Four skaters spin and jump towards the Games

Sixteen-year-old Kevin Caron dreams of skating in the 2010 Olympics. After watching him leap and glide around the Canada Games Centre’s ice,…

Sixteen-year-old Kevin Caron dreams of skating in the 2010 Olympics.

After watching him leap and glide around the Canada Games Centre’s ice, it’s easy to believe that his dream could come true.

He has an arsenal of tricks whose names sound like something you’d associate with a roller-coaster, not a figure-skating show.

There’s the death drop, a dangerous-looking feat in which Caron changed skates in mid-leap.

There’s the corkscrew, in which Caron spun like a top in one spot so quickly it looked as if he drilled a hole through the ice.

There’s the pretzel, a one-footed spin that looked as twisted as it sounds.

And then there are the jumps — the double and even triple Lutzes and loops.

Caron’s also got a team of people working on his programs: his Vancouver-based coach, a choreographer and a footwork expert.

But before he sets his sights on the Olympic podium, Caron will be one of a quartet of skaters representing the Yukon at the upcoming Canada Winter Games.

On Tuesday afternoon the group was up at the Games centre working through their routines

When Teneil Caron, Kevin’s 14-year-old sister and Games’ teammate, skated by it was easy to see that she’s a dancer at heart, choosing dramatic hand gestures and hip wiggles in favour of the bigger leaps and spins.

Sixteen-year-old Chantal Emond is a natural performer with seemingly boundless energy.

Millie Austin, the fourth Games’-bound Yukoner, skated confidently around the rink, but was shy to comment on her skills.

“They are all very different skaters,” said co-coach Lori Austin.

“Kevin and Teneil are very outgoing, confident skaters; they’re charismatic and they’re there to entertain the crowd,” Austin added.

“Millie is graceful and refined and a little bit shy.

“And Chantal is a skilled skater with great spins and great edges.” 

Both the skaters and their families have made sacrifices to compete at the high level.

“They’re all giving up something,” said Kevin and Teneil’s mother Maureen.

To prepare for the Games, the skaters are missing two periods of school per day.

And the road hasn’t been smooth for the Yukon’s only male figure skater.

When he was eight, Kevin chose figure skating over hockey and, as the only male skater, his friends used to give him a hard time about picking up the sport.

“They used to, but then I’d show them a jump and they’d leave me alone,” he says with a smile.

It’s tough to get a high level of coaching in the Yukon, so Kevin travels to Vancouver about once a month for training and competition.

In two weeks, the skaters will head to BC for a week of intense training, then they’ll take to the ice for the Games, where Kevin will skate in the men’s pre-novice level, Teneil in the women’s novice and Emond and Austin in the women’s pre-novice.

“It’s a tiny bit nerve-wracking because it’s in our hometown and people we know will come and watch,” Emond says of the upcoming Games.

Despite the flurry, fanfare and the pull of the podium, the part of the Games that gets Teneil and Emond most excited has nothing to do with skate blades or ice rinks.

They’re looking forward to meeting the competitors from across the country and trading their Yukon pins.

“I think I’ll do OK,” Teneil says of the competition. “But I don’t really care because it will be fun,” she quickly adds.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes


Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read