Olivia Park is feeling bittersweet about hitting the ice at the Corner Brook Civic Centre on April 13.
That’s when the Silver Blades Skating Club will hold its annual ice show and, for Park, it will be her final performance with the group.
“The ice show is the most exciting time of the year for us,” says the 17-year-old graduating skater. “It’s an emotional time for me because I will be leaving the sport of figure skating behind, but it’s also a very exciting time as I embark on a new chapter in my life.”
Park won’t be alone in her emotions; she will be joined by fellow graduating skaters Lauren Hearns, Rhiann Ward, and Danielle Sceviour.
For these young athletes, the ice show represents the end of their student journey in the Silver Blades Skating Club, though the memories they’ve made on the ice won’t soon be forgotten.
“There are times I think I’ve spent more time at the rink than my own home,” says Ward, 17. “The skaters and coaches at Silver Blades become your second family.”
Now Ward is ready to take to the ice one last time with her family by her side. Although the ice show is the busiest time of the year, Ward enjoys every moment of the madness and can’t wait to show the crowd what she’s got during her farewell skate.
Each of the four graduating skaters will perform a solo for the packed rink, and for Hearns, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate the various skills she has developed throughout her career.
“I started skating when I was three years old and I’ve always loved pushing myself to new heights,” says the St. John’s native. “I hope everyone enjoys the show.”
Sceviour, who followed in her mother’s footsteps as a talented figure skater, agrees.
“Our showcase gives us a chance to show how hard we’ve worked and how far we’ve come,” she explains. “This is our way of thanking the community for their constant support.”
The ice show is an opportunity for all members of the Silver Blades Skating Club to demonstrate their skills, and coach Lisa Young says the support they are shown by the community is greatly appreciated.
“These skaters work so hard to prepare for this event and it means the world to them when the rink is full,” she explains. “We’ve got choreography and costumes from Montreal, plus solo and group performances that are sure to entertain.”
Each year, Silver Blades brings in a guest skater to host a seminar for the club, as well as joining them on the ice for the big show. This year, Vaughn Chipeur will be in attendance. Chipeur – a celebrated Canadian skater who won silver at two consecutive Canadian championships – made his Olympic debut in 2010 in Vancouver.
“The kids really look forward to learning from people like Vaughn who they have grown up watching,” says Young. “So they’re definitely eager to meet him.”
The April 13 show will kick off at 7 p.m. and tickets are available at the Corner Brook Civic Centre.