A team of local female figure skaters, ranging from the ages of 48 to 80, passionate about their sport, are currently enjoying living a healthy, active lifestyle, while attaining silver and gold medals for Team Okanagan!
Their journey began in 2016 with just four skaters, over the past three years they have grown to a team of nine. These dedicated and talented skaters have earned medals in local, national and international adult competitions. Most recently, the team brought home seven medals from a competition in Oberstdorf, Germany, considered the most prestigious annual event in the international competitive adult figure skating community. Over 600 figure skaters from 36 countries, were represented with thousands of spectators at the event and online.
“We skate out of the arena in Winfield, BC, under the umbrella of the Winfield Skating Club, a registered not-for-profit association” says Alanna Rittich.
Team Okanagan is now preparing to compete at the Winter World Masters Games in Innsbruck, Austria in January 2020. These Games are held every five years and include athletes from around the world.
“This will be the first ever Masters Games to include figure skating and we are honoured to be part of the inaugural team,” says Alanna.
Jan.10-19, 2020 - Winter Worlds Master Games in Austria
Mar. 6-8, 2020 - Super Series Starskate Final and Adult, Kelowna
For further information on how to follow or support the team on their journey to compete at the Winter World Masters Games; please contact email@example.com or phone 403-808-6486
Meet the INSPIRING WOMEN who are living their dreams!
Team Okanagan athletes consists of individual women from varying backgrounds, some who skated as children and some who began to pursue figure skating much later in life, proving that it is never too late in life to pursue your passions and live an active healthy lifestyle.
View the documentary that CBC aired earlier this year, www.cbc.ca/cbcdocspov/episodes/to-the-worlds , it truly captures the spirit of this amazing group of inspiring women. The documentary also provides more insights on some of the team members and profiles the team’s journey to Oberstdorf, Germany in 2018; highlighting the dedication, disappointments, friendships and victories of the team.
The reception that Team Okanagan received since the airing of the documentary has been overwhelming, clearly their journey has struck an emotional chord with many people across Canada. So much so, that a growing number of boomers are embracing figure skating, it’s an ideal weight-bearing aerobic activity that builds strength while honing balance, body awareness, posture and flexibility.
LESLEY RICCI – 59
Lesley is a member of the Coaching Association of Canada and is currently coaching several members of Team Okanagan, many whom have medalled in regional, national and international figure skating competitions.
MAUREEN BARNES – 77
Maureen re-married two years ago and is an enthusiastic, world traveller. She has recently returned from a six-month cruise around the world. Maureen won a silver medal at the ISU International Adult Figure Skating Competition in Oberstdorf, Germany, in 2018.
ISABELLA CIOCOUI – 51
Isabella moved to Canada from Romania in the early 2000s and took up figure skating while living and working in Edmonton as an engineer. Isabella brought home a silver and a bronze medal from the ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition in Oberstdorf, Germany, two years ago (2018).
ALANNA RITTICH – 59
Alanna moved to Kelowna two years ago after retiring from a varied career in journalism, communications and business development. She loved figure skating as a child and returned to the ice December 2018 after 43 years. In May, Alanna won a gold and bronze medal at the 2019 ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition in Oberstdorf , Germany.
DONNA GOOD – 80
Donna has been a member of the Coaching Association of Canada for approximately 20 plus years. She produced a "Learn to Skate Video" for beginners of all ages, which has been sold to countries around the world. Donna had her second hip replacement this past Spring and is committed to competing at the World Masters Games in January 2020.
DONNA BERGVINSON – 62
Donna is an Early Childhood Educator in West Kelowna. Donna brought home gold and silver medals from the 2018 ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition in Oberstdorf, Germany, and has won numerous medals at regional, national and international competitions.
JOANNE JOHNSON – 69
Joanne is a former family physician who specialized in Obstetrics. During her very first skating competition, Joanne won a silver medal at the 2019 ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition in Oberstdorf, Germany.
HENRIETTA PENNEY – 78
Henrietta won a silver medal at the International Skating Competition in Obersdorf, Germany, in May 2019. Henrietta also founded Vista Academy, a Kelowna non-profit organization committed to teaching children with Autism and related disorders from Kindergarten to grade 5.
KAREN SMITH – 48
Karen is the unofficial ‘den mother’ of Team Okanagan and has inspired many ladies on the team to brave the competitive world of adult figure skating. Karen returned home with a gold and bronze medal from the 2019 ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition in Germany this past May. Karen is also a grade school teacher and has home schooled her three children.
But ladies… before lacing up and hitting the ice for your first attempt at landing
lutzes, loops and axels, there are a few things to consider…, please start by