Olympia Members Shine at the Calgary Region STARSkate Invitational

Seven of our Olympia Skating Club members competed at the Calgary Region STARSkate Invitational on December 7 & 8th in Cochrane, AB. Excitement, anxiety and determination ran high this weekend under the watchful eye and skilled coaching of our head coach, Monika Bafia.

Club President Lorine Stevens was the first to take to the ice in the Ladies Silver Freeskate. Her beautifully skated program to Massenet’s Meditation from ThaisĀ had the audience spellbound. I, for one, had tears in my eyes watching Lorine execute each element with style and grace. Her calm, controlled, ethereal skating performance earned her a gold medal.

Lauren Sule skated a high energy new program to Webber’s Phantom of the Opera in the Ladies Gold Freeskate. Her execution of jumps, spins and skating skills wowed the audience and brought on huge applause for her efforts. She earned a gold medal for high scores in both the technical and program components.

Sunday was the day for all of the artistic programs. Sandi Fast gave a fantastic exhibition performance of her new program Perhaps with great animation and dance moves. Maureen Bennie followed in the Bronze Ladies group with her new program Bella, Bella Signorina. She earned the best artistic program mark of her skating career and a gold medal. Who doesn’t love a personal best?

Lorine Stevens was back on the ice with fellow teammate Diane Gilders in the Ladies Silver category. Lorine had another stellar performance to That’s Amore. We’d all love to be as calm as Lorine in competition! How does she do it every time? Another gold for Lorine for a well executed skate.

Diane Gilders came out guns a’blazing with her traditional Irish Jig. It’s not easy to dance on your skating picks while demonstrating traditional Irish dancing skills. Diane gave a wonderful, animated, flawless performance. We were all very proud of her!

Bobby-Jo Donovan dug deep and gave it her all in Gold Ladies. Bobby is no quitter, nor will she ever be, and this performance was the best one we’ve seen of her new program. She aerobic danced her way through Flashdance’s What a Feeling and she was feeling it! This new program earned Bobby the bronze medal with the best mark of her adult skating career. She had the crowd dancing and clapping throughout her performance.

Megan Drouin, new Olympia Club member, also had a terrific, swashbuckling skate in Ladies Gold Artistic. This was Megan’s first time skating in an adult competition. She was calm, controlled and gave her all out there to an enthusiastic audience. We couldn’t be more proud of our newest and youngest club member!

There was one other group of starsĀ  – our incredibly supportive team of Olympia Club members. Even though they were not competing, they came out to make sure every skater had a loud cheering section. This support meant the world to all of the competitors. With the busy lives that everyone leads, not all of us were able to have family members there to support us. Our skating family made sure we were well taken care of. This is what adult skating is all about – the friendships and camaraderie. Skating has brought us together under a common interest and similar goals. The after-skate socializing is some of the best around!

A final thanks goes to one of the most important people of our team – our head coach Monika Bafia. Monika’s vision for adult skaters helps everyone look and feel their best. She knows what music we should skate to and time and time again, she choreographs every move to the character and rhythm of the music. She has to deal with our doubts, periodic lack of training due to outside commitments, and complaints of aches and pains that come with aging. Monika treats us like champions and we do our best to rise to the occasion, to achieve the goals she has helped us to set. A club is only as good as its leadership, and in Monika we have a visionary, mentor and friend. Thank you for helping us look and feel our best this past weekend. All of us came away with much more than just skating – our skating family bond was strengthened yet again.