Skate Canada removes gendered terms like “man” and “woman” in competition as part of its commitment to “non-discrimination based on gender identity”

Skate Canada says they will be updating the definition of a “team” for pair and ice dance teams, which the “previous definition of ‘team’ was one woman and one man.”

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Skate Canada says that the previous definition of a “team” was “one woman and one man.”

Skate Canada says that this previous “definition was inconsistent with Skate Canada’s vision of Skating for Everyone and Skate Canada’s commitment to non-discrimination, including non-discrimination based on gender identity.

Skate Canada says that this “recommendation was developed by the Skate Canada Equity Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (EDIA) Operating Committee and unanimously endorsed by the committee in July 2022. In September 2022, the motion was presented to the Skate Canada Board of Directors and was unanimously passed.”

The President of Skate Canada Karen Butcher argues, “By updating the definition of team, many individuals in the figure skating community in Canada will have new opportunities to embrace the sport. This change is about removing barriers to participation in skating, and we believe it will have a significant impact in ensuring all gender identities are recognised and accepted equally and without prejudice,”.

“It has been a privilege to work with the Skate Canada Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Operating Committee and push forward this proposal to update the definition of “Team” to include all pairings of gender identities,” said Kaitlyn Weaver, EDIA member and Olympian said in Skate Canada’s press release. 

Scott Moir a coach for Skate Canada says, “It was necessary for the ice dance and pair world to change their definition of team from a man and a woman to just two people skating together, however they identify. Many colleagues and I have pushed for this change and are excited that Skate Canada has taken action to make skating more accessible,”. 

Moir added: “Our craft is a mixture of athleticism and art and because of this we have a unique opportunity for a level playing field unlike any other sport, regardless of how individuals identify. This change will push the sport forward in many ways with the creation of new and interesting work from athletes that now can perform together.”

The new terms instead of ‘woman’ and ‘man’, will be either ‘skater A’ and ‘skater B’, ‘lifted partner’ and ‘lifting partner’ as well as ‘follow’ and ‘lead’ may be used in place.

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