Alaine Chartrand spent a full day with the local figure skating community. James Snell/The Free Press

Alaine Chartrand spent a full day with the local figure skating community. James Snell/The Free Press

Famed Canadian figure skating champion comes to Fernie

Alaine Chartrand, famed Canadian figure skating champion, came to Fernie for a figure skating seminar on Saturday, November 16. The 23-year- old, who described herself as “old” offered lessons in skating technique and life. Chartrand was well received by children and parents.

Head coach Kathy Sutherland was happy for Chartrand’s visit, stating that the region doesn’t see too many high level athletes.

“I met Alaine in Vancouver when I went to a Skate Canada event there,” she said. “I asked her if she would come up here and do a seminar for us. She was very keen, so I contacted her and we arranged for her to come up. She taught almost 60 skaters, jumps and spins and had long ice sessions with them. Sutherland said that Chartrand spent the whole day with the children.

“We just had an hour-long talk with her,” she said. “She told us all about her career. I’m sure that was very inspiring for some of our skaters. They were pretty excited about her coming here.”

Mike Vanurk, who had two daughters at the event, said it was excellent training for all who attended.

“Learning some different things from someone other than their normal coach, someone who has been in competition [is good],” said Vanurk. “Teaching them the ups and downs and to persevere. It’s quite an opportunity being from a small town, having a chance to experience this, it’s quite exciting for them.”

Vanurk said their were also huge life lessons, “As a parent you can tell them as much as you want, sometimes they need to hear it from someone else.”

Chartrand, a two time Canadian Champion, gave an inspired talk from the Fernie Community Centre stage.

She spoke about life, hard work, sacrifice, disappointment and victory.

“I think through the experience of moving around everywhere, and not really having any consistency, I learned to be adaptable,” she said. “I learned good things from all of the coaches I worked with. It was a long career, so it’s hard to tell you all about it.”

Chartrand said that she struggled to find success as a child, but eventually fought her way to the top of Canadian figure skating.

“[My struggles] had a little bit to do with the system that was changing,” she said. “It was really frustrating to me. I didn’t win national championships in juvenile, pre-novice and in novice. In fact, I didn’t make it out of my sectionals until I got to novice. My first national championships was in novice. I was the runner up in juvenile. I missed it by .01 to go to nationals.”

Chartrand said that she fought through many ankle sprains during pivotal moments in her career.

“Probably the most challenging experience of my career was nationals 2018,” she explained. “I was primed to go to the Olympics. It was my chance. Everything was lining up for me. Unfortunately, I sprained my ankle the week before. I was at Olympic qualifiers with a sprained ankle.”

Chartrand iced the injury, wrapped her foot, and soldiered into the competition.

“I was competing for an Olympic spot injured,” she said. “I came in fourth and missed the Olympics. All the history leading up to that was that I should have gone. That was my last chance to go. It was unfair and I was angry.”

Chartrand is now a university student in Vancouver.

‘You’re going to go through tough times,” she said. “It’s part of it.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The plans for the the FFHS's latest project. (Image contributed)
Construction well underway on FFHS’s latest project

Contributed by Gayle Vallance President, FFHS Since 2000 the Fernie Family Housing… Continue reading

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
MSA Update: Elk Valley fortunate in recruiting

President of the MSA Dr Chalmers-Nixon said new hires were closing gaps in the valley’s medical services

The Holy Family Catholic Church. (Photo Contributed)
Italian bake sale fundraises for the Holy Family Church

The Fernie Catholic Women’s League is running the tasty sale from Dec. 2 until Dec. 19

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

(File Photo)
Elkford releases DMP community engagement results

The results summarize feedback from six public engagement workshops held in October

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Beaver Creek RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau, left to right, Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Tim Marchessault pose in this recent handout photo near the Canada-U.S. border crossing near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A family reunion trip for the woman from Georgia that left them stranded ended on a bright note when Bath drove them to the Alaskan border following an appeal for help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gary Bath *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Help from B.C. man allows American family to reunite in Alaska

Lynn Marchessault drove from Georgia to the Alaska border to join her husband, who serves in U.S. military

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Most Read