Skaters from Team Yamal and Team Alberta North joined together to capture the Gold Ulu in the Team Competition. Back Row: Arcacia Miller and Kayla Spragg of Team Alberta North, and Tatyana Borisova of Team Yamal. Front Row: Suneeta Whiteside of Team Alberta North and Viktoria Lobanova of Team Yamal.
Photo By Courtney Proctor
Figure skaters from Team Alberta North and Team Yamal proved they know what the Arctic Winter Games are about when they made history Thursday night.
Yamal’s two skaters joined the six athletes from Alberta North to compete as a team in the Team Competition. Not only that, they walked away with the Gold Ulus.
“To my knowledge, this is the first time something like this has happened in the history of the Games,” said Kathy Moore, Figure Skating chair. “Two teams joining together to make sure everybody can compete.”
To compete in the team competition, there must be at least four, and no more than eight skaters. Each team performs the same elements, and the team with the overall strongest scores wins. Team Yamal only had two skaters, so they approached Alberta North, who has six skaters, about joining together.
“All the teams agreed. It made the most sense,” said Deborah Antypowich, Team Alberta North’s coach. Despite the enthusiasm of the skaters, the decision to allow the teams to combine rested with head figure skating official, Pam Chislett. Chislett agreed, and history was made.
Both teams’ skaters had become friends earlier in the Games. According to Cheryl Luken, a coach with Team Alberta North, the skaters began to bond on the very first day. “We have rooms across the hall from the Yamal skaters, and the girls sat down in the hall together and got to know each other.”
“Right after our arrival, we used gestures to get to know each other,” said Tatyana Borisova of Team Yamal. “Now we have taught them a little Russian, and they taught us some English.”
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