OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada is proud to announce six new entries being inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame. The class of 2017 will include athletes Joannie Rochette and Jennifer Robinson, coaches Sadie and Albert Enders and Josée Picard and Éric Gilles, and builders Ron Vincent and Steve Milton.
The Hall of Fame was established in 1990 to pay tribute to athletes, builders and professionals who have made a significant impact on Canadian figure skating. Skate Canada is committed to celebrating the achievements of the skating community through the Hall of Fame, and through alumni programs which engage past skaters, officials, coaches and volunteers. Since the Hall’s inception, Skate Canada has inducted 112 members: 51 athletes, 34 builders and 27 professionals.
Joannie Rochette, of Île Dupas, Quebec, is an Olympic and World medallist and six-time Canadian champion. Rochette is widely known for her iconic bronze-medal-winning performance at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver following the passing of her mother Thérèse two days before the start of the ladies’ event. The world silver medallist’s list of accomplishments also includes three ISU Four Continents medals, an ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medal, and 10 ISU Grand Prix medals. Throughout her career, Rochette has been a proud advocate of World Vision and Right to Play, among other charitable causes.
Jennifer Robinson, of Goderich, Ontario, is an Olympian and six-time Canadian champion. In a senior career that spanned 10 seasons, she competed at eight ISU World Figure Skating Championships where she earned three top-10 finishes. Robinson never missed the Canadian podium (six gold, one silver, three bronze), and internationally won bronze at Skate Canada International, counted multiple top-five finishes and placed seventh at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. She has also given a tremendous amount of time to World Vision, supporting communities in need and inspiring others to follow in her footsteps.
Sadie and Albert Enders were born in Australia, but their love of skating brought them to South Africa and England before landing in Canada in 1940. The Enders’ were coaching pioneers in singles, ice dance, and particularly pairs, having been pair skaters themselves. The coaching duo guided Skate Canada Hall of Famers Suzanne Morrow and Wallace Diestelmeyer to Olympic and World bonze medals in 1948, among many other of their students’ successes. The Enders’ are being honoured posthumously.
Josée Picard and Éric Gillies, of Hull, Quebec, and Moncton, New Brunswick, respectively, have coached skaters to Canadian and international medals in singles, pairs and ice dance. They notably coached World Champions and Olympic medallists Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler, as well as Olympians and World Champions Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz. Picard and Gillies were also instrumental in the development and operation of a centre combining education and sports – the first of its kind in Quebec.
Ron Vincent, of Burnaby, British Columbia, has spent a lifetime advocating for, developing, and implementing coach education programs. A world coach himself, Vincent stressed the importance of coaching standards, laying the groundwork for Skate Canada as a leader in national coach education programs. His leadership and knowledge in this area led him to become Administrator of the National Coaching Development Program and to develop courses for Sport Canada’s National Coach Certification Program.
Steve Milton, of Toronto, Ontario, is a journalist who has been covering the sport of figure skating for over 35 years through print, radio and digital media. Milton has covered nine Olympic Games, over 20 ISU World Figure Skating Championships and countless Canadian championships. He has authored 13 books on figure skating, and is a great source of knowledge on everything in the sport from historical facts to judging system information.
Skate Canada is proud to celebrate the achievements of the skating community through the inductions of exceptional members into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame. The exact dates and locations of the various inductions will be announced as they become available.