(October 17, 2005)
Elvis Stojko, a special guest at the national team camp, poses for a photo with Lauren Senft
Skate Canada’s national team training camp, held Sept. 20-24 in Torino, Italy, site of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, was a tremendous success.
Skate Canada national team athletes, their coaches and Skate Canada support personnel including Olympians Elvis Stojko, Tracy Wilson and Debbi Wilkes took part in the training camp, which included both on and off-ice programs.
“Getting to skate at the rink where the Olympic Games will be is a definite advantage because of the familiarity gained by skating there for four days,” said Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe, who are currently ranked second in the senior ice dance discipline in Canada. “Being able to visualize or think about those moments can also be a big motivator on those days when training might be tough or you just feel tired, the thought of getting back to that rink in Torino can help boost your energy.”
Amanda Billings, Christopher Mabee, 2005 World Champion Irina Slutskaya and Lauren Senft are all smiles after skating in the gala exhibition
The on-ice program included practice time and a competition simulation in the main Olympic rink. Experts were on hand to provide feedback on the athletes’ programs to the athletes and their coaches.
Off-ice activities were also an important part of the camp and were highlighted by a tour of the Olympic village.
The athletes’ experience in Torino wrapped up with a sold-out special gala exhibition on Sept. 24. In addition to the Canadian skaters, the audience was treated to performances by 2005 world bronze medallist Carolina Kostner, of Italy, former World Champion ice dancers, Barbara Fusar Poli and Maurizio Margaglio, also from Italy, 2005 World Champion Stephane Lambiel, of Switzerland, and, from Russia, 2005 World Champion Irina Slutskaya, and former World Champion Evgeni Plushenko.
Above: The on-ice portion of the national team camp took place at the Palavela, which will be home to the figure skating competitions during the 2006 Olympic Winter Games
Below: The Piazza Castello is the central square in Torino that will serve as site of the medal ceremonies
Megan and Aaron agreed that the camp was a good opportunity for the national team to get together as a team before the beginning of the 2005-2006 season.
“It was important for every team member to feel that they were a part of the team and that, like anyone else on the team, everyone has a realistic chance of going back (to Torino for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games),” said Megan and Aaron. “And since our team has fun together, it was important and reassuring to see everyone encouraging each other.”
Skate Canada wishes to acknowledge the excellent support provided by the Torino Organizing Committee (TOROC) for the 2006 Olympics Winters Games in assisting Skate Canada with the camp and exhibition arrangements and for providing on site support during the camp.
Congratulations and thanks to all the athletes who helped make this national team camp such a success.