George Meagher

Athlete
Born in 1866 in Kingston, Ontario, George Meagher was a figure skating pioneer in Canada and in Europe. He is best known for both his talent on the ice and for the co-founding of the Minto Skating Club in Ottawa, Ontario. In 1891 he won the Amateur Championships of the World (Ottawa) and in 1898 won the Professional Championships of the World (Vienna). Media reports from the day described his skating. “His repertoire of steps, tricks and figures is now a long one. Among other things he can do twenty-three different grapevines, fourteen spins and seventy-four figure eights, and over one hundred anvils on one foot without stopping… He does all these things with a grace and suppleness which leave the novice little idea of the real intricacy and difficulty of the figures and the risks he takes in his jumps.”

Meagher also published three books on skating technique; his best known titles are Figure and Fancy Skating (1895) and Lessons in Skating, published in 1900. Meagher is also credited for introducing ice hockey to Europe in 1894 while on a figure skating trip to Paris. He passed away in 1930 at the age of 63 at his home in Montreal, Quebec.

Inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame 2010.
 

Wendy Griner

Athlete
While still a teenager, Wendy Griner dominated women’s skating in Canada, with four consecutive senior titles from 1960 to 1963. The first one came when she was just 15 years old, moving up from having won the junior title in 1959.

She also made her mark on the world and Olympic scene.  She finished 12th in her first Olympic appearance in 1960 in Squaw Valley, and 10th four years later in Innsbruck. In 1962, she won the silver medal at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships, held in Prague, Czechoslovakia. She also won the North American title in 1963.

Known for her incredible work ethic, she competed at the same high level of skating seen in her practices. She combined a feminine grace with the highest athletic accomplishments which saw her complete school figures with extremely high quality, and perform all of the difficult jumps with great speed. Her skating programs were distinctive for their artistic elegance, with variations of speed, difficult spirals, excellent spins and lively footwork, all timed beautifully to the music.

She moved on to continue her education after she retired in 1964, leaving a marvelous legacy for Canadian women to emulate.

Inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame 2010.
 

Sandra Bezic

Professional
Long after she concluded her successful pair skating career, Sandra Bezic continues a brilliant multi-faceted approach to figure skating. An innovative choreographer, she developed signature pieces for world and Olympic champions that live on more than 20 years since they were first performed. In developing choreography, for both individuals, groups and television, she explored the world of theater, pop culture and movies to broaden the scope of skating and draw people into an emotional performance.

Her work in television evolved from designing choreography to developing concepts and producing programs. She has won multiple Emmy awards and her Singin’ in the Rain number with Kurt Browning remains one of the most ambitious and inventive numbers ever created.  As well, she has brought her knowledge and background to skillfully serve as a television commentator for several different broadcast networks in both Canada and the United States.

As an author, her book The Passion to Skate, provided a glimpse into the intricate and demanding world of figure skating. Recently, as one of the creative minds behind the successful television program, Battle of the Blades, she introduced a whole new audience to the sport she loves.

Inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame 2010.
 

William (Bill) Ostapchuk

Builder
For nearly forty years, William (Bill) Ostapchuk worked tirelessly to develop figure skating in Canada. He gave unlimited energy, leadership and commitment to his wide range of volunteer roles with the association.

He brought the skills of his professional life, as a Certified Management Accountant, to his role as Chief Accountant for various figure skating events including the 1978 ISU World Figure Skating Championships, six Canadian Championships, five Skate Canada International events and numerous divisional, sectional and club competitions. He developed and trained an entire generation of competition accountants through his work as Chair of the National Accountants Committee. His vision to modernize this function and to bring a level of professionalism and consistency to the role of accountants was realized through his dedication and devotion.

Bill served for many years on the National Board of Directors, and was elected President of Skate Canada from 1990 - 1992. He was widely respected for his business acumen, which served to improve the financial planning, management and reporting for the association. As a member, and then Chair of the Marketing and Communications committee, he realized that attaching title sponsors’ names to both the Canadian Championships and Skate Canada International would make sponsorship more attractive and increase its value. As a result, the association saw significant increases in the marketing and sponsorship revenue during his tenure.

He also served with distinction on the Athlete Trust, the Executive Committee and the Finance Committee. In 1991 the Hall of Fame Trust was formed and he became the first chair. In every role that he accepted, he improved and advanced the association’s processes and reputation significantly.

Inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame 2010.
 

Hellmut May

Professional
A mentor, leader, and visionary, Dr. Hellmut May immigrated to Canada in 1954 from Vienna, Austria and brought his passion for figure skating to his adopted country. Although he represented Austria at two Olympic Winter Games, in 1936 and 1948, he will be remembered for his tireless devotion to coaching young skaters in Canada.

His passion, dedication and exceptional leadership developed and improved figure skating in Canada. More than a vocation for Hellmut, throughout his coaching career he taught skaters skills that would last them a lifetime: perseverance; patience; commitment; self-discipline; and sportsmanship. As the head coach at Kerrisdale Figure Skating Club in British Columbia for over 55 years, he saw many skaters go on to national, world and Olympic success. His dedication and love for skating was seen in his nurturing of the beginning skater through to the successful elite athlete.

As a professional coach, he was dedicated to the education of coaches. He provided leadership and support to coaching committees and at competitions and seminars across the country. He wrote curriculum for the National Coaching Association, taught at national seminars and developed ethical standards for coaches. He co-founded the Coaching Association of British Columbia, and then formed the Professional Skaters Association of Canada. His work in this field promoted excellence, brought consistency of coaching across the country and developed a whole new generation of skating coaches.

An expert equipment technician, Hellmut spent many hours fitting skates and adjusting blades for anyone who needed assistance. He would offer advice and assist all skaters at a competition, actively demonstrating his belief in the spirit of sportsmanship and that all skaters must start on an equal playing field.

Inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame 2010.
 

Bill Dowding

Builder
The development of sound technology was still in its infancy when Bill Dowding began his involvement in figure skating. His expertise from the recording industry elevated the quality of sound and the functionality of music playback for skaters to the highest professional level.

During Bill’s many years of volunteer work in the sport, the musical evolution was significant. From the live play of music on record, to reel-to-reel tape, to cassette tapes and on to the digital age in music and sound production, he ensured that Skate Canada’s equipment stayed on the leading edge. His input into the initial design of Skate Canada’s principal sound system in the mid-1970s stood the test of time. With a few upgrades over its 20-year lifespan, it delivered high quality music and voice distribution throughout arenas across the country.

In collaboration with Wilf Langevin, he worked to meet the emerging television requirements for direct music and voice feeds. The two also identified the technological needs to produce excellent sound quality and playback systems for music in the venues. They truly broke ground in this emerging field, adjusting and adapting technology to ensure the timing was consistent for the skaters every time their music played.

Always putting the needs of the skater first, Bill helped identify, recruit and train music technicians and announcers from the mid-1970s to the 1990s. He ensured that knowledgeable, capable people filled these roles so that skaters competing at qualifying events received the excellent music and sound that allowed them to perform to the best of their abilities.

His involvement ranged from the local club to his home section, and at the national, world and Olympic levels. His lasting legacy is the high-quality sound now found in many clubs and arenas throughout the country.

Inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame 2010.
 

Wilf Langevin

Builder
From 1966 to 1999, Wilf Langevin was the voice of Skate Canada at events across the country. But his contribution to the sport of figure skating went far beyond his role as an announcer. He combined his interest in music, technology and announcing to create a lasting legacy for the association and raised the level of professionalism to world-class standards.

Originally Wilf played the music and announced at the same time. He saw the sport evolve from using records to reel-to-reel tape to cassette tapes and on to the digital age in music and sound production. He also began editing music for skaters and shared his expertise by teaching others to do the same. The first to script and announce competitions bilingually, he set the standard for many who followed in his footsteps, and took a keen interest in training new music technicians and announcers.

In collaboration with Bill Dowding, he worked to meet the emerging television requirements for direct music and voice feeds. The two also identified the technological needs to produce excellent sound quality and playback systems for music in the venues. They truly broke ground in this emerging field, adjusting and adapting technology to ensure the timing was consistent for the skaters every time their music played.

Also active at the club, section and national level, Wilf served on the committee that introduced the national Skating Test Programme. His longevity in announcing saw him take part in 32 Canadian Championships, 23 Skate Canada Internationals, six ISU World Figure Skating Championships, and the highlight of his career at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary.

Inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame 2010.
 

Ann Shaw

Builder
Ann Shaw A passionate supporter of figure skating, especially ice dance, Ann Shaw has dedicated a lifetime of energy and effort to figure skating as a participant, official, educator and mentor. A native of Toronto, she placed fifth with partner Eddie Collins in ice dance at her first World Championships in 1959. In 1960 she finished sixth at the World Championships in Vancouver with new partner Gilles Vanesse.

Initially judging at the section level, she became a national judge by 1969. An international level judge by 1976, she went on to judge her first of two Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia in 1984. She also served the sport as a referee and a technical controller. Always willing to share her knowledge of the sport with skaters, officials and coaches, she developed many manuals and handbooks to build the sport and educate officials both in Canada and internationally. As a member of the ISU Ad Hoc Committee whose task was to create the new ISU Judging System, Ann was in charge of applying the concepts of ice dance to the system and had an influential role in its creation.

An active Skate Canada board member for over 20 years, she was elected to the International Skating Union Ice Dance Committee in 1992, a position she held by re-election until retiring in 2006. She was recognized in 2005 by the ISU for her leadership and was presented in 2008 with the ISU Gold Award of Merit.

A long-time Chair of the Skate Canada Hall of Fame Committee, her enduring impact on many officials in Canada and around the world is her true legacy to the sport.

Inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame 2010.

 

 
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