BC Ice Dancers Move to Ontario; currently coached by Scott Moir
One of Canada’s finest ice dance duos is now receiving world-class instruction from one of the country’s greatest skaters.
Born and raised in British Columbia, but now living in London, Ontario, Haley Sales and Nikolas Wamsteeker said they moved east for a variety of reasons, but mainly because it would make their life as a professional skater easier.
In addition to reduced travel times to the east coast of North America and Europe, the energetic and upbeat duo are now coached by former National and Olympic champion Scott Moir.
World-class figure skaters to perform in Kelowna this weekend
“It’s been in our heads for a few years now,” said Sales. “We wanted to experience it (live in the east) and it was a great decision.
“We love skating in the East; that’s exactly what we need right now. We miss the house, but the skating is good.
The two also said that with COVID-19 forcing the sport to long periods of shutdown, it didn’t take long for them to remember their passion for skating.
“The first two months were fun because we were able to relax and relearn why we loved her so much,” said Sales. “But over the months, being a performance sport, we were really hungry for audiences, hungry for someone to watch.
“It was tough, but having hope in the back of our mind that maybe we would be able to participate in the season. It helped us to continue, but it was a challenge. “
Canadian figure skater reflects on social media fame
“During the season you don’t have time to work on the basics,” added Wamsteeker. “It was a good opportunity to go back and rework things, to focus on the weaknesses and things.
“So there were obviously negatives, but there were good things.”
Sales added, “We would practice on the assumption that maybe we would have an event that we could attend, maybe do something virtual. We ended up organizing two virtual competitions, but it’s not quite the same (as live).
Now the two are faced with a challenge from a great coach.
“We were fortunate to be with him on the (national) team for two years,” said Sales. “We got to know him as a friend, as a competitor and as an athlete. It was an honor.
“But I think having him as a coach is really cool because he’s just come off the competitive circuit. He has a fresh outlook and his take on the sport is different from that of other coaches. “
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir announce retirement from ice dancing
Wamsteeker said Moir “is such an accessible person too. A classic Canadian boy from a small town who has all of these accolades behind him. But when you do meet him, it’s hard to take these two together.
“It’s just fantastic to work with someone like that.”
Last week, Sales and Wamsteeker, who call the Kelowna Figure Skating Club their home club, were in the Okanagan last week visiting family. While in Kelowna, they also took the time to hit the ice for practice.
The two are back in Ontario and gearing up for the season.
“The season has started slowly,” said Sales. “We’re back in competition, the Junior Grand Prix series continues and the senior (series) is ready to go.
“So we’re in competition, and that’s great, but there’s still a little bit of uncertainty, so we’re preparing for it.”
Olympic skater Scott Moir talks about his favorite Canadian stuff
In the long run, the two say their goal is to compete in the Olympics.
“We were substitutes for the last Olympics,” said Sales, noting that their last two seasons were their first for the national team.
“We didn’t expect that. As these Olympic Games approach, we are definitely in the race. This is our goal. We want to be there.
“I would like to go to two Olympics. This is my long term goal.
Wamsteeker agreed with a big smile: “Sounds good to me.”
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir hit the road across Canada
Although both now live in Ontario, both plan to represent British Columbia and the Kelowna Figure Skating Club.
“Moving east really highlighted that for us,” Sales said. “We are in British Columbia at heart.
Still, the two love living in London, with Wamsteeker saying the people are friendly and the scenery, like Pinery Provincial Park, is beautiful. They also appreciate the history of the region.
“We love being in the East,” Sales said. “We are passionate about hiking and trails, so we explored lakes and hikes, as well as provincial parks.”
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.