Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

SPECTACULAR SKATER – Mike Sumner finishes his 2023 Canada Winter Games figure skating routine before speaking with members of the Arctic Edge Skating Club Tuesday afternoon at the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse.

Gold-winning figure skater shares wisdom with young skaters

Gold medal winning figure skater Mike Sumner made an appearance at an Arctic Edge practice Tuesday to share his wisdom with the club’s young figure skaters.

By Morris Prokop on March 10, 2023

Gold medal winning figure skater Mike Sumner made an appearance at an Arctic Edge practice Tuesday to share his wisdom with the club’s young figure skaters.

Sumner won gold at the 2023 Canada Winter Games in P.E.I. in the Special Olympics Singles Level 3 Male category.

He was one of the flag bearers for the closing ceremonies.

He also won the Pat Lechelt award for demonstrating all the principles of True Sport, a recognized approach to values-based sport.

Arctic Edge’s skaters took in his gold medal winning routine and had an opportunity to ask him questions about his CWG experience.

They learned there were no circles or lines on the figure skating ice, so Sumner had to adapt to that.

“I just visualized it in my head,” he related.

The girls also found out he listens to AC/DC and Metallica before he hits the ice.

Arctic Edge Technical Director Anne Milton told Sumner he “represented the Yukon really well and you should be really proud of yourself.”

Sumner’s coach, Tanya Sage, said that he serenaded them with Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ on the way to the CWG rink one day.

He also had her in tears (of joy) many times during the Games.

The Star spoke with Sumner and Sage after the meet and greet.

He said winning the gold meant the world to him.

“Just being able to represent the Yukon and just going out there and trying my hardest.”

As for the gold medal skate, Sumner said it went well, except for an ankle he twisted in practice.

“I skated through it and they taped it up.

“I felt like I gave my best skate to this routine to date.”

Sumner said he’d been working on the routine since November, so it was still relatively new, but he does feel comfortable with it.

He said his CWG experience was “amazing. I traded both Yukon jackets for the Manitoba over-jacket and it’s a reversible. I got the Ontario one too.

“I saw one at the start of the Games and I said ‘I want one of those Manitoba jackets.’”

As for memories of the Games, Sumner said, “I’m gonna remember that I won that major award and I was one of the flag bearers for these Games.”

And of course there was the women’s boxing, which made its debut at the Games. “We witnessed history there,” recalled Sumner.

This was Sumner’s final Canada Winter Games, as he will be over the age limit for the next one.

Sage mentioned that Sumner was super-tired after spending 18 hours flying back from P.E.I.

So what does a gold medal winning athlete do when he’s tired and ready to go home? Go lift some weights, of course. Sumner headed to the gym after the meet and greet.

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