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Guest Blog: Paul Dore reflects on father’s legacy one year after his passing

It’s been almost a year since my father passed away. In that time, several people – athletes, coaches and others from the skating community – have told me stories about how much he personally helped them. Many people are familiar with my father’s contributions to skating throughout the course of his career and are aware of his leadership positions. To me, these two elements help define leadership. The ability to not just have a vision for an entire organization, but also to quietly be aware of the people participating in that vision at all levels and help them succeed with their individual goals. He understood that the more individuals succeed, the more room the sport has to grow and benefit all participants.

Last year, Skate Canada established the David Dore Mentorship Fund to provide an opportunity for a leader in the skating community to participate in the 2017 Ice Summit in Ottawa. The recipient will attend  the summit (all expenses paid) and be able to shadow and participate in a one-on-one Q & A session with a Skate Canada leader.

No one becomes a leader overnight, it’s more an accumulation of experiences and being exposed to mentors. When my dad became President of the Canadian Figure Skating Association (before it became Skate Canada) in 1980, he made a speech outlining his vision of how the organization could develop and grow over the next few decades. This vision came from his many years as an athlete, judge and volunteer. Those years built within him a tremendous respect and appreciation for volunteers and the many people that work tirelessly behind-the-scenes, from the club level to sectional organizations to the national level.

My dad’s first mentors in skating were his coaches, who not only taught him technical skills, but instilled a passion for the sport that would last his entire life. As a judge, he continually sought out more experienced officials and had ongoing discussions with them about how he could improve. My dad spoke often about the many people that taught him leadership skills as he made his way from president to Directer General of Skate Canada. As he retired from Skate Canada to become the Vice President of the International Skating Union, it was important to him to pass along all the experiences he learned to others. He was constantly looking for more mentors and more knowledge.

So, what does this fund mean to me personally? In a letter, my dad wrote, “I have seen life as a journey of exploration. On the road you meet many people – some who can help you directly, some from whom you can learn, but in all cases mentors have been my greatest resource.” I’ve now been involved with skating for almost 30 years as an athlete, coach and television broadcaster. In a similar way to my father, the sport has provided mentors that have significantly impacted my life – from my coaches as a skater all the way up to those I worked with in Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Games. This fund is a way to keep alive what he accomplished in the past, but also, it’s a continuation of his legacy to help those that have the same passion for the sport as my father. To aid in supporting the Skate Canada leaders of today and tomorrow.

If you are one of those leaders, find out more information and apply through the links below.

David Dore Mentorship Fund: https://info.skatecanada.ca/hc/en-ca/categories/115000157183-Skate-Canada-Fund

Podcast Interview: http://www.openkwongdore.com/2017/03/13/episode-29-david-dore-mentorship-fund/

Remembering David Dore

A childhood battle with polio brought David Dore to the rink.

A love for figure skating kept him there for the next 63 years.

Mr. Dore – competitive skater, official, volunteer and world-renowned figure skating visionary –  passed away April 8th in Ottawa at the age of 75.

Confined to a wheelchair at 12 as he struggled with polio, Dore was advised to take up skating as a form of therapy as he learned to walk again.

Three days after he began, Dore was out of the wheelchair and on his feet – and he never looked back.

Eventually, Dore would become a respected official, judging in seven world championships and the 1984 Olympic Winter Games, and named the youngest President of the Canadian Figure Skating Association, now known as Skate Canada.  In 2002, Dore was elected 1st Vice President of the International Skating Union (ISU), becoming the first Canadian to serve in that role.

Dore has been bestowed with several honours, including Member of the Olympic Order, Honoured Member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, recipient of three Governor General Awards and induction into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame.

The timeless impact David Dore had on skating will never be forgotten.

In recent weeks, Skate Canada launched the David Dore Mentorship Fund, to honour his vision and lifelong love of figure skating. In his own words, Paul Dore, David Dore’s son, pays an emotional tribute to his father:

Usually, the Skate Canada Hall of Fame ceremony occurs during the National Skating Championships. In 2008, when my father was inducted, he requested that the ceremony happen during the Skate ACGM. Close to his heart is the nuts and bolts of operating a successful organization, from grassroots programs all the way to the elite level. My father wanted to not only celebrate his Hall of Fame achievement with his family and peers, but also shine a light on the people at all levels that make an organization like Skate Canada work.

During my own career, I’ve always had a secret weapon. As I moved into management positions, I routinely called and continue to call my father asking for his thoughts. Much of his influence has been absorbed by watching him work and the many successes throughout his career, but also, bearing witness to how he treats people with respect and appreciation. He knows that in order to host a competition like the 2001 World Figure Skating Championships, it is the contribution of many individuals working collectively that creates a successful event, including thousands of volunteers. I have had a front row seat to see how people are inspired by his commitment and in turn, feel as though they have a personal and meaningful contribution to the overall event.

When my father retired from Skate Canada in 2002, I remember a story told by a colleague about when he started working at the organization. They sat in the stands at the 1993 Canadian Championships. Kurt Browning was on the comeback trail and about to reveal his legendary Casablanca program. Elvis Stojko was the challenger and right behind Browning in the world standings. Copps Coliseum was packed with almost 20,000 people and the warm-up was a chaotic scream-fest of the crowd cheering at every jump Browning and Stojko landed. The colleague remembered the obvious excitement coming from my father, because perhaps his favourite moment during an event, after all that goes into organizing a National or World Championship, is being in the audience as a spectator who has a profound love of the sport. This is also evident in the fact that he has always been actively involved with the development of the sport of figure skating, especially around creating programs for athletes such as the Skate Canada Athlete’s Trust and the International Skating Union’s Youth Seminars.

As a national medalist, world and Olympic judge, Skate Canada President, Skate Canada Director General and the Vice President of the International Skating Union, my father has direct experience at all the levels that make our sport work. The David Dore Fund is about helping those at the club level gain valuable experience with professionals at the national office and encourage them to bring this knowledge back to their local skaters, coaches, boards and communities. As a coach myself, I understand how important this kind of experience is to the people that volunteer their time to build successful skating clubs. When my father laced up his first pair of skates, the sport became his life’s work. The David Dore Fund aims to provide support for clubs so they can in turn create environments where people of all ages can discover the sport of figure skating.

To honour of Mr. David Dore, please consider a donation to the David Dore Mentorship Fund.

 

 

Skating Community Mourns the Passing of David Dore

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada is in mourning after learning of the passing of skating pioneer David Dore. He passed away peacefully this morning in Ottawa at age 75.

Dore was the youngest President of the Canadian Figure Skating Association, now known as Skate Canada. Most recently, and up until his passing, he served as the 1st Vice President of Figure Skating for the International Skating Union (ISU).

“The skating community in Canada and around the world are extremely saddened by the passing of David. He brought figure skating to a whole new level with his innovative and forward-thinking ideas; many practices that he implemented are still in use today,” said Dan Thompson, Skate Canada CEO. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dore family during this trying time. The sport has lost a true champion.”

Dore is one of the most decorated administrators and volunteers in Canadian sport, and was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2002, he received the International Olympic Committee’s highest honour, the Olympic Order, for his contribution to sport in the global community. In 2008 he was inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame as a builder.

During his eighteen-year tenure at Skate Canada he developed the National Team program, created the Athlete Trust, developed successful marketing and television concepts and staged three highly successful ISU World Figure Skating Championships.

Dore was also a national medallist, a world and Olympic level judge, and was involved locally at the club and section level.

In 2016, Skate Canada launched the David Dore Mentorship Fund. The fund recognizes positive leaders who exemplify the same leadership traits as Dore in the community, club, section and national level.

Skate Canada wishes to send its sincerest sympathies to Mr. Dore’s family and friends.

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