Allow Synchronized Skaters to Train During Lockdown

Allow Synchronized Skaters to Train During Lockdown

3,003 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
Petition to
Lisa MacLeod (Minister of Sport)

Why this petition matters

Started by Sarah Vretenar

As of January 5th, 2022, under the new COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario, all indoor sports and gyms have been forced to close. Exceptions being for certain athletes that are considered “elite” or athletes training for the Olympics or Paralympics. Synchronized skaters all across Ontario are affected by these restrictions. Since synchronized figure skating is not yet in the Olympics, the provincial government does not view it as an elite sport. The amount of time us skaters spend training both in and out of the rink tells a different story. Most synchronized skating teams at the national and international levels skate between 12-25 hours a week - all while balancing school, a social life, and individually training to uphold personal skating skills. 

Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities have been closed with exemptions to athletes training for the Olympics or Paralympics. While many synchronized skaters at the national and international levels, will be the Olympic synchronized skating athletes when the sport is added to the Olympics. The youngest national synchronized skating athletes are the next future of our sport. 

While other sports including all other disciplines of figure skating at the national level are given the opportunity to keep training, synchronized skating is refused this same opportunity. While we watch other youth athletes our age continue training in their sport, we have had to put our season on hold, at the peak of our training season with national and international competitions coming up soon. After training solely on skills on and off for the last 2 years, this past year, we’ve finally had the opportunity to have a somewhat normal competition season. However, the new restrictions that were put in place by Premier Doug Ford and the Provincial Government have cancelled our upcoming competitions and practices. As the Omicron variant started to surge in Ontario, us synchronized skaters have been doing everything we can to make sure we could stay on the ice and keep training. Many of us haven’t seen our friends and family, in an effort to stay dedicated to keeping COVID-19 out of our rink. We’ve also been wearing masks on and off the ice, and doing rapid tests frequently to keep ourselves and each other safe. Our effort has worked as our team has been a safer environment than many of the pro leagues in the United States and Canada. COVID-19 has swept through many players on the pro teams, yet they have been able to continue playing unbothered. 

COVID-19 has impacted the lives of every single synchronized skater. Whether that be a young child who will someday be the next senior synchro skater, or the current senior skaters whose last year was cut short due to the pandemic. It affected all of us. The rink is our second home. Our happy place. When we’re skating, nothing else matters. You’re with your teammates and coaches and are all working towards one common goal. The satisfaction of coming off competition ice, feeling proud of the skate and knowing that all your hard work has paid off. A feeling that cannot be replaced. In March of 2020, we all lost that one feeling. The feeling that you had your place in the world, and that someone always had your back. Regaining that feeling was like a breath of fresh air in a world that at points seems suffocating. 

These COVID restrictions are impacting those who, in the government's eyes, are not seen as elite athletes. The synchronized skating community is not that big. If you could share this petition with someone, anything helps. Ontario Provincial Government, by closing rinks, you’ve taken a part of our hearts, the one that connects us all. We are asking to have our second home given back to us.

Katie M. and Sarah V. 

with the entire synchronized skating community



3,003 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!