Skate Canada has updated its policies so that domestic ice dance or doubles teams can consist of any two athletes.
Canada’s figure skating governing body announced on Tuesday that the definition of “team” for athletes training on the Podium Pathway will be revised to “two skaters.”
The previous definition was a woman and a man.
Skate Canada said in a tweet that there are no new event categories and that any team can enter pairs or ice dance disciplines at any Skate Canada local event.
“By updating the team definition, many in the Canadian figure skating community will have new opportunities to embrace the sport,” Karen Butcher, president of Skate Canada, said in a statement. “This change is about removing barriers to participation in the sport of skating and we believe will have a significant impact on the equal and unbiased recognition and acceptance of all gender identities.
“This change has been collectively approved by Skate Canada and will enable new and exciting partnerships to compete in pairs and ice dance disciplines at the national level. Skate Canada has the privilege to continue skating progress in Canada by changing rules and policies. It makes you enjoy it.”
We are happy to advance our Skating For All initiative with an updated definition of ‘team’ for pairs and ice dance teams.
The Podium Path ‘team’ definition will be revised to ‘a team of two skateboarders’.
Details ⬇️ https://t.co/sw1QG58Xv4
The Podium Path is a high performance training path for athletes who want to compete in national or international championships.
The definition and language will be updated in Skate Canada’s rulebook, Podium Pathway documentation, and the scoring system.
“All skaters deserve to have a home on the ice – including their full selves. I look forward to making this a reality in the competitive arena.”
Scott Moir, a three-time Olympic medalist and three-time world champion in ice dancing with longtime partner Tessa Virtue, said the change was “necessary”.
“Our craft is a blend of athletics and the arts, and as such, we have a unique opportunity for an equal playing field unlike any other sport, regardless of how individuals define themselves,” Moir said.
“This change will advance the sport in many ways, with the creation of new and interesting work from athletes who can now perform together.”