By Tiantian Wang, Grade 12, Westmount Secondary, Hamilton, ON
From the first time I watched figure skating in 1999, I was amazed by this elegant and graceful sport. Maybe because I watched the Chinese duo of Xue Shen/Hongbo Zhao (who are now the reigning World Champion in the pairs' category), who gave a perfect performance in that year's World Figure Skating Championship. The feeling of watching a team from my native country claiming the silver medal was indescribable. It was the artistry, the technical difficulties and the sportsmanship shown by the skaters on and off the ice that really drew my interest into this sport.
Canada has a long tradition of figure skating, and produces World Champions like Elvis Stojko in the men's category, Jamie Sale/David Pelletier in the pairs. These champions all left a mark in figure skating history. While a new generation of skaters such as Cynthia Phaneuf, the 2004 Canadian Ladies Champion (Sr.) and Elizabeth Putnam are emerging; ‘old' champions like Jennifer Robinson, Marie-France Dubreuil/Patrice Lauzon or Megan Wing/Aaron Lowe are still competing in the sport they love, giving audiences something to cheer for every time.
Jennifer Robinson a six-time Canadian Ladies' Champion, Marie-France Dubreuil/Patrice Lauzon, two-time Canadian Ice Dance Champion, all brought pride to Canadians each time they stepped onto the ice. No matter what age all, figure skating is a sport that the whole family can enjoy.
Figure skating is under going some major changes right now, because of the judging scandals in the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics; the International Skating Union (ISU) introduced a new scoring system, the Points Code. This new scoring system was put to the test at this year's Grand Prix Series and the Grand Prix Final. It earned praises from many critics and skaters. However for this year's World Championship in Germany, the judges will use the traditional 6.0 scaring system. On that note, I would like to wish our National Figure Skating Team a safe trip and good luck!
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