CanSkate Then and Now – Retro CFSA Badges to Skate Canada Levels and Ribbons

For my first ice show, I was a lollipop. I remember touching my toes because my long hair fell in front of my face. And not much else. I was a Beginner under the National Skating Test (N.S.T.) stream. This changed in 1983/84 when the Canadian Figure Skating Association (C.F.S.A., now Skate Canada) introduced CanSkate... Continue Reading →

Qualifying for Skate Canada Challenge with Faith and Gratitude – An Interview with Chanel Cabak

SUBMITTED PHOTO/Chanel Cabak Chanel Cabak's figure skating season was almost thrown for a loop. Luckily, the ambidextrous skater can perform a double in either direction. "I can write with both hands," said Cabak, via an email interview, "and I can do an Axel, a double Salchow, and a double loop the other way." The global... Continue Reading →

Every Skating Medal Has a Story – The Hardware is Fine, It’s the Ribbon

In 1989, I won my first singles gold medal. Technically, the anniversary is today - December 3, 1989. That's okay. My mom forgot too. It's still pretty, but why does the ribbon look melty? I won my first gold medal with my older sister in Primary Dance at that year's Interlake Regionals. While that was... Continue Reading →

Skate Canada Cancels Competitions and Events from Coast to Coast – A Complete List

On the heels of the 2020 World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal, Quebec, Skate Canada has announced further skating competition cancellations and restrictions in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. From the coast to coast, over 20 competitions have been cancelled, including Skate BC/YT's STAR Competition in Burnaby, BC from March 21 to 22, 2020. Skate... Continue Reading →

Senior Skater Bids Adieu at 2020 Manitoba Open, Passes Torch to Sister

This weekend marks a changing of the guard. Or skate guards, so to speak. From March 6th to 8th, Tundra Oil and Gas Place in Virden will host the 2020 Manitoba Open. The three-day competition welcomes skaters from Manitoba and Saskatchewan at the STARSkate, AdultSkate, and Competitive levels. It's in competitive stream where senior women... Continue Reading →

From Eight to Sixteen – The Story of a Synchronized Skating Team

Skating isn't all about the medals. It's about the memories. Medals are a bonus though. During the Arborg Skating Club's 1988/1989 season, our coach produced three successful synchronized (precision) skating teams. I was on the eight-member senior team, winning two silver medal. Two competitions, two silver medals. Not too shabby. We won our second silver... Continue Reading →

Interlake Regionals Succeed Through Fog

They would've skated to the competition. On January 22, through the fog and slick roads, skaters from nine clubs travelled to Teulon for the 2017 Interlake Regional STARSkate Championships to vie for medals and ribbons. The competition went “All and all pretty smooth,” according to club president, Audra Nesbitt-Hume. “Nobody cancelled due to weather surprisingly,”... Continue Reading →

You’ve Been Warned – The Dangers of Flash Photography in Figure Skating

Let me tell you a story. In 1990 at a skating club competition, a figure skater – who was bound to win the gold medal – threw herself into an Axel. At close range, someone flashed her in the face with a camera. The skater tumbled to the ice after losing consciousness mid-air. Skaters, parents,... Continue Reading →

Camel Spins Ready to Fly at the Arborg Skating Club

Skaters, start your sit spins. On January 11, the 2015 Interlake Regional STARSkate Championships land at the Arborg Skating Club. A total of 66 skaters will vie for medals and ribbons, plus the opportunity to represent their club at the Manitoba Open and STARSkate Championship. Skaters will travel to Arborg from East St. Paul, Stony... Continue Reading →

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

Big Ball Soccer, part of the corporate challenge, my Dad in the red toque, Winter Carnival 1987 The Arborg Ice Carnival used to be on a Sunday, part of a weekend of family friendly events during - usually - the coldest time of the year. There was a corporate challenge with different winter events, such... 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 →

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 as operating costs and renovations are too blame/Undated photo The 2013 Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships haven't even started, and drama is unfolding. The Royal Glenora Club's skating facilities in Edmonton, Alberta will cease operations on May 31, 2013. The reason? Allegedly, the arena needs... Continue Reading →

A Throwback Skating Tale – Uphill … Both Ways

I don’t know what it is about freshly fallen snow, but I dragged out my old ice carnival and competition footage – already transferred to DVD. This time, though, certain details popped out. Or, should I say changes? Helmet use was not mandatory in CanSkate in the mid-80s. It was optional. In one of the... Continue Reading →

The Alberta-NWT/Nunavut Sectionals are Coming

Move over pucks and hockey sticks, you’re being replaced by toe picks and triple jumps. Tomorrow and over the weekend at the Terwillegar Recreation Centre, Edmonton figure skaters will duel with skaters from around the region at the 2013 Skate Canada Alberta-NWT/Nunavut Sectionals. Skaters from various ranks – Juvenile to Senior – as well as... Continue Reading →

And Along Comes Osmond…

Whenever I interview 16-year-old Kaetlyn Osmond, there’s something I notice about her – besides her triple-triple combination. It’s her smile. It never leaves her face. And right now, Osmond has a lot to smile about. On Friday, Osmond mamboed her way to second place in the short program at the 2012 Skate Canada International competition... Continue Reading →

Patrick Chan Fell, Get Over It

Did you hear? Patrick Chan fell four times at the Japan Open earlier this month and placed last? Blog upon blog have dumped on Chan since his result, and Twitter wasn’t too kind either. With Chan going into the Skate Canada Invitational as the two-time defending champion, no doubt the Japan Open is weighing on... Continue Reading →

Midori Ito at the Adult Worlds

Midori Ito made her debut at the adult worlds this June. The 1989 World Figure Skating Champion, who made history by landing the first triple Axel in world competition, competed in the ISU Adult Figure Skating Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany. Ito finished second to Jan Calnan in the Masters Elite II level. While there were... Continue Reading →

Binder, Paper, Scissors – An Adolescence Well Documented

The winds passed like a Chinook over the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.  Amateurs turned professional, allowing new faces to emerge, such as American sweetheart Jill Trenary, pair strongholds Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler, and Canada’s Cowboy Kurt Browning. I started to document their progress - and skaters at the local level. Collecting newspaper clippings... Continue Reading →

The Gold, the Silver, and the Wildcard – It Makes a Great Movie, But Not Real Life

On a clear day in Arborg, Manitoba, I’d have my pick of CBC, CTV, CKND (Global), and MTN. However, most days, it was CBC programming, which explains my love for Degrassi Junior High. CBC showed memorable movies back then, such as Love and Hate - The Story of Colin and Joanne Thatcher and Loyalties. And for... Continue Reading →

Plushenko, Meet Karma

Remember the kid who was whined when you would beat then at Sorry or Life, or even Chinese Checkers? Accusations of theft, high-jinx, deception or illusion would surface. They say things like “you didn’t deserve to win” and “you looked at my cards.” And you, being the good sport, just bite your tongue and walk... Continue Reading →

Bye Bye Compulsory Dance

Who doesn’t love to snuggle up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and watch three hours of compulsory dance? Hopefully no one. The International Skating Union’s announcement on June 17, 2010 was a longtime coming. They voted to nix compulsory dance at junior and senior competition and will devise a plan to retool... Continue Reading →

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