A dream come true for lo­cal fig­ure skater

Ali­cia Smith per­form­ing in Rock the Rink show Nov. 13 at the PMC

The Peterborough Examiner - - SPORTS - MIKE DAVIES EX­AM­INER SPORTS DI­REC­TOR [email protected]­ter­bor­ough­daily.com

A Spe­cial Olympics fig­ure skater will get the op­por­tu­nity of a life­time when Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir’s farewell tour hits Peter­bor­ough.

Ali­cia Smith, 31, of Uxbridge, will skate a solo and meet Canada’s Olympic ice dance cham­pi­ons dur­ing Rock the Rink on Nov. 13 at the Me­mo­rial Cen­tre.

She is one of 27 Spe­cial Olympics ath­letes se­lected to per­form at Rock the Rink shows across Canada. Pa­trick Chan and Elvis Sto­jko are among the other Olympic medal­lists and world cham­pi­ons fea­tured on tour.

It was a spe­cial mo­ment when Smith learned she had been cho­sen for this op­por­tu­nity.

“I was happy and ex­cited,” she said. “I re­ally want to meet my favourite pairs skaters, Tessa and Scott. I like how they ex­press them­selves on the ice and how they go with the flow of the mu­sic.”

She was a lit­tle sad to hear Virtue and Moir re­cently an­nounce they will re­tire as a skat­ing cou­ple at the con­clu­sion of the tour.

“I also know it is part of life,” Smith said.

She once met Sto­jko at a rink in Rich­mond Hill when both were there to prac­tice. He signed a photo for her and she had her pic­ture taken with him.

Smith will dress as Princess Jas­mine from the movie “Aladdin” and skate to Naomi Scott’s “Speech­less” which is sung by the movie char­ac­ter.

“It’s a song that ex­plains she is a strong wo­man who doesn’t want to be silent and shut out,” Smith said.

“I feel like that and that’s why I chose that song, be­cause of the lyrics.”

Smith started skat­ing when she was 12 at the en­cour­age­ment of her Grade 8 teacher Jenny Met­zner at Franklin Street Pub­lic School in Markham. Met­zner hasn’t coached Smith for quite some time but she will be part of a con­tin­gent of nearly 30 there to watch her skate.

That first time on skates she clung to the boards for fear of fall­ing. It was a fear she over­came to fall in love with skat­ing.

“I feel good when I skate,” she said.

The flow of her skat­ing with the mu­sic to­gether takes away all her wor­ries, she said.

“Ali­cia loves the mu­sic and the dresses and per­form­ing,” said her fa­ther Mal­colm Smith. “She comes alive when she is on the ice. She loves mu­sic and to dance and to per­form. All those things come to­gether on the ice.”

Spe­cial Olympics has given her a com­mu­nity to feel a part of and keep her phys­i­cally ac­tive.

“I like to meet new friends,” she said.

“It goes be­yond the fig­ure skat­ing,” said Mal­colm. “It’s a real com­mu­nity for Ali­cia.”

She is the Spe­cial Olympics On­tario Level 4 cham­pion and has qual­i­fied for the Spe­cial Olympics Na­tional Win­ter Games in Thun­der Bay in Fe­bru­ary. It will be her se­cond trip to na­tion­als where she won a sil­ver medal in Cor­ner Brook, N.L., in 2016.

“Spe­cial Olympics is an or­ga­ni­za­tion that is in­cred­i­bly close to our hearts,” Virtue stated in a press re­lease. “We are thrilled to show­case its work and depth of tal­ent as we tour the coun­try.”

“It’s go­ing to be a truly mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence and we know our fans across the coun­try will love it,” added Moir.

“Spe­cial Olympics Canada be­lieves that Rock the Rink is a true cham­pion of in­clu­sion,” stated Spe­cial Olympics Canada CEO Sharon Bol­len­bach. “We couldn’t be more ex­cited for this col­lab­o­ra­tion, which fo­cuses on sport, friend­ship and lead­er­ship.”

Good tick­ets re­main avail­able at the PMC box of­fice in-per­son, by call­ing 705-743-3561 or on­line at memo­ri­al­cen­tre.ca.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Spe­cial Olympics fig­ure skater Ali­cia Smith will get the op­por­tu­nity of a life­time when she skates a solo dur­ing Rock The Rink on Nov. 13 at the Peter­bor­ough Me­mo­rial Cen­tre. The show is part of a farewell tour for Olympic dar­lings Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

Ali­cia Smith

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