Tuesday, 17/7/2018 | : : UTC-7
Skate Today

Stanbra Switches from Swimming to Skating

Cole Stanbra

Canada’s Cole Stanbra, who turns 20 on January 10, started his competitive career in the water, not on top of its frozen surface. “I was a competitive swimmer,” he said. “I swam in mostly regional events. I won the best male fly stroke in my region and went on to compete at provincials two years in a row in 1995 and 1996. I also played soccer, baseball, volleyball, and hockey. I was five years old when I started hockey. I only played competitively for one year. But I loved watching skaters like Elvis and Kurt on TV competing. I also loved spinning and jumping off the ice at an early age.”

He didn’t begin skating until he was eleven, but loved the sport right away. “I love being able to please an audience,” Stanbra stated. “I also love the speed and freedom I get when I’m on the ice.” He was also a fast learner, landing his first triple within three years, a triple loop. “I have always liked edge jumps more,” Stanbra said. “My favorite jump is most certainly the triple loop. I landed my first triple loop when I was in pre-novice, 14 years old.”

“I have both Eileen Murphy and Gennady Kaskov coaching me,” he said. “I was coached by Joanne McLeod from 2000-2003, and then switched to Eileen and Gennady for the 2004 season. He trains at the BC Centre of Excellence in Burnaby, British Columbia. “I train fifteen hours a week on ice and five hours a week off ice,” he said. Among his off ice classes are Pilates, hip-hop, and ballet, which he began when he was 14. He also runs a lot.

Kaskov and Nancy Kaldani choreograph his programs, although he does some of his own choreography. “My coach usually gives me a wide variety of music to listen to during the spring,” Stanbra said. “I then pick what I like and we usually go from there. It’s usually something that has a bit of classical and modern style in it. It changes each year though. I love all kinds of music.” All of his programs are new for this season. He is using “Warsaw Concerto” for the short, “Forever Tango” for the long and “The Impossible Dream” for exhibitions.

“I chose these pieces because I can really feel the music, and skate to the best of my ability,” Stanbra stated. “I have to absolutely love my program music in order to perform well to it. I do usually get two new programs each year, although this season we decided to stick with my short program from last season. I have always loved making up different steps and turns and having fun with programs. I do have an excellent choreographer that helps me as well.”

Off ice, he loves listening to Rufus, Jack Johnson, Cake, Sarah Slean, ACDC, and Guns and Roses. He played the piano himself when he was younger. Among the other things Stanbra does to relax are going downtown with friends, watching movies, reading good books, and playing other sports. He likes suspense, horror and comedy films and enjoys reading books by Anne-Marie Macdonald, Stephen King, and Eden Robinson. He also collects skating pins and has a cat named Bean. “I love traveling,” he added. “My favorite trip was going to Phoenix, Arizona in 2002 for the North American Challenge. I also loved going to Mexico with my family. I want to go to Norway.”

After graduating as an honor roll student from Stanley Humphries Secondary School in June 2003, Stanbra is in his first year at Douglas College, where he hopes to earn a degree in criminology.

This is Stanbra’s first year in seniors, after finishing eighth in juniors last year. After finishing third in the British Columbia Sectionals, he has realistic goals for the remainder of the season. “I would like to go to Canadians and gain the experience I need competing in my first senior year,” he said. “I would love to become a Canadian champion in the future and compete for Canada internationally.”

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Skate Today was created in November 2004 to showcase the people of the skating world, skaters and coaches and others, who make figure skating and ice dancing a pleasure to watch for fans from around the world. The goal was to create a site that would give viewers an insight into the personalities of the people involved in this sport and to give you a more personal connection when watching them live at an event or on the television. Our staff knows how much time and dedication is put into this sport and that's why Skate Today was created.

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