By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator
Cadfan Edwards, Technical Consultant for Skate Canada Manitoba and Canada Games alum, says figure skating is an interesting sport in that it’s not just a physical sport, but one where you’re judged on so many components of your skating skills, too.
“This is a sport where you have to perform a physical feat at the highest level, but make it look easy – and not just easy, but you have to perform while you’re doing it,” said Cadfan.
And it goes beyond the ice.
“Skaters at this level will be on ice anywhere from 10, 15, 20 hours a week, but that will be supplemented by almost as much time off ice,” said Cadfan.
Things like strength and conditioning programs, off ice jump classes, dance classes, and sport psych classes are all a part of the figure skating preparation for the Canada Winter Games stage.
Building Up Momentum for Canada Winter Games
For future Team Toba figure skaters, the Canada Winter Games falls slightly outside of their season.
“The challenge will be figuring out how to keep that momentum through to the time that Games start,” said Cadfan.
He said there are some important pieces coming up that will determine who ultimately represents Manitoba in PEI in 2023.
“What we call sectionals, or provincials, becomes extremely important,” said Cadfan. “And although it’s not the final say, we go by a body of work, that really is the most important competition for their selection process.”
The Multi-Sport Experience
Cadfan has competed at eight or nine national events throughout his figure skating career. While he said it’s an awesome opportunity, there’s something special about the multi-sport experience at a Canada Games.
“When I look back on my skating career, and I know this is probably true for lots of people that went to Games… Games is the highlight,” said Cadfan.
“This is that opportunity and it’s such a unique environment where you get to mingle with other athletes and not just see the best of what your sport has to offer, but see the best of what every sport has to offer.”
Cadfan remembers the good times talking to other athletes, making friends with other sports, and exchanging uniforms.
“When I went there, I thought, well, I want to see speed skating. But then you start mingling with other athletes. You know, you’re talking to a boxer and hearing how he trains and what took him there. And then you go to the boxing arena and it’s a totally new environment. I think when you’re at a skating-specific event, you feel like the centre is around you, but when you’re at Canada Games, you feel like the centre is all the athletes.”
Team Toba Takeaways
The Canada Winter Games will surely require lots of focus and perseverance for athletes. But once you’re at Games, Cadfan advises skaters to also find joy in the incredible atmosphere.
“Through the qualifying structure, I would tell them don’t get discouraged by where you are on your trajectory. Keep the end goal in mind and celebrate the small milestones along the way,” said Cadfan. “At the games, savour every moment. I know as athletes and as skaters, we focus on the three or four minutes that is our program. But you have to widen your scope at Games and try to focus on the whole moment.”