This isn’t a Guns N’ Roses Song – Why Synchro Should Be an Olympic Sport

2015 Grand Prix Figure Skating Final, Team Paradise/Wikipedia Synchronized figure skaters must have a lot of patience. There was hope synchro might be included in the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, but it didn't happen. As the 2010 Vancouver Games inched closer, another carrot was dangled and then chopped up. In 2014, a glimmer... Continue Reading →

The Arborg Ice Show – The New Generation

Growing up in a small town - or village - there are a few certainties. You have two grocery stores, two or three restaurants, and there's a summer and winter carnival. In Arborg, Manitoba, there's an annual summer fair. And we used to have a winter carnival. The Arborg Winter Carnival was a three-day, family-friendly... Continue Reading →

A Conversation with Heather Kemkaran-Antymniuk

Heather Kemkaran was three years old when she first stepped onto an outdoor rink.  Her neighbour, Mr. Black, in the small town of Strathclair, Manitoba - northwest of the City of Brandon - offered to teach Kemkaran and her brother to skate. Kemkaran’s dad agreed and made an outdoor rink. Little did the Kemkaran family... Continue Reading →

An Interlake Regional Memory – Capturing a Golden Figure Skating Kodak Moment

The Interlake Regionals are an annual competition that debuted in 1975. After researching the archives, I learned the Arborg Skating Club attended the Interlake Regionals prior to 1989, attending in the late-70s and early-80s.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~When I skated, January meant one thing: the Interlake Regionals. After a brief hiatus, the Arborg Skating Club attended the 1989 Interlake... Continue Reading →

Figure Skating Federations Need to Change Olympic Selection Process

It seems some skaters had their ticket pre-punched to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, courtesy of their friendly figure skating federation. Which begs the question: why bother to hold a national championship when the federation has already determined who they want on their Olympic team? For the sake of ruining mascara and innocent Kleenex, skating federations... Continue Reading →

Mandatory Compulsory Silence – Figure Skating’s Nemesis

I almost miss compulsory figures. Those horrible, former mandatory double-bubbles of trouble. Or three circles for a serpentine. Scratching out figure eights for up to four hours a week was not my idea of a good time. However, when we skated patch, our arena was so quiet you should hear a skate rivet drop. The... Continue Reading →

How Tonya Harding Tried to Cripple a Canadian Champion

Even 20 years later, there’s still an appetite for the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan saga. On Jan. 6, 1994, it seemed only the lives of Kerrigan and Harding where changed. It’s a lesson to never underestimate Tonya Harding. Harding was well-documented train-wreck. Her wardrobe malfunction at the 1993 U.S. Nationals and her skate issues at 1993... Continue Reading →

It’s Time To Revive Synchronized Skating

The first synchronized figure skating competition my team competed in no longer exists. It was the Interlake Regional Precision Competition. There were nine teams in three different categories, divided by size and skill. Five towns from our region were represented. Today, there are approximately four teams in the same region of 88,000 people. The Arborg... Continue Reading →

Figure Skating and Steroids – The ISU Needs Tougher Sanctions

Banned substances keep finding their way into the bodies of top-level athletes whether through accidental ingestion or on-purpose injection. The ISU released their Anti-Doping Procedures for this season. I don’t believe their sanctions are strict enough. Major League Baseball bans a two-time offender while under the ISU, a second infraction might garner a four-year suspension.... Continue Reading →

Check Yes or No – An Eleventh Hour Decision for the Royal Glenora Club

Figure skaters are passionate about their sport and clubs. If my old club were closing down, I’d be writing a “Save the Arborg Skating Club” blog. My skating club isn’t closing, though. Luckily the multitude of hockey teams keep my small former club able to thrive. The eleventh hour is fast approaching for the Royal... Continue Reading →

Figure Skating Needs CPR

The judging system in figure skating is leading to the inevitable demise of our sport. That’s probably what some people thought after 2013 World Figure Skating Championships. It won’t die, but it might become one of those sports only watched online because it’s so rarely picked up by a network. I predict the only time... Continue Reading →

Remembering Johnny Esaw

Figure skating has lost a legend. Johnny Esaw, the dynamic commentator with CTV from the 1970s to 1989 died on April 6, 2013. He was 87 years old. Esaw was already an established football and hockey reporter when he brought figure skating to the forefront. At a time when skating was all glitz and glamour,... Continue Reading →

No Limit on Talent

Clara Peters, Paul Richardeau, and Reyna Hamui. A skater should be excited to win their national title. It’s like finding the golden ticket in a chocolate bar/ Or an invitation to that cool kid's party. Unless that invitation was meant for someone else. In 2011, someone at the ISU had an ingenious idea, "Hey! Let's... Continue Reading →

Not a Novice – An Interview with Kira Gallant

Last November, I covered the Skate Alberta-NWT/Nunavut sectionals for the Edmonton Journal. Once home, I wrote my story and compiled competition results, and live–tweeted – for fun(!) The deadline loomed, and my computer screens constantly changed — the adrenaline definitely flowed. I stepped away from the computer for not more than three minutes, and I... Continue Reading →

A Conversation with Lisa Sargeant-Driscoll

Lisa Sargeant strikes a pose at the Royal Glenora Club - Credit/Edmonton Journal The first Canadian championship I ever watched was the 1989 Canadians from Chicoutimi, Quebec. My older sister and I were at my grandparents' for the weekend, and we nibbled on Baba’s puffed wheat cake as we watched CKY’s endless hours of coverage.... Continue Reading →

Based on Fictional Facts of Realism – You’ll Need More Than a Throw Double Salchow, Doug

What makes a good skating movie? From the vast catalogue of titles out there: just about anything. And you would think with the vast catalogue of titles to research, a screenwriter might say, “Hmm, maybe this should be accurate.” Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy an unbelievable and unrealistic skating movie, because unless it’s a... Continue Reading →

The Royal Glenora Club Closure and the Final Four

The Royal Glenora Club's ice facilities faces possible closure due to high operating costs and renovations: Undated photo The 2013 Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships haven't even started and drama is already unfolding. The Royal Glenora Club's skating facilities in Edmonton, Alberta will cease operations on May 31, 2013. The reason? Allegedly, the arena... Continue Reading →

It’s Time for the Holiday Spectacular at the Ice Palace Figure Skating Club

Call it the future members of the Stars on Ice cast. Or you can call it by its real name: Holiday Spectacular. On December 15th, skaters from the Ice Palace Figure Skating Club will display their talents in an ice show at West Edmonton Mall for an anticipated audience of 450. Shoppers are invited to... Continue Reading →

A Throwback Skating Tale – Uphill … Both Ways

What's better than watching old ice shows and competition footage on a snowy winter's day? A few years ago, I transferred a stack of VHS tapes to DVD. Preparing for a journey down the Arborg Skating Club's past, I snuggled with a blanket, I pressed play and certain details popped out. Or, should I say... Continue Reading →

Stolen Skate Won’t Stop Promising Royal Glenora Club Figure Skater

When a vehicle is broken into, usually the items stolen are easily replaced. Unless one of those items are an $1800 pair of figure skates. On Oct. 22, Kayla Harrison, an 18-year-old figure skater, left morning classes to head to the Royal Glenora Club. Only one problem: her Jimmy was broken into, and three of... Continue Reading →

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