This month’s podcast, we welcome two celebrated Alumni (in a two-part interview). In the driver’s seat and host this month is Nic Young, a former national team member, and his guest, national, international and Olympic coach, Bruno Marcotte. With Nic having transitioned into coaching, the two chat about skating, their history and careers… and their competitive drive to motivate their athletes and in the process to advance the sport of figure skating.
On this month’s alumni podcast, let’s welcome former national team member Norm Proft as he introduces, visits, laughs and reminisces with his former coaches, Olympic and World coaches Jan and Cynthia Ullmark. It’s an in-depth conversation with two of Canada’s most historic and celebrated coaches as they tell their stories and share their philosophies.
Jodeyne Higgins and Sean Rice are Canadian pair skaters who also competed in the fours discipline. They are two-time (1993, 1995) Canadian pairs bronze medallist and four-time (1993–1996) Canadian fours champions. Find out what they had to say when asked about sharing their memories, achievements, personal interests and where they are now!
Last month we had the opportunity to listen in on the conversation between Skate Canada’s past President, Benoît Lavoie, and Olympic silver medallist Debbi Wilkes as they discussed Benoît’s early years in skating. This month it’s part two of the conversation when Benoît talks frankly about skating, its joys and its challenges and his role on the ISU Council.
A Magical Moment for a Canadian Ice Dance Couple – Joni Graham & Don Phillips
by Barry Soper
In just year six of its relatively new, ‘virtual’ existence, the Skate Canada BC/YK Section chose to induct into its Hall of Fame two accomplished Canadian Ice Dancers in the Athlete category, namely British Columbia’s Joni Graham & Don Phillips – Canada’s Ice Dance Champions in 1967 & 1968.
Of all the individuals who have contributed to skating in Canada and around the world, few have the incredible experience of Benoît Lavoie. His skating career began as a competitor but it was his commitment as a volunteer which gave him the greatest satisfaction. National, international and Olympic judge, past President of Skate Canada and now a Council member of the International Skating Union, Benoît shares his adventures with Alumni Chair Debbi Wilkes in this first edition of a two-part conversation.
Today’s goals for competitors are the same as ours were back in the 60’s … to become the best skater/performer you could be. While the landscape may have changed dramatically since then with technology advances and increased support, many of life’s best lessons remain the same thanks to the legacies built by so many skating pioneers.
Debbi Wilkes, speaks with Saskatchewan’s Doug Steele, whose career in skating spans decades from learn-to-skate toddler to Skate Canada President. Along the way, Doug was tasked with developing the national and international competitive framework for what was to become Synchronized Skating.
Landing in Japan to attend the 2019 World Figure Skating Championships felt surprisingly foreign to me this past March. Sitting on the plane for 14 hours and not thinking about my triple Lutz or a Throw quad and just being able to lose myself in a movie felt very different than what I had been feeling just over a year prior.
For the 2019 Worlds, I was still competing but this time off the ice in order to campaign for the ISU Athletes Commission. The position is voted on by the Athletes at the competition and this year there were two candidates.
You may have heard that the tickets for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships ® 2020 will go on sale to the public on May 31, 2019.
Before you rush to the ticket line, here is an important piece of information.
Please stay tuned for further details on May 31, 2019 (through this Alumni blog) about how you can purchase an Alumni Event Package for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships ® 2020 which will take place next year from March 16-22, 2020 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Items being considered for the Alumni* Event Package include (limited quantities and subject to change until confirmed on May 31):
Alumni Seat Section
VIP Lounge hosted by Skate Canada
Alumni Social hosted by Skate Canada
Event Pin & Program
Senior Athletes & Coaches (Olympic and ISU Championships Teams, National Medallists, National Team, Synchronized Team Medallists)
World & Canadian Junior Champion (s)
Hall of Fame Members
Officials (Challenge, Divisionals level and higher)
If you plan to attend the ISU World Figure Skating Championships ® 2020, we would encourage you to book your hotel now directly at the following LINK or you can look at other options on your own.
Please help spread the word amongst your Alumni peers! And I look forward to sharing more news and details on how to purchase your Alumni Event Package on May 31st!
If you require further information please do not hesitate to email Celina Stipanic at [email protected]
Josée Picard and Éric Gilles were recently inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame at the 2019 Canadian National Skating Championships in Saint John, New Brunswick. Alumni Committee Chair, Debbi Wilkes, visited with them recently to discuss their success as coaches and to discover that some of their greatest long-term achievements were actually “off the ice”.
Where is Marie McNeil now and what has she been up to?
Written by Marie McNeil Bowness
Newer generations know me as Marie Bowness, an ISU technical specialist and power skating coach. Older generations, many alumni, know me as Marie McNeil, Ice Dance champion with partner Rob McCall. So, as you can tell I have spent most of my life on the ice. As they say, once a rink rat always a rink rat.
This season Skate Canada and the Alumni Committee welcomed two new members into the Alumni Family. This past January at Nationals in Saint John, two of Canada’s most popular national team members, Dylan Moscovitch and Elladj Baldé, renewed their friendship and reminisced about the experiences skating has brought to their lives Facing the end of their first year of retirement from competition, they also talked about their new goals … and through many giggles … shared how skating has prepared them for the road ahead as they both embark on new directions.
Skate Canada saddened by the passing of skating pioneer Billie Mitchell
Skate Canada is saddened by the passing of beloved Hall of Famer Billie Mitchell. She passed away peacefully at age 103 on Wednesday, February 13, 2019. Mitchell, a native of Vancouver, blazed a path for female leadership in sport and was devoted to advancing figure skating throughout her life.
As Athlete Ambassador of the 2019 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, Elvis shared accounts of some of his experiences competing at Nationals, the things it taught him and the lessons he hopes he can pass along. 20 years post competition and he is still one of the most sought-after performers in the world. Listen Now »
About the OLY Designation?
By Denise Benning, OLY
When you see the letters PhD after someone’s name, it is recognition that the individual has reached the highest academic level, an accomplishment which took years of hard work and sacrifice to achieve. From a sports perspective, this description also rings true when considering the dedication it takes to compete as a high-performance athlete.