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 →

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 →

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 →

To The Worlds – An Interview with Donna Bergvinson

Donna Bergvinson/CBC POV Promotional Photo/Submitted "I feel like I'm going through a second childhood." Adult skater and preschool teacher for the Boys and Girls Club in Kelowna, Donna Bergvinson, uses the lessons she teaches to the ice. "I wasn't the best skater. I had to figure it out. I learned how to do a three-turn from... Continue Reading →

To The Worlds – An Interview with Wendy Ord

"To The Worlds" is getting plenty of attention. From television, radio, online news, blog posts, four-time world figure skating champion Kurt Browning ... Yes. That Kurt Browning. Wendy Ord, the film maker and 59-year-old adult skater said, "(Kurt) He actually heard about this documentary about these crazy ladies going to Germany." Ord plays two roles... Continue Reading →

The Issue at the 2018 Canadian Tire Nationals – How is this Live Streaming?

It's 2018. And we still can't fix figure skating. No pun intended. Today, I was watching the free dance from the 2018 Canadian Tire Nationals via live stream. With Ted Barton and Debbie Wilkes. It was going swimmingly until it was announced the final six ice dance teams could be seen on TSN. So, flip... Continue Reading →

Manitoba Skaters Closer to the Stars Thanks to Bursary Fund

It was a cool show. Complete with a Stars on Ice warm-up section. On Saturday, April 8, 2017, skaters shared their skills at the Manitoba Grassroots Bursary Trust Ice Show before a receptive crowd at the St. James Civic Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The show included bursary winners - plus skaters who had a remarkable... Continue Reading →

Manitoba Synchro Team Fearless at Nationals

Ice Intrepid lived up to their name tonight. The University of Manitoba team were fearlessness at the Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships on Friday, February 24th. They skated the first portion of the competition, Free Program I, with endurance and poise, garnering a score of  52.30. They skate their Free Program II on Saturday, February... Continue Reading →

A Transition to Further Success – Nicole Rogowsky in Profile

It was Nicole Rogowsky's first gold medal. As a synchronized skater. On January 21, Rogowsky competed in the 2017 Skate Manitoba Synchronized Championships with the University of Manitoba's Ice Intrepid team in Morden, Manitoba. After the competition, the 18-year-old watched the broadcast on Shaw TV Winnipeg. “It was really awesome … ” said Rogowsky. “There... 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 →

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 →

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 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

A Tribute: To the Lives Lost in the Sabena Flight 548 Disaster

On March 24, the ISU decided Moscow would host the 2011 ISU World Figure Skating Championship as Japan continues to recover from the repercussions of a tsunami and nuclear crisis. It's a sigh of relief for many figure skaters and coaches who trained all-year for this moment. At the Worlds in Toyko, Japan, 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 →

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 →

Silver Blades and Hot Pink Bow Ties

Our Ice Revue during the Winter Carnival. Yesterday, when I should have been studying for upcoming exams, purely by accident, I stumbled upon coverage of the 2010 World Synchronized Figure Skating Championships. As I explained to my husband the different moves, I realize the changes in the sport since I was a precision skater -... Continue Reading →

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