Ice dancer, Victor Kraatz, was one of four inducted into the Skate Canada BC / YK Section of the Hall of Fame on May 2, 2015 at the Annual Awards Banquet held at the Delta Burnaby Hotel in Vancouver, BC.
Television analyst and 1988 Olympic bronze medalist, Tracy Wilson, and BC Section Executive Director, Ted Barton, hosted the event.
Kraatz shared the evening with his wife, Maikki, sons Oliver and Henry, and mother, Dagmar, who in a prerecorded video spoke about how her son had become involved in the skating world.
A Riverdance video montage caused a thunderous cheer and eruption of clapping to the beat of the familiar music.
The final video highlighted Kraatz and his partner Shae-Lynn Bourne’s journey that spanned a dozen years and included gold medals in 10 Canadians, 3 Four Continents, 2 GPFs and the 2003 World Championships, which was the first in ice dancing for North America.
With a room full of cheers and a standing ovation, an emotion-filled Victor Kraatz headed to the podium sharing hugs on his way with Tracy Wilson and presenters, BC figure skaters, Jeremy Ten and Nicole Orford.
Awards were also presented to skaters, coaches, officials and volunteers.
Victor Kraatz was born in West Berlin, Germany (1971) and lived in Switzerland before moving to Canada with his mother. He teamed up with Shae-Lynn Bourne in 1991. The team popularized the figure skating move of hydroblading, where they leaned so deep on their edges to be almost parallel to the ice. The adaptation of authentic Irish step dancing in their 1997-1998 Riverdance routine was a break away from the more dramatic programs and left a lasting stamp on ice dancing.
“If you want to make a difference in sport, you’ve always got to push the envelope,” voiced Kraatz.
Victor Kraatz is currently a hockey-specific skating instructor in North Vancouver, British Columbia.