Two Canadian skaters awarded the Petro-Canada Olympic Torch Scholarship
(August 27, 2003)
Two Canadian skaters, Signe Ronka and Leif Gislason, have been named recipients of the 2003-2004 Petro-Canada Olympic Torch Scholarship.
The Petro-Canada Olympic Torch Scholarship is run as part of the grants issued to Canadian athletes by the Canadian Olympic Committee. Since its inception in 1988, over 1815 scholarships valued at over $5.2 million have been awarded to Canadian student-athletes and coaches through the program.
Ronka, 15, of Toronto, had a successful competitive season last year. She won two medals on the Junior Grand Prix circuit, finishing second at the Junior Grand Prix event in Milan, Italy, and third at the Junior Grand Prix event in Courcheval, France. Ronka's showings on the Junior Grand Prix circuit qualified her for the 2002 Junior Grand Prix Final in The Hague, Netherlands, in which she placed seventh.
Despite having to withdraw from the Senior Ladies event at the 2003 BMO Financial Group Canadian Championships due to injury, Ronka competed at the 2003 World Junior Figure Skating Championships just two months later, where she finished 16th.
Ronka has been assigned to the 2003-2004 ISU Junior Grand Prix series.
Gislason, 20, of Winnipeg, currently competes in the Ice Dance event with new partner Lauren Senft. Before partnering with Senft, Gislason competed with Lauren Flynn, and the duo captured the silver medal in the Junior Dance event at the 2002 Bank of Montreal Canadian Championships. Gislason and Flynn went on to compete in the Senior Dance event at the 2003 BMO Financial Group Canadian Championships, in which they placed seventh.
Senft and Gislason will be representing Canada at two events on the 2003-2004 ISU Junior Grand Prix series.
Skate Canada congratulates both Ronka and Gislason on this recognition and commends their concurrent pursuit of education and athletic goals.