(January 18, 2008)
Many former Canadian Champions, who are now Skate Canada alumni, will be out in full force on Sunday, January 20th at the 2008 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships in Vancouver.
Following the Women’s Free Skate, which will crown the 2008 Champion, several Skate Canada alumni will be present to take part in the medal presentation ceremonies. Honorary Chairs for the event, 2003 World Ice Dance Champions and ten-time Canadian Champions Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz, will present medals to the Senior Ice Dance medalists and the Junior Ice Dance Champions. Canadian Senior Ladies Champion from 1940, Norah McCarthy, now a sprightly 87 years old, will be presenting medals to the Senior Women’s medalists and the Junior Women’s Champion.
Following the medal ceremonies, Jamie Salé and David Pelletier will be inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame which is sure to be a special moment. Serving as emcees for the Parade of Champions will be Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz who will introduce the newly crowned junior champions and all the medalists from the senior events who will skate exhibition performances. They will also have the honour of introducing former teammates, Salé and Pelletier, who will be the featured guest performers.
A number of Skate Canada alumni will be involved throughout the week. Four- time World Champion Kurt Browning and Olympic medalist Tracy Wilson will be commentating for the host broadcaster CBC Sports. Vancouver’s own, World and Canadian Champion Karen Magnussen as well as World and Canadian Champion Brian Orser will be on the sidelines as coaches. In addition, Skate Canada’s Director of Marketing and Sponsorship, Debbi Wilkes and Skate Canada’s Director of High Performance, Mike Slipchuk will be in attendance. Both are former Canadian Champions, Debbi in Pairs, and Mike in Men’s.
Canadian Champion Josée Chouinard will attend the event as a coach, and will meet with fans and sign autographs. Vancouver will also have one of their own present, Dr. Hellmut May, who is a former Olympic skater and current coach. Dr. May has spent over 50 years instructing at the Kerrisdale Figure Skating Club. In addition, The BC Centre of Excellence skating director Joanne McLeod will also be attending as a coach. Linda Brauckmann, who coached Karen Magnussen will be an interested spectator during the week.
Dr. Charles Snelling will also be in the stands. He had one of the longest Canadian figure skating careers of all time, winning six Canadian Men’s Championships during the span of years from 1950-1967. Also watching will be Canadian ice dance skater Virginia Thompson who skated in the 1960s and former 1964 Olympic skater Petra Burke. In addition, former Olympian and Canadian Champion, Rob Garossino who skated in ice dance with his sister Karyn during the 1988 Calgary Olympics, will join the other alumni in showing support for the 2008 BMO Canadians skaters.
The former generation will relive memories of their own visits to Canadians, as they watch the current generation of Canadian skaters take the ice. Skate Canada is proud to have so many of their alumni in attendance for the 2008 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships.