OTTAWA, ON: National team skater Elladj Baldé, 27, Montreal, Que., has retired from competitive competition. Baldé has been an active member of the Canadian figure skating team since 2007 and has competed internationally for Canada 27 times as a junior and senior competitor.

“I can’t express the amount of gratitude I have for all of my peers and fans who have given me such endless support throughout the years. Finishing my career the way I did at Canadian Nationals was one of the most fulfilling moments of my life and I am so thrilled to forge ahead with the exciting opportunities that lie in my professional career,” said Baldé.

Baldé won the Canadian junior title in 2008 and would go on to compete at nine senior Canadian championships, making the national team five times. In 2015, he won his first gold medal on the international scene at the Nebelhorn Trophy.

“Elladj’s innovative style of skating combined with his powerful technical abilities left a lasting impression on all those that saw him skate. His drive and dedication to skating made him a long-time fan favourite who has been exciting to watch over the years and will be dearly missed on the competitive scene,” said Mike Slipchuk, High Performance Director, Skate Canada. “Skate Canada would like to thank Elladj for inspiring Canadians to embrace the joy of skating and wish him the best of luck with his future plans.”

Baldé will continue to stay involved in skating through professional shows, where he is already entertaining crowds around the world. Alongside his new career as a choreographer, he is also keeping busy inspiring the next generation of athletes with his new company, Skate Global. Founded with friend and fellow figure skater Liam Firus. Skate Global is a multi-faceted platform that provides insight, assistance and training methods to coaches and young figure skaters all around the world.