course, my skating days in Cortina were over. We immediately withdrew from the event and packed our bags to return home, to get me first-class medical treatment in Toronto. It took several months to recover but thanks to that superb care, any lasting effects of the fracture have been minimal.

Skating can be a dangerous sport, all the more reason for everyone to become educated on the risks involved and how to treat injuries, particularly anything affecting the head. Congratulations to Skate Canada and their Safe Sport mandate for recognizing that head injuries can happen at the rink anytime to anyone, from CanSkater to National Team to coaches and volunteers.

The new Skate Canada Concussion Ed app “provides a method to track signs and symptoms of concussion, following a diagnosis, enabling the user to track symptom duration and severity. The app pairs proven scientific research with fun, engaging material to ensure the information is accessible to everyone, whether you are an athlete, parent, educator or coach.”

If you haven’t already reviewed the concussion material, I’d highly recommend you take some time to educate yourself. For treating anyone like me who has suffered a serious head injury, your knowledge could help save that someone’s life.

Today with such expanded knowledge about head injuries, I realize how fortunate I was in Cortina: fortunate that my Coach, Bruce Hyland, and our team doctor, Dr. Ormsby (yes, that Ormsby) were vigilant, knowledgeable, and demanding of the services offered and the requirements needed for safe and thorough treatment at the time. Fast forward five decades and with the knowledge we now have, I often wonder, for example, if that injury happened today, would I have been allowed to travel home for 9 hours by air, would I have been hospitalized longer, what testing would have been initiated, and what other treatments would have been prescribed thanks to modern medical research?

I was lucky. Thankfully, for me, the worst part was that Guy and I never did that lift again.

The Skate Canada Concussion Ed App is available for free in English and French through the App Store, Google Play and available via a web-based version for Blackberry and Window users.

Kurt Browning Continues to Entertain Us During these Difficult Times

Toller Cranston Would Have Turned 71 on April 20th

Charlie Bilodeau retires from competitive skating

Olympian and national medallist Charlie Bilodeau, 26, Trois-Pistoles, Que., announced his retirement from competitive skating today.

Bilodeau has been a competitor in the pair discipline for over a decade for Canada. His competitive highlights include competing at three world championships, winning four national medals and competing at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

Bilodeau competed at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games with partner Julianne Séguin. The two had a successful junior career winning the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final in 2014 and silver at the 2015 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

Most recently in 2019, Bilodeau partnered with Lubov Ilyushechkina, 28, Toronto, Ont. During their short partnership, they won two international medals and took home bronze at the national championships.

Ilyushechkina will be evaluating her opportunities in the coming months.

Skate Canada thanks and wishes Charlie the best of luck with his future endeavors.

ENFIN LIBRE – By Charlie Bilodeau (published on April 16, 2020)

*Only in French

“Inspiring all Canadians to embrace the joy of skating.”

Donate Today

We’d love to hear from you! Today staying in touch is easier than ever!

E-mail us your stories, photos, thoughts, suggestions and questions. We can’t guarantee we’ll print each one however we will certainly read every word and in the case of questions, find answers to them all.

Contact Celina Stipanic, Alumni and Fund Development Manager at [email protected]

Podcast: Don Jackson | Through tough times, the figure skating community stands strong | Memories Stay Forever | Manley Awarded Transformational Leader | And More…

Featuring Donald Jackson

All champions contribute to the sport of figure skating, but only a few change the sport in significant ways. In this edition of the Alumni podcast, our greatest champion, Don Jackson describes his skating life before, during and after his historic triple Lutz back in 1962. From recognition at international skating hot spots… to the local arena… Don’s life has been dedicated to skating and to the people who have supported him in his quest to be the best at every level of involvement.  Enjoy listening to Don as he and Debbi Wilkes share some outstanding memories.


Through tough times, the figure skating community stands strong

By Debbi Wilkes, Olympic Medallist and Skate Canada Alumni Chair

By the time this edition of the Skate Canada Alumni Blog is published, my hope is that our fears around COVID-19 (formerly known as coronavirus) and its spread will have calmed so that things are moving back to normal, although I wonder if the world will ever be the same.

This morning, I’m sitting at my breakfast table looking out at a world stunned by this pandemic and by all the necessary steps being taken to help us stay safe and healthy.

Continue reading “Podcast: Don Jackson | Through tough times, the figure skating community stands strong | Memories Stay Forever | Manley Awarded Transformational Leader | And More…”

Podcast: Kurt Browning | Alumni Events Recap at Canadians | Netflix: Spinning Out – Behind the Scenes | Memories from Worlds at Home | And More

Featuring Kurt Browning

Fasten your seat belts because this month’s podcast with Norm Proft, Alumni and Skate Canada Competition Services Director, dives into the life and times of Kurt Browning and the friendship they continue to share through skating.  Listen as Norm reveals stories behind the success of one of skating’s greatest icons.


Throwback at 2020 National Skating Championships!

By Heather Kemkaran-Antymniuk, Canadian Champion

Once again, our esteemed Skate Canada Alumni gathered at the Alumni Social at the 2020 National Skating Championships this year in Mississauga, Ontario. I have had the pleasure of attending the Alumni events over the past three years after a long absence from our sport and this year, as a new member of the Alumni Committee, I was delighted to host the evening and welcome so many members of our skating family.

Elladj Balde, Kaetlyn Osmond and Mitch Islam (PHOTO: Greg Kolz)

Continue reading “Podcast: Kurt Browning | Alumni Events Recap at Canadians | Netflix: Spinning Out – Behind the Scenes | Memories from Worlds at Home | And More”