Stittsville teenagers Alex Gunther and Kaitlyn Chubb have started a string of competitions that they hope will bring them to the Canadian national figure skating championships in Ottawa in January 2017.
Gunther, now 19, started figure skating when he was 10 and decided to pursue ice dancing six years ago. He’s competed at the national level for the past four years, and this year moves up to the junior level.He graduated from South Carleton in July 2015, and now attends Carleton University.
In February, having just competed at 2016 Canadian Tire Skate Canada Nationals at the novice level, Gunther started the process of finding a new dance partner to build a junior ice dance team. After weeks of tryouts, he partnered with Chubb from the Skate Oakville figure skating club. Over March break, Chubb moved to Stittsville to begin training at the Minto Skating Club for the 2016-2017 competitive figure skating season and beyond.
With the help of the wonderful staff at South Carleton High School, Chubb moved her studies from her school in Oakville to the local high school, while Gunther continued with his studies at Carleton University. The pair have been training on the ice, at the gym, and at the ballroom and ballet studios for 3-5 hours a day five days a week during the school year, and have been training all summer for 5-6 hours a day.
Earlier this summer, they had an opportunity to show off their newly choreographed programs at the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships. The next day, they traveled back to Ottawa to compete at Minto Summer Skate.
Dancing their way through the nerves of their very first competition together, followed by a competition at their home club, Cubb and Gunther and their coaches Allie Hann, Michael Coreno (both former national team competitors) and off-ice coach Dylan Harries were pleased with the progress they made in the four months since their partnership began.
Next up: they’ll continuing their training with their hopes firmly set on reaching the 2017 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Ottawa in February.
Gunther started figure skating in 2007 after learning to skate at the Goulbourn Skating Club Canskate program. He is also a Skate Canada trained coach and has been coaching the Canskate program at Goulbourn skating club for a number of years. Registration for Canskate program is currently underway. More information at www.goulbournskatingclub.com
(Story via Brian Gunther)