BY BRIAN POUND

BURNABY—Back in 2017 Kaetlyn Osmond, representing Ice Palace skating club and coached by Ravi Walia, began the season as the second ranked Canadian Senior woman skater by winning her first two competitions, the Wild Rose and BC/YK Section SummerSkate. It was a route that months later would lead her to a world title.

Now come forward to this week and the 2019 Belairdirect BC/YK SummerSkate competition at Burnaby 8-Rinks.  Aurora Cotop, same club, same coach, enters the season as the number two ranked Canadian woman. She wins Wild Rose and then goes on to win at SummerSkate. Is it in the cards for the 17-year-old Edmonton-based skater to follow in the footsteps of Ms. Osmond? Time will tell, of course, but just remember if it does happen in the near future, you read it here first.

Aurora, meanwhile, captured the Senior women’s SummerSkate title winning both the short and free programs with 162.99 points, well ahead of runner-up Sarah Tamura of Champs International SC, who moved from third after the short program to second overall (146.70) and ahead of teammate Amanda Tobin (143.74). Aurora continues her quest towards national recognition when she travels to Germany to compete in her first International assignment of the year, the Nebelhorn Trophy, September 25-28.

Meanwhile, following on the heels of another successful SummerSkate competition, August 15-18, which drew 754 skaters from 66 clubs, BC-Yukon Section Executive-Director Ted Barton, took time to reflect on the new skating season.

“The summer competitions are as critical to the world champions as they are to the kids coming up. Example, Kaetlyn Osmond came here to SummerSkate couple years back after losing her national title, putting herself back into tough training regiment and then coming to summer competition both here and Wild Rose, continued to have a great year and went on to win the World title.

“Aurora is following a similar pattern, national champion two years ago, second in Seniors at nationals and competing at both the Wild Rose and here at SummerSkate. Who knows where her journey will take her, but she is doing the work that needs to be at the top of the game. Whether there are stars of the future, which there are, they’re all here, or whether it’s star skate, a summer competition like this is so critical. 

“A big skating change is here in Canada. We’ve lost some marvelous top skaters following the Olympic Games and now we have a whole new era and it’s going to take some time to sort itself out as we sort of plow our way to the top and learn the skills and close the gap between the Russians and Japanese and a new era will continue to emerge.”

Even with a new era upon us, people around the world continue to follow the sport and this year’s SummerSkate was no exception. Live streaming of the event drew 40,000 viewers with the top ten countries tuning in: Canada, the USA, Japan, Taiwan, Ukraine, Israel, South Korea, Italy, Romania, Mexico.

A host of BC-Yukon Section skaters now turn their attention to International assignments and the ones announced so far by Skate Canada:

Junior Grand Prix, Courcheval, Men, Aleksa Rakic.

Junior Grand Prix, Lake Placid, Men, Beres Clements; Ladies, Emily Bausback; Dance, Miku Makita/Tyler Gunara.

Junior Grand Prix, Chelyabinsk, Russia, Ladies, Olivia Gran

Junior Grand Prix, Gdansk, Poland, Dance, Makita/Gunara

Nelbelhorn Trophy, Oberstdorf Germany, Dance, Haley Sales/Nikolas Wamsteeker

Skate Canada International, Kelowna, Dance, Sales/Wamsteeker.

Complete BCYK SummerSkate results are available by clicking here.