A dream come true for local figure skater
Alicia Smith performing in Rock the Rink show Nov. 13 at the PMC
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.
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.