Kelowna native Craig Buntin is back home this week serving as the athlete ambassador for Skate Canada International at Prospera Place.

Skating showcase a positive for Buntin’s hometown

Skate Canada International brings together world's best for three days at Prospera Place

The best-known figure skater ever to come out of Kelowna no longer competes on the ice.

Still, four years after retiring from the sport, Craig Buntin remains one of its most passionate advocates.

Buntin, 34, is back in his hometown this week for Skate Canada International, a three-day competition at Prospera Place featuring many of the world’s top skaters.

Buntin, who is serving as the event’s athlete ambassador, said skating fans in Kelowna are in for a treat.

“For the fans here to see the skating live, to see the speed of these pairs coming out of the corner into these big lifts…it’s a chance to catch the bug,” said Buntin, who lives in Montreal.

“If you’ve watched the world championships or the Olympics, this is the calibre of skating, this is as good as it gets in the world. This is the best of the best. If you’ve never seen it, just come to watch at least one event.”

Among the 56 competitors from 12 countries are four of Canada’s most renowned skaters—Olympic team silver medalists and world pairs bronze medalists Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford; and world ice dance silver medalists Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje.

While Buntin—a former Olympian and Canadian silver medalist in pairs—won’t be competing this weekend, he will put his own stamp on the event.

Buntin has designed a computer program called VeriSkate which tracks and analyzes the movements and tendencies of skaters like never before.

VeriSkate will be used for the first time at Skate Canada International.

“Things like who’s the fastest skater, who’s covering the most ice…suddenly for the first time in the history of the sport we’re actually going to be showing that at this event,” said Buntin. “From a skater’s perspective this has the ability to totally change an athlete’s ability to train and compete.”

As for the residual impacts of the event, Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray said Skate Canada International is expected to generate about $4 million in economic spinoffs for the city.

CTV and TSN will be providing live television coverage of the event throughout the weekend.

For more information on the event, visit skatecanada.ca

 

Just Posted

Double book launch in Kelowna

Authors Sharon Thesen and Erin Moure read from their new works Thursday at library

Westbank Opry announces Christmas show

West Kelowna music fans are encouraged to bring a food donation to help the less fortunate

Giants ground Rockets in WHL action

Vancouver builds early lead, never looks back in 6-1 win at Langley Events Centre

Kelowna author promoting life-changing book

Book signing event at Chapters Sunday of long-awaited Runaway Trilogy of life-changing maxims

Pedestrian hit at ‘dangerous’ Kelowna cross walk

Emergency officials responded to a cross walk that neighbours say is unsafe Saturday evening

Drones used in search for clues about missing women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

LIVE: BC Liberals kick off leadership debate in Nanaimo

Candidates’ forum is at noon at Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Pen High Lakers make strong showing against KSS Owls

Penticton Lakers fought hard through to final set

Gallery celebrates long history of art appreciation

Gallery Odin, at Silver Star Mountain, is gearing up to open their 16th annual Winter Exhibition

WATCH: Thousands gathering in Abbotsford for Const. John Davidson funeral procession

Celebration of life to follow at Abbotsford Centre at 1 p.m.

Warriors end seven-game road slide with win in P.G.

West Kelowna bounces back from lopsided loss to the Vees a night earlier with victory over Kings

Mellof, Koffski top Superleague of Curling

Stolairus Aviation sits at 4-0, while Raymond James is 4-1 in Kelowna Curling Club action

Back-to-back wins for the Vees this weekend

Penticton Vees take down Capitals 10-1

Giants stop Rockets’ 4-game winning streak

Vancouver scored four first-period goals to down Kelowna in WHL action.

Most Read