The Best Of 2016: A Skate Guard New Year's Spectacular
Over the last twelve months, Skate Guard blog has shared over one hundred and fifty fascinating stories from figure skating's rich and colourful history. It's been an absolute pleasure hearing from so many of you throughout the year. Learning about your own connections to and perceptions of these important stories has to be the best part of 'doing what I do' and I cannot wait to continue to share even more of these gems with you in the coming year! To cap off what has certainly been in an interesting year in the world, I wanted to share a perfect 10.0 of my favourite pieces from the past year that you may have missed. If you haven't read any of these yet, make the time... they're honestly just fascinating tales!
10. THE STATUE IS DONE: THE JACQUELINE DU BIEF STORY
In 1952, Jacqueline du Bief of France claimed the Olympic bronze medal and World title. An artistic skater far beyond her time, she introduced elements of the avant garde to the amateur figure skating world at a time when many were more than content to stick with the status quo. Learn more about her story in this July 2016 blog.
9. FANCY DAN'S AND FIGURE EIGHTS
Skating's history has a long and troubling history of expecting "men to skate to like men". This June 2016 blog explores skating's quiet war on effeminacy from a historical perspective.
8. THE 1990 WORLD FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS
With the assistance of the wonderful folks at Halifax Public Libraries, I took an in-depth, behind the scenes look at the only World Championships ever held in Atlantic Canada in this November 2016 blog.
7. SKATING'S BEST SUPPORTING CHARACTER: THE HARRISON THOMSON STORY
Harrison Thomson and Rudy Richards. Carl Van Vechten photograph. Used with permission of the Van Vechten Trust.
Canadian Junior Champion Harrison Thomson was born in the United States, got his start in professional skating in England and skated alongside three thirties doyennes of figure skating: Sonja Henie, Belita Jepson-Turner and Vivi-Anne Hultén. His storied career, which was nothing short of enthralling, was revealed in this April 2016 blog.
6. A CENTURY OF SKATING FASHION (SERIES)
In June 2016, Skate Guard took an in-depth look at the evolution of figure skating fashion from 1860 to 1960. The research for this particular piece was a mammoth effort to say the very least and if you enjoy fashion history, this one's for you! It's divided into parts one, two and three.
5. DOWNTON ABBEY ON ICE: THE SENSATIONAL STORIES OF SKATING SERVANTS
Prior to the twentieth century, classism played a very significant role in figure skating history's development. This February 2016 blog explores how 'the other half' skated.
4. ECHOES OF THE EISBALLETS
In the early twentieth century, legendary skating star Charlotte Oelschlägel took Berlin, Germany by storm with her lavish ice ballets at the Admiralspalast. This July 2016 blog sheds new light on these pioneering professional ice shows.
3. ADELE INGE: THE GIRL WHO DID BACKFLIPS DURING WORLD WAR II
Contrary to popular belief, women have been doing backflips on the ice long before Surya Bonaly defiantly performed one at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. In this July 2016 blog, we explored the story of just one of these fearless femmes.
2. BON APPÉTIT: A JOURNEY THROUGH SKATING'S CULINARY HISTORY
How on earth could there be enough material about the relationship between skating and food to make an entire blog? And if you could, why would that even be remotely interesting? If you're asking yourself those questions, you clearly haven't read this May 2016 blog yet.
1. ISABELLA BUTLER: FIGURE SKATING'S BEST KEPT SECRET
When we think of women's figure skating in the early twentieth century, the image we often conjure up in our minds is someone wearing a fancy hat and a long dress that barely shows off an ankle... certainly not a circus daredevil who brought figure skating to the Vaudeville world. Isabella Butler's story, shared in this March 2016 blog, has to be one of figure skating history's best kept secrets.
Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating and archives hundreds of compelling features and interviews in a searchable format for readers worldwide. Though there never has been nor will there be a charge for access to these resources, you taking the time to 'like' on the blog's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard would be so very much appreciated. Already 'liking'? Consider sharing this feature for others via social media. It would make all the difference in the blog reaching a wider audience. Have a question or comment regarding anything you have read here or have a suggestion for a topic related to figure skating history you would like to see covered? I'd love to hear from you! Learn the many ways you can reach out at http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/p/contact.html.