TSN, Canada’s largest sports network, spotlights synchro in Chandler to make history when he steps on ice for Canada.
Seeing the extra media attention Nexxice has garnered since adding a male to the roster raises some interesting thoughts about gender issues in sports. Historically (and anecdotally–my days of citing sources and compiling bibliographies are long over), sports stories addressing gender have been focused on females joining male teams or competing in male-dominated sports–and the chiefly negative reactions to such scenarios. The difference here is obviously that figure skating is still seen as a “girl’s sport” by the greater population. Thus, the perceived threat to global masculinity is arguably diminished. Nevertheless, Nexxice has set an admirable example for other organizations with the professionalism they’ve displayed in embracing this change and its positive effects.
A topic worthy of further exploration for someone working on a project or thesis about gender roles in sports, perhaps. You can thank me in your valedictory speech. 😉
The first senior team in Canada to have male skaters was Team PHOENYX in 2009-2010 season. PHOENYX represented BCFSC a COS club. Team folded as did Black Ice and the coach Saara Pulkkinnan went back to Finland and now works for the Finnish skating assoc.
Canada has a history of males competing on senior teams that goes back quite far, even earlier than Phoenyx. The last year I competed in senior was 1999, and there was at least one male competing in the division then (I remember a male skater on the Delhi Dynamics). Nexxice is unique, however, in that they’re the first Canadian senior team to have competed at *Worlds* with a male skater. That, combined with their high profile on the national and international stage, seems to have brought more attention to the topic. I think it’s a great thing for the evolution of the sport in Canada.