(July 5, 2005)
Standing at centre ice at the first-ever International Skating Union Adult Figure Skating Competition is a memory the five Canadian skaters who travelled to Oberstdorf, Germany for the event will never forget.
|Team Canada poses for a photo. From left: Denis La Rochelle, Raye Ryan, Corinna Diamond, Karen Guennette, who competed for the U.S. team, Jan Calnan and Stéphane Vachon |
Photo: Antonio Conté
Canada was represented at this historic event, which was held June 10-12, by Jan Calnan, Corinna Diamond, Raye Ryan, Stéphane Vachon and Denis La Rochelle.
“Once we (the Canadian team) arrived at the arena in Oberstdorf, it was very obvious that this was an official event and the ISU presence was felt everywhere,” said Calnan. “Then it started to sink in that this was a first and we were making history. It was an amazing experience.”
The Canadian team performed very well, with Calnan capturing the gold medal and Diamond finishing fifth in the Masters Ladies Free Skating I category, Vachon winning the gold medal in the Gold Men Free Skating I category, La Rochelle taking home the bronze medal in the Silver Men Free Skating III event, and Ryan placing fifth in the Bronze Ladies Free Skating II discipline.
This was the very first ISU international adult competition for figure skating. Skate Canada has hosted the National Adult Championships in conjunction with the HomeSense National STARSkate Championships since 2004, and participation and interest in the event continues to grow among adult skaters across the country, with 62 entries in Burnaby, B.C. at the 2004 National Adult Championships and 85 entries in Charlottetown at the 2005 National Adult Championships.
Diamond, 36, of St. Albert, Alta., hopes that this first international adult competition is just the beginning for adult skating internationally.
“It meant a great deal to me to experience the first one (international adult competition),” said Diamond. “Opportunities like this will allow me to experience my potential as an athlete for this stage in my life.”
Not only was this a new international event, but the new ISU judging system was also successfully used at the competition. Calnan won her event with a point total of 34.78, while Vachon earned a total of 32.26 points to place first in his category.
|Jan Canlan poses for the camera just before stepping onto the top step of the podium to receive her trophy |
Photo: Stéphane Vachon
Calnan, 39, of Greely, Ont., who first competed in the sport as a teenager, is very excited to be back competing again, this time as an adult skater.
“The instant I took my starting pose I felt comfortable and at ease,” said Calnan. “The next three minutes and 10 seconds were wonderful. I was relaxed and enjoying skating with the music and the audience.
“After my layback spin and final pose, I just wanted to stay still as long as I could to savour the feel. The entire experience is something I will cherish for my lifetime.”
Skate Canada congratulates each of the skaters who represented Canada in Oberstdorf.