Tag Archive for: 2014 ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition

Skating for the joy of it, Gary Beacom wins big at the ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition

Gary Beacom’s excellent life adventure took one more turn last month when he decided to enter the ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition in Obertsdorf, Germany for the first time.

He is 54 years old, still with that enigmatic hint of a grin, that inquiring mind, and that wish to step onto a new path – and why walk the way anyone else walks?

He didn’t go to revisit the career of his youth, when he won the Canadian silver medal twice in 1983 and 1984 behind Brian Orser, took 11th at the 1984 Olympics, won the world professional skating championships and attracted the eye of the iconic Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, who adopted him into their world-wide tour, impressed with his brand of awe-inspiring transitional tricks and creativity.

His quest at the international adult championships was much simpler. “I didn’t look at it as a competition,” he said during a stop in Toronto on the way home to Victoria, B.C. “It was a chance to get out there and perform and be the best I could be. And make sure the program fit the rules. And play the game.” He had never competed under the most recent ISU scoring system, the code of points. He made sure he checked all the boxes, worked on level four spins and footwork.

Indeed, the record number of competitors (432 skaters, aged 28 to 78, with record-sized fields up to 35 competitors – compared to 332 skaters last year) bodes well for the future of the adult movement, finding joy in skating, staying healthy and fit for life through the sport. Witness the run of Midori Ito, who won last year, but showed up in 2011 with far fewer elements than required, uncertain of the rules. But Ito didn’t care. She competed for the joy of it, and applauded every competitor. Back home, teaching skating, Ito found more and more teaching requests from adults. She knew it was a chance to enjoy her sport again.

Inside, Beacom would have liked to have landed triple flips and triple Lutzes. He still feels that he has the strength and skill to do them – and he takes care of his body. He even dreamed of doing a triple Axel – an ambitious jump for a man of his generation, let alone his age – but never quite got there. He did a triple Salchow last year. A couple of years ago, he did a triple Lutz. He’s still working on overcoming his bad habits and improving his jumps, he said.

His one Achilles heel? An old chronic ankle injury, suffered years ago while he was playing volleyball, trying to block a spike. He leg slid beneath a net and a lumbering giant of a man fell on it, spraining it badly. If Beacom jumps too much, the ankle haunts him. He’s working on a technique so that his landings will be softer. And he got a new pair of boots a couple of months ago, a heavy pair of brogues with stiff imitation alligator uppers and blade hardware that is solid. They aren’t things of beauty, but he needed the support for the gimpy ankle.

At the adult championships for his life stage, Beacom won, big time. Not only did he take the men’s Masters Elite III free skate (for skaters 48 to 57) by more than 17 points, but he won the artistic free skate as well, by almost eight points, attracting marks as high as 9.75 for performance. Beacom didn’t even look at the scores. On top of it all, he won the Paula Smart Award for the highest score in the artistic event (male or female) at the event. That win hit home most.

“I’m really proud of that,” he said. “The top three ladies in the elite Masters Elite II (ages 38 to 48), were awesome and creative.”

Beacom showed up in style, skating to a funky version of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, wearing a pair of faded blue jeans (preferring to be himself out on the ice) and doing it Beacom-style: part of that routine was improvised. Sure, he knew where the footwork and the spins would go. The rest came out of the emotion of the moment. “I believe through improvisation we can achieve a certain freshness, a certain life, a here-and-now approach to performance that can’t be achieved through a set performance,” he said.

He knew the competition wouldn’t be stiff: there still aren’t a lot of elite skaters contesting the event, although Beacom believes the popularity of keeping up the skills will eventually attract some of the best. There’s always the argument: didn’t the elite have their day, years ago and it’s time now for the non-elite to have a go? Still, the woman who finished second to Ito last year felt gratified to be on the same podium. And it was fun. And friendly. And the ice was great, and the event was well organized and they can hardly wait to return next year.

For Beacom, the event served another purpose. He wanted to be seen and “make connections with the world.” He conducts skating seminars as a business. He doesn’t coach on a regular basis. He enjoys visiting clubs and working with groups of skaters, sharing his knowledge and creative ideas.

Because his trip to Obertsdorf was self-funded, Beacom made a few extra bucks by stopping in Britain to do seminars at five clubs on the way.

During the summers at home in Canada, Beacom has been known to hop aboard his motorcycle and ride from Victoria, B.C., to Ottawa and Toronto, stopping at clubs along the way to do seminars. Sometimes he just drops in, to do research, he says. It often turns into an invitation to stay for an afternoon. He has a lot to offer the skating world. “There are many different, creative ways to get into spins,” he says, as an example. “This is something that hasn’t been explored in the world of skating.”

But the trip to Obertsdorf has resulted in invitations to attend an adult competition in New Zealand and Australia and some seminars there too. He got 150 “Likes” on his Facebook page after the event and some very “gratifying comments” too.

“It’s been a real boost for my self-confidence and career,” he said. The ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition ? A win-win event.

Beverley Smith

Canadian skaters return from 2014 ISU Adult Competition with 34 medals

Canada’s adult figure skaters had a successful week at the 10th annual International Skating Union (ISU) Adult Figure Skating Competition held in Oberstdorf, Germany, from May 25-31, 2014. The team consisting of 50 Canadians took home a total of 34 medals, including 10 gold medals, 14 silver medals, and 10 bronze medals.

The competition drew a record 432 skaters plus 12 synchronized skating teams, between the ages of 28-78, from 28 countries. Canadian skaters showed great prowess in the record-sized fields that ran as high as 35 entries.

“The Canadian team in Oberstdorf did a phenomenal job representing our country both on and off the ice,” said Dan Thompson, Skate Canada Chief Executive Officer. “They truly embody the positive healthy lifestyle seen throughout the adult skating community, while achieving excellence in competition.”

ISU President Ottavio Cinquanta was in attendance last week and echoed these sentiments: “The enthusiasm and passion for ice skating that adult skaters transmit is a gift for the entire skating community.”

The Canadian medalists at the 2014 ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition were:

Gold medalists:
Jannette Wood (Ladies Artistic Bronze III)
Annette Nymeyer (Ladies Artistic Silver III)
Jacob Brunott (Men Artistic Bronze III)
Linda Maundrell (Ladies Artistic Bronze V)
Gary Beacom (Men Artistic Master (Elite III & IV)
Diane Gilders (Ladies Bronze III Free Skate)
Terri-Lynn Black-Calleri & Jacob Brunott (Bronze Pattern Dance)
Ken Langlois & Alison Clark (Master Pattern Dance)
David Dickey (Men Gold III & IV Free Skate)
Gary Beacom (Men Master Elite III Free Skate)

Silver medalists:
Diane Gilder (Ladies Artistic Bronze III)
Don Murray (Men Artistic Silver III & IV)
Raye Ryan (Ladies Bronze IV & V Free skate)
Hisayo Shibata (Ladies Artistic Gold II
Gloria Purvey (Ladies Artistic Gold III & IV)
Denis La Rochelle (Men Silver IV & V Free Skate)
Sarina Tsai (Ladies Artistic Master (Elite) I)
Jannette Wood (Ladies Bronze III Free Skate)
Hisayo Shibata (Ladies Master Elite II Free Skate)
Diana Barkley & Geoff Squires (Gold Pattern Dance)
Sarina Tsai (Ladies Master Elite I Free Skate)
Diana Barkley & Geoff Squires (Ice Dance Master Short Dance)
Sue Edwards & Jim Wilkins (Ice Dance Bronze Free Dance)
Diana Barkley & Geoff Squires (Ice Dance Master and Elite Master Free Dance)

Bronze medalists:
Joan McGrath (Ladies Artistic Bronze III)
Denis La Rochelle (Men Artistic Silver III & IV)
Francesco Ventura (Men Artistic Gold III & IV)
Jeffrey Bullard (Men Artistic Bronze III)
James Wilkins (Men Artistic Bronze IV)
Francesco Ventura (Men Silver IV & V Free Skate)
David Dickey (Men Artistic Master (Elite) III & IV)
Michelle Lamothe (Ladies Artistic Silver IV)
Gloria Purvey (Ladies Gold III Free Skate)
Luda Kalenuk (Ladies Artistic Master and Elite Master II & III)

The ISU Adult Working Group also took the opportunity to announce next year’s event, which takes place May 18-24, 2015 in Oberstdorf, Germany.

For more information, please visit www.adultskating.org or www.isu.org.


Canadians en Route to Germany for 2014 ISU Adult Competition

OTTAWA, ONT: A record fifty Canadian skaters will be competing at the 2014 International Skating Union (ISU) Adult Figure Skating Competition. The event takes place in Oberstdorf, Germany, from May 25-31, 2014.

This year’s competition, which marks the 10th anniversary of the event, will see a record number of entries – 432 skaters plus 12 synchronized skating teams from 28 countries. In order to compete at the ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition, skaters must be between the ages of 28 and 78. Many entrants are former international competitors, including Canada’s own Gary Beacom, 1984 Olympian and 1988 World Professional Champion.

“The Canadian team at the 2014 ISU Adult Competition represents what it is to embrace the joy of skating. Their passion for the sport and dedication to skating for life is something we encourage all Canadians to adopt,” said Dan Thompson, Skate Canada CEO. “We know that this group will make us proud as they excel on the greatest international stage for adult skaters.”

Over the seven-day competition, skaters will compete in the following categories:

  • Ladies and Men Free Skating
  • Ladies and Men Artistic Free Skating
  • Pairs Free Skating
  • Ice Dance – Pattern Dance
  • Ice Dance – Short Dance
  • Ice Dance – Free Dance
  • Synchronized Skating

Since the event’s inception in 2005, Canada has been well represented in entries and medal count. In 2013, the Canadian team earned a total of 25 medals, including 12 gold medals, seven silver medals, and six bronze medals.

The adult figure skaters representing Canada are:

British Columbia
Alexandra Gunsett (free skate & artistic)
David Dickey (free skate & artistic)
Diana Barkley (ice dance)
Gary Beacom (free skate & artistic)
Gloria Purvey (free skate & artistic)
Geoff Squires (ice dance)
James Wilkins (ice dance & artistic)
Janette Wood (free skate & artistic)
Linda Maundrell (artistic)
Luda Kalenuk (free skate & artistic)
Michelle Lamothe (free skate & artistic)
Raye Ryan (free skate & artistic)
Sue Edwards (dance & artistic)

Annette Nymeyer (free skate & artistic)
Bobbie Joe Donovan (free skate & artistic)
Catherine Taylor (free skate & artistic)
Denis La Rochelle (free skate & artistic)
Diane Gilders (free skate & artistic)
Isabelle Ciocoiu (free skate & artistic)
Jennifer Soeder (free skate & artistic)
Joan McGrath (free skate & artistic)
Leonard Baker (pairs)
Susan MacFarlane (pairs)

Tracey Muir (free skate)

Alison Clark (ice dance)
Angela Justason (ice dance & free skate)
Francesco Ventura (free skate & artistic)
Hisayo Shibata (free skate & artistic)
Jacob Brunott (ice dance & artistic))
Jeff Bullard (ice dance & artistic)
Joan Cheng (free skate & artistic)
Ken Langlois (ice dance)
Sarina Tsai (free skate & artistic)
Takeshi Ikeno (free skate & artistic)
Terri-Lynn Black-Calleri (ice dance)

Nova Scotia
Donald Murrary (free skate & artistic)
Heather Dawe (free skate & artistic)
Jennifer Powell (artistic)
Kate McInnis (free skate & artistic)

Scotian Waves Synchronized Skating team:
Alicia McNeil
Ashley Stewart
Deborah Fountain
Elsa Pihl
Jennifer Harvie
Jennifer Powell
Jill Jackson-Rutledge
Kate McInnis
Katie Malone
Kayleigh Butler
Ola Smyth
Shannon Sutherland
Tracy Lovett

For more information, please visit www.adultskating.org or www.isu.org.