A CBC documentary following a Winfield skating club’s journey is set to air this week.
Documentary director Wendy Ord is from Lake Country and is part of the Team Okanagan skating club. She, along with skater Karen Smith, formed the club about seven years ago.
The team consists of members from West Kelowna, Kelowna and Lake Country who range from 46 to 76. They practice at The Nexus in Lake Country and trained hard to compete in the International Adult Figure Skating Competition last May in Oberstdorf, Germany. The documentary To The Worlds is about how figure skating empowered the older group of women and it airs Friday, Dec. 18 on CBC Docs POV at 9 p.m.
Being a part of the film industry since she was 19, Ord, now 59, said the film came together after encouragement from her partner. Usually, she keeps her skating and work worlds separate.
“When they decided to go to the worlds, it was just too great, I had to do it,” Ord said.
Her fear was the ending of the film.
“I didn’t know if anybody would medal, It was OK if they didn’t… I think there were four or five times in Germany where we said ‘there’s the ending to our movie.’ I think when we came home we had five endings.”
Each of the competitors shares a passion for skating, and the documentary details how they use the sport as a way to heal from a divorce, regain a childhood, and more.
It wasn’t the original intention of Ord to feature the skaters specifically, but that’s how it happened once the cameras were rolling.
“The audience knew them and loved them and wanted to see each of them. When we interviewed them in Germany, they each gave us sort of a beautiful bit of advice, when we layered over the skates,” she said.
And a few skaters earned medals.
“I was on the sidelines crying behind the camera,” Ord said.
“From the very beginning I aways said it was about a movie about the challenges with people our age face, that skating was perhaps something to help them get through it… as I interviewed them I realized actually how amazing they are.”
“It was super cool to have it unfold it through my eyes.”
But she’s still nervous to have the camera turned on her, while tells how she took up skating after a rocky divorce.
“I hope people love it and they find the heart that’s there,” she said.