OTTAWA, ON: The 2013 world junior silver medalists in pair, Margaret Purdy and Michael Marinaro, have ended their skating partnership and will be moving on to new challenges. Purdy, 19, Strathroy, Ont., will attend university this fall, while Marinaro, 22, Sarnia, Ont., plans to continue skating and will be looking for a new pair partner.
Purdy and Marinaro have competed together nationally since 2008, and were Canadian Junior Champions in 2010. They won medals on the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Circuit, including two golds in 2012, which qualified them for the 2012 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final. The pinnacle of their career was the silver world medal, won at the 2013 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships, in Milan, Italy. They were members of Canada’s national team for the 2013-2014 season.
With Marinaro’s decision to pursue skating with a new partner, Purdy made the difficult decision to retire from competitive skating and begin her university studies. She will enter the social science program at Western University in September, and plans to pursue a career in business and law.
“I’m so proud of what we accomplished. I have so many amazing memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and I’m so glad that I was able experience them with Mike. It was a really hard decision to retire, but I knew it wouldn’t be the same for me to skate with another partner,” said Purdy. “We have a very strong friendship with one another, and I wish Mike the very best in the future and I hope all goes well for him.”
As she reflected on what skating has meant in her life, she said, “skating has taught me how to deal with success and failure, to be organized, how to balance your life and how to constantly push yourself to be better and better. These are all valuable life lessons that will help me with what I plan to do in the future.”
Marinaro paid tribute to the friendship that was the hallmark of their partnership. “The last eight years have been a wonderful and exciting partnership. I’m blessed to have had Margaret as a partner. She is an extremely dedicated skating partner and an extremely close friend. We are just as close off the ice as we were on the ice, and we tried to bring that friendship into our skating. I’m so glad we got to share that podium moment at junior worlds together. I know she will be very successful and wish her the best for the next chapter of her life.”
Marinaro came straight out of CanSkate right into figure skating, while Purdy began as a hockey player who switched to figure skating. The pair trained for their entire career with coaches Scott Rachuk and Alison Purkiss at the London Competitive Skating Centre. They both wanted to thank their coaches and the team at the Centre.
“Thank you to Scott and Alison for everything they have done for me. They have been my coaches from the very beginning, and they are just two amazing people who not only helped make me the skater I am today but also made me the person I am today,” said Purdy. She also paid tribute to her family. “They have been along my side the whole time through the good and the bad and they have always been my biggest fans and have always supported me no matter what I chose to do, so I want to thank them so much. I hope the next chapter of my life is as wonderful as the last.”
“Our career wouldn’t have been possible without the help of many people,” said Marinaro. “I want to thank Scott and Alison and the whole London Competitive Skating Centre for everything. They have done nothing but support us over the last eight years. And of course, Skate Canada has given us terrific support, and our families have always been there for us as well.”
Purdy plans to stay involved with the skating community because it has been such a big part of her life. She has enjoyed helping the younger skaters at the rink on the presentation and movement apects of skating, as a nice transition from the competitive side of skating. And come September, she plans to try out for the varsity skating program at Western.
Marinaro plans to continue competing in the pair discipline with a new skating partner.