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Figure skating group alleges abuse at Burnaby training centre

A Metro Vancouver woman who trained to be a figure skater as a child told CTV News she was a victim of abuse for many years.

She is part of a group called Figure Skating for Change Canada, who have penned an open letter to Skate Canada and the Minister of Sport urging change.

CTV News has agreed not to reveal her identity because she is still a professional in the sport and fears retribution. We are calling her Skater A.

“For me it was physical, verbal, emotional and psychological,” said Skater A.

The letter alleges abuse by coaches at Champs International Skating Centre of B.C. in Burnaby. They include claims of unsafe training, being pushed and shoved, slander, bribery, body-shaming and being locked in a dressing room.

“The turmoil of the Canadian sports system has been an ongoing news story for over a year and sadly, we know our letter today will not be ‘new’ news,” the letter reads.

As a child, Skater A said she believed it was just something she had to endure to be part of the sport.

“To us it was normal to be yelled at. It was normal to feel terrified,” she said. “I felt I was always in fight or flight mode, like I was always in survival mode.”

Skate Canada has reviewed the letter and “is deeply troubled by the allegations.”

“We have had no previous contact with this group and have not received any complaints or any communications regarding the matters listed in the letter,” the organization wrote in a letter posted on its website.

Even so, it has referred the allegations to Skate-Safe, so it can be investigated by a third-party entity.

“Skate-Safe will review the information and determine if the matter should be redirected to Abuse-Free Sport and the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner,” reads Skate Canada’s statement.

“I think it’s a nation-wide crisis that the government needs to address, and needs to do something about it, because children are being harmed and this is causing years and years and years of damage,” said Skater A.

CTV News has reached out to Champs International in Burnaby for comment, and we are awaiting their response. Top Stories

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