You’re never too old to pursue a dream as six skaters from the Okanagan proved late last month in Richmond, competing in the International Skating Union’s World Adult Figure Skating Competition and bringing home several medals.
Together they brought home four gold world titles, four silver medals and one bronze.
“I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. When I’m in my rocking chair I can show my great grandchildren and say, ‘See what Great Grandma did at 65,’” said team newcomer Jacqueline Parser, of Kelowna who won silver. “It was one big blur, my only coherent thought was at the very end of the skate was ‘don’t mess up the bow. Then just pure shock that I came in second.”
Dubbed Team Okanagan (sponsored by Blade Runner Skate Services), this intrepid group of ladies aged 46 to 76 worked hard all summer at the Winfield and Mount Boucherie Arenas training for this high profile international event.
Their efforts were rewarded.
“Throughout all the excitement and with all the great performances our girls put on, I felt like we were riding the wave of success. I just wanted to be part of that success and have two good skates,” said Isabella Ciocoiu of Kelowna.
Skating through a back injury, success was never-the-less hers, Ciocoiu took home two gold medals.
Karen Smith of Lake Country scored the highest marks in her career and won well-deserved gold and silver medals while Maureen Barnes of Kelowna also gracefully skated to a gold and silver win. Donna Bergvinson of West Kelowna landed silver in her very competitive free skate and 4th place in her interpretive.
Another newcomer to the team and to competition was Henrietta Penney of Kelowna, aged 76 (and not afraid to say so). Penney skated to the loudest applause of the day and a bronze medal finish.
Check out more about Team Okanagan at www.winfieldskatingclub.com where kids of all ages and all levels can learn to skate.