Wednesday, 27 February 2013

6.0: 6 Fabulous Skaters That You May Not Know About But Should

When it comes to good skating, there's a lot of it out there. Today's casual skating fan may only know the names like Patrick Chan and Joannie Rochette, but there are so many brilliant and unique skaters that have touched the sport over the year that you may not know about. They may not have won an Olympic medal, but they certainly have something damn fabulous going on!

SANDRA GARDE


I first discovered this wonderfully musical skater in 1995, in watching a grainy video of the 1995 Miko Masters competition held annually in France. She was skating to "Night On Bald Mountain" in a diabolical red bodysuit and had this enigmatic quality about her I couldn't quite put my finger on. Sandra finished as high as 4th at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships but never had great success internationally. Her artistic skills, however, were a cut above her jumping prowess and this really helped her blossom as a professional, where she won the Trophee Lalique professional competition in the mid 90's and toured extensively with Disney On Ice. It's a shame there isn't more video of her available on the YouTube because she has something really special going on.

DOUG MATTIS


A wonderfully creative skater with stage presence plus, Doug Mattis was a skater that really came into his own as a professional. I remember watching him skate (yet another program you can't find on the YouTube) to a medley of "Nightmare" by Brainbug and Depeche Mode at the 1997 U,S. Open and being just floored by his talent and the way he projected to the audience. Now a wonderful ambassador to the sport, he is heavily involved in the YAS project I mentioned in my first post and he's one bitchin guy!

SUSANNA RAHKAMO AND PETRI KOKKO


How these two never won an Olympic medal is beyond me. Two of the most outrageously creative and immensely talented ice dancers I've ever seen! They have interpreted pretty much every musical genre and type of dance out there with applomb and their original dance during the 1994/1995 season to "Borsalino" remains one of the best quicksteps the sport has seen. Their professional career included success in professional competition and even this Enigma music video. In short, totally underrated.

RORY FLACK


She's related to Roberta Flack, she lives in the state where you can see Russia from your house and she's one genius of a figure skater. She joins the ranks of Surya Bonaly, Lori Benton and Ashley Clark - a select few ladies skaters who perform the backflip and went from virtual anonymity to make a name for herself as a professional and dazzle audiences worldwide. Rory is a fine example of the underdog who made it and she has talent galore.

ANITA HARTSHORN AND FRANK SWEIDING


My favourite pairs team of all time! Need I say more? Working with the genius choreographer, the late Brian Wright, Anita and Frank created a whole portfolio of crowd pleasing and truly innovative programs. Always theatrical and thoroughly entertaining, if you haven't discovered Anita and Frank yet, you need to get on that girl.

MATT SAVOIE


If you could wave a magic wand and want to skate like any men's skater, it would be Matt Savoie. From the jumps to the spins to the nuances and edges, if anyone "wuzrobbed" in their skating career, it was this brilliant skater. A true shining light in his generation of skating!

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