Born September 13th 1922 in Vienna Austria Mr Rada (as we all called him) was a very accomplished skater himself. He is being inducted tonight as a coach but his competitive career is impressive.
At the age of 15 he was the runner up at his Nationals to the then current World Champion Felix Kasper.....Mr Rada was also 7th in both the 1938 European and World Championships. This was such a difficult time as the World prepared for War...sport was the last thing on the minds of most.
As War began Austria was annexed by Germany. Mr Rada continued to skate but there were only a few local competitions available during that period. Such a difficult time in our history....Mr Rada’s father made ends meet by working as a hairdresser and the family invested in a laundry business. Maybe it was through this period that the discipline and work ethic was formed in Mr Rada.
After the 2nd World War Mr Rada won a bronze medal in both the Olympic Games and World Championships where Dick Button was the Champion and Hans Gershwiller the Silver Medalist. He was known as such a good school figure skater but also for an aggressive free skating style. Here is just a short look at some wonderful footage of the outdoor 1948 Winter Olympic Games in St Moritz with clips Barbara Ann Scott...... Mr Rada and good friend Helmut May...
Mr Rada joined the Vancouver Skating Club and worked there between 1953 and 1959...... and as you see here he was still in excellent skating shape as he performed in the VSC 1953 Ice Carnival......there you can see his aggressive and exciting style.
In 1957 he married his charming and lovely wife Beverly who is here with us this evening.....and she said “he so very much loved Vancouver and wanted to put this city on the map in the figure skating world” In September ,1960 Mr Rada moved to the newly built North Shore Winter Club where he had quite the stable of young skaters.....such as Jay Humphrey, Betty and John McKilligan, Cathy Lee Irwin and Karen Magnussen
Mr Rada knew he was working with talent and knowing the old adage “work beats talent unless talent works” he used his discipline and professional strictness to get the best out of the athletes. This was not always popular and after a trip to Europe for a visit back home he returned to find out Karen had changed coaches to Linda Braukmann. You see......Karen’s mom Gloria was also strict .....but in a different way.
Mr Rada went on to coach many of BC and Canada’s top skaters such as Barbara Terpenning, Bruno Delmaestro, Mark Vanderkerkhove, Cynthia Titcome, , Judy McLeod, Pat hay, Norma Sedler, Margaret Penny, Gail Williams and even some of our top judges such as Susan Heffernan, Syd Hughes just to mention a few.
The passing of Mr Rada on July 13th1997 was a loss for our skating community here in BC. He was a gentlemen who worked hard for others to succeed....he was a patriot to our sport and he lives in the memory....the good memory of all of us who knew him
Ladies and gentlemen please join us in welcoming into the Coaching Category for the Skate Canada BC Hall of Fame Edy Rada