(September 21, 2005)
Skate Canada’s national team is in Torino, Italy, site of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, to participate in a national team training camp.
Canada’s top skaters are staying in the picturesque Italian city for the camp, which takes place Sept. 20-24.
Skate Canada national team athletes, their coaches and Skate Canada support personnel including Olympians Elvis Stojko, Tracy Wilson and Debbi Wilkes will take part in the training camp, which includes both on and off-ice programs.
“This will be Team Canada’s opportunity to be on the Olympic ice prior to the Games,” said Gayle McClelland, Skate Canada Chief Athlete Development Officer. “It’s a great opportunity for the athletes to familiarize themselves with the Torino area, so when they go to compete in the event it will not be new surroundings to them.”
The on-ice program includes practice time and a competition simulation in the main Olympic rink. Experts will be on hand to provide feedback to the athletes and coaches.
In addition, on Saturday, Sept. 24, the City of Torino is hosting a figure skating exhibition featuring Skate Canada’s national team members. Guest skaters will also be participating in the exhibition, including the 2005 world bronze medallist Carolina Kostner, of Italy, former World Champion ice dancers, Barbara Fusar Poli and Maurizio Margaglio, also from Italy, 2005 World Champion Stephane Lambiel, of Switzerland, and, from Russia, 2005 World Champion Irina Slutskaya, and former World Champion Evgeni Plushenko.
For this exhibition, it is anticipated that the spectator seating in the arena will be full providing a great final opportunity to perform on the main Olympic ice surface before heading into the competitive season.
While in Torino, off-ice activities will also be an important aspect of the camp. The athletes will be given a tour of the Olympic village and will participate in various activities, preparing athletes and coaches for the Olympic experience.
Long-time national team member and current national team captain Aaron Lowe is looking forward to participating in the camp.
“We feel that being able to perform at the venue will familiarize us with the setting and enable us to better visualize our competitive programs throughout the season for the Olympics,” said Aaron. “We are also excited to have the chance to have the team together one more time before the ISU Grand Prix season starts.”
“It will be motivating for the national team to be training together in one place before beginning their busy competitive schedules during the 2005-2006 season,” said Gayle.
Skate Canada wishes to acknowledge the excellent support provided by the Torino Organizing Committee (TOROC) for the 2006 Olympics Winters Games in assisting Skate Canada with the camp and exhibition arrangements and for providing on site support during the camp.
Skate Canada wishes its national team athletes the best of luck while participating at the training camp and for the season ahead.