For over 100 years, Canadian figure skaters have carried the maple leaf into the Olympic arena. This season, another chapter will be added to that glorious skating history, a chapter documented in PyeongChang, South Korea and created by the partnership between talented athletes and Canada’s love of skating.
No beginner looks like a future Olympic champion. Talent is deeply hidden beneath snow pants, hand-me-down skates, and floppy ankles. Yet it’s here at home where every Olympic journey begins.
Perhaps it’s a seed that takes root on a backyard rink while wearing those rickety skates or while clinging helplessly to the boards at a CanSkate session. Maybe it happens while watching skating on TV or seeing skaters live at the local ice show. Somehow, somewhere, a spark is lit, a spark so deep and everlasting that with time and care and coaching, it flares into an Olympic flame.
Eventually these would-be champions learn to skate with an ease and perfection to their performances that make them seem invulnerable, yet the courage it takes to step on the ice and challenge the world is a test only the strongest can face. Backed by the support from a behind-the-scenes team, a skater’s progress is the result of years of hard work and dedication, an investment in the vision of what they believe might be possible.
Confidence in that dream is often fragile. An off day or a poor performance can poison an athlete’s emotions and cause a flicker in their competitive fire.
But thanks to you, the impacts from those challenges can often be reversed.
Sometimes it’s your smile or a pat on the back that can make a difference for our skating warriors. Sometimes it’s your note of appreciation or your positive comments that can stem the tide of fear and doubt. Sometimes for skaters it’s just knowing that you believe in the skating family to such an extent that you’re willing to contribute to an individual or to a program. This is the magic that can boost morale and reignite determination.
Unfortunately, with events often far afield, not everyone can reach out and touch an athlete. From your perspective, personal support of skating may seem impossible.
Recognizing devoted supporters & celebrating our skaters! By Paul Dore Last year, Pj Kwong and I had the privilege to host the first Breaking the Ice event during the National Team High Performance Camp.