|Back to Home||Feature Article - January 14, 2010|
Sharbot Lake figure skater to compete at NationalsBy Jeff Green
David Struthers is a 21-year-old figure skater who has skated out of Montreal for several years, but he was raised in Sharbot Lake, where his biggest fans still live.
Vicky Garneys and Richard Struthers are headed to London this weekend to see their son skate on the same ice as Joannie Rochette and Michael Chan.
David qualified to be one of 15 skaters at the National Championship in the Men's Singles Division by finishing 10th in the Divisional qualifying tournament a few weeks ago.
“He has been skating well this year. At one tournament he would skate a good short program; at another he would skate well in the long program, but at Divisionals be skated both programs well, which was good timing for him,” said his mother Vicky when interviewed in Sharbot Lake last week.
David is primarily known as a pairs skater, but he has always competed in singles as well, and when an injury forced his most recent pairs partner, Sarah Horkoff, to pull out of competitive skating last year, it left David with no partner so he has focused more on his singles skills.
If he is to continue in the sport after this season, however, he will need to find a partner, because pairs skating is where his focus has always been.
Although he is among the top 15 singles skaters in the country now, he does not do all the jumps that the top three or four skaters can do, so there is a limit to his potential.
“He also finds singles skating less interesting. Pairs skating has always been his favourite,” said Vicky Garneys.
Finding a suitable partner at his level is a difficult task. Women pairs skaters must be rather small, because they get thrown around. They also must be fearless, because pairs is the most dangerous discipline in skating, particular for the women.
As well, David lands his jumps on his left leg, so he needs to find a partner who lands and spins in the same direction he does.
“When you add all the politics of skating clubs and coaching to that, you can see how hard it really is to find a partner,” said Vicky Garneys.
There is another skater in Montreal who might be able to skate pairs with David, and he will probably find out this spring if it is a go. “Otherwise, this could be his final competition,” Vicky said “and he is really happy to have realised his goal for the year of qualifying for the Nationals as a senior skater,” Vicky said.
And he will have a proud contingency from Sharbot Lake on hand to cheer him on.