From the Archives
In this first edition of "From the Archives" we bring you some of Gloucester Skating Club's rich skating history from our very own, Emery Leger - GSC CanSkate Coach and archivist at Skate Canada.
Elizabeth Manley - Athlete
From the time she first laced up her brother’s hand-me-down skates at age five, this skater exhibited a unique on-ice presence of grace, speed and incredible jumping prowess. In 1979, while still a junior, she became the first Canadian woman to land a triple jump combination in competition, a triple salchow followed by a double loop. Moving to the senior division in 1981, she earned a bronze medal in her first year going on to become a three time Canadian Champion in 1985, 87 and 88.
Competing on the international circuit, her 1986 gold medal performance at Skate Canada and her 4th place showing at the 1987 World Championships set the stage for what would be her most successful and memorable season. Her electrifying free skate at the 1988 Calgary Olympics, which included five triple jumps, captured her a silver medal and the hearts of all Canadians. Demonstrating her true skating abilities, she repeated her silver medal performance at the 1988 World Championships.
Retiring from amateur competition following the 1988 season, and being awarded the Order of Canada, she went on to enjoy additional success on the professional circuit.
Sonya and Peter Dunfield - Builder
Involved with skating for over 50 years, and exhibiting an incredible passion for the sport, this dynamic coaching team truly left their mark on the skating world and served as a source of inspiration to those who benefited from their coaching knowledge.
Athletes in their own right, Peter represented Canada on two World and North American Teams and Sonya was a medallist at two World Championships and a participant at the 1952 Olympic Games for the US. Following their careers they turned their attention to mentoring a host of skaters from around the world, teaching at clubs and summer schools in such places as Ottawa, Toronto, New York City, Denver and Sun City.
Their complimentary coaching styles proved to be magical, taking a number of their skaters to multiple Olympic Games and World Championships. Among their success stories was Elizabeth Manley, who they guided to three Canadian national titles and 1988 Olympic and World silver medals.
Archivist at Skate Canada for 13 years
Subject Specialist in Figure Skating
Skating: It is our Canadian heritage. Every one of all ages should learn, in all languages, how to skate with passion, desire and have lots of fun doing the sport & also knowing our rich Canadian figure skating history.
I am the keeper of the Skate Canada figure skating collections: Trophies, books, photos, films, art work and preserving Canadian Figure Skating History. My hobbies include: collecting antiques, theatre, movies, concerts, and art museums.
Written by: Emery Leger