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Canada allows same-sex teams for pairs figure skating, ice dance

Skate Canada updated its policies so that now, its definition of “team” for athletes training in the Podium Pathway will be revised to consist of “two skaters.”

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Unsplash.com

Skate Canada, which is Canada’s governing body of figure skating, updated its policies so that now, its definition of “team” for athletes training in the Podium Pathway will be revised to consist of “two skaters.” The previous definition was heterosexual-centric, specifying a team as composed of one woman and one man.

Even with this, there are no new event categories, and any team may enter the pair or ice dance disciplines at any Skate Canada domestic event.

“By updating the definition of team, many individuals in the figure skating community in Canada 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 skating, and we believe it will have a significant impact in ensuring all gender identities are recognized and accepted equally and without prejudice.

“This change has been collectively endorsed by Skate Canada and will allow for new and exciting partnerships in the pair and ice dance disciplines to compete at the national level. Skate Canada is privileged to continue the advancement of skating in Canada by making rule and policy change that allows everyone to experience the joy of skating.”

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The amendment will be made in Skate Canada’s rule book, Podium Pathway documents and the scoring system.

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