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Figure Skating Intrigue
My friend’s little girl was asking the other day why there was always so much hockey on TV. Why can’t she ever watch figure skating? I told her she had asked the right person and that come March 21-27, I would gladly sit down and watch the World Figure Skating Championships with her. I usually choose to watch hockey over figure skating, but my hockey team is in the toilet and Canada has a rich history in figure skating with definite World Championship medal prospects.
Some of the most memorable 2010 Olympic moments came in figure skating. A Canadian duo not only captured the first ice dance gold medal for a pair from North America, but their young good looks and chemistry had people talking; “Are Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir dating? Have they dated? They should date…” From what I have read (as I too was intrigued) they have been friends since a young age and while they can finish each other’s sentences they are currently not in a relationship. Our other Canadian Olympic figure skating highlight was one that stemmed from horrible circumstance. Two days before she was set to compete in her short program, Joannie Rochette learned her mother had passed away of a massive heart attack after arriving in Vancouver. Such tragedy really humanizes these athletes as they too experience heartache and pain. We put them on a pedestal because of their absolute love, passion and dedication for their sport. In the face of extreme emotional adversity, Joannie was able to (in her mother’s honour) focus and realize her life-long dream, winning Olympic bronze.
Our own figure skating club in Fernie also has a rich history. The first rink was built in 1899 with the first “Fancy Dress Ice Carnival” held in 1900. Although there have been some hiatus years the club still puts on a fantastic carnival showcasing the clubs 90+ athletes. The Fernie Skating Club has members ranging from three years to those about to graduate high school. They offer a competitive stream in which the skaters train up to five days a week and compete in upwards of five competitions a year, and a less competitive stream in which the skaters are at the rink on average twice a week, perform in the carnival as well some local competitions. The competitive skaters also assist as program assistants for the younger groups, giving back to the club. The club does various fundraising throughout the year to offset registration costs. They obviously do a great job as many of my friends with young kids are thrilled to be able to send their kids to an affordable sport, one that is athletic, artistic and gives kids the confidence to perform in front of others. Check out the club’s website for registration and program information.
We also want to take this opportunity to congratulate the eleven Fernie Skating Club athletes that qualified for the 2011 Pacific STARSkate Championships to be held in Cranbrook March 4-6. Qualification took place at the Kootenay Regional Competition in Fruitvale at the end of January and those that placed in the top four move on to the provincial competition. It is the last year of the STARSkate competition in its current form, as BC Skating is reorganizing this level, and the first time Cranbrook plays host to a competition of this size.
Good luck to all our Competitors!
Claire Bernier - preliminary ladies (ten and under), Emma Morgan – junior bronze ladies (12 and under), Serena Anderson – junior bronze (13 and over), Kaitlyn Poirier – senior bronze and silver interpretive, Christy Hawley – senior bronze, Shayla Lipkewich – junior silver, Brady Whitson – junior silver, Sara Weech – gold freeskate and gold interpretive, Jodi Stemberger – juvenile ladies and silver interpretive, Anna Koltai – juvenile ladies and Tessa Holmes – introductory interpretive.