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World Figure Skating Championships, Ottawa, 1984

In the spring of 1980, Dianne and I became friends when we happened to meet while pushing baby carriages in our suburban Toronto neighborhood. But we soon learned that we had much more in common than just geography and baby sons; we both loved the sport of figure skating.

In March, 1984, along with our husbands, we attended our first major figure skating competition together. What luck – the World Figure Skating Championships took place in Ottawa that year, within a four-hour drive of home! The two couples became absolutely hooked on the thrill of watching live figure skating – its beauty, athleticism, heartbreak, and joy.

While we were in Ottawa, we joined up with another couple from our same Toronto suburb, and soon afterward a fourth couple completed the group. In total, the eight of us have traveled to 12 Skate Canadas, 1 Skate America, 3 Grand Prix finals, 3 Canadian championships, and 5 world championships.  Remarkably, despite having to juggle our family and work obligations, we have attended 24 competitions in 27 years, with more on the horizon.

It has been a wild ride for this group of otherwise very ordinary adults – business people, software professionals, and teachers – especially when we got the crazy idea of creating a name and logo for our group and designing matching sweatshirts. Officially, we’re the Canadian SpecSkaters, but we are known far and wide as the Pink People, for obvious reasons! In our quest to attend as many live skating competitions as possible, we’ve traveled across Canada and the US, we’ve met skaters and broadcasters, we’ve been interviewed in the newspapers and on the radio, and our story and photos were even featured in a book about figure skating.

And it all started with this one little ticket stub in 1984.

Gilda Spitz
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada


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