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Canadian figure skater Elladj Baldé coming to Sunshine Coast ice

Sunshine Coast Skating Club presents two ice showcases March 11
Elladj Baldé is joining local skaters for the March 11 Sunshine Coast Skate Club showcase.

As Sunshine Coast ice skaters prepare for their first showcase in years, they are excited to be joined by performances from two world-class Canadian skaters. 

Renowned figure skaters Elladj Baldé and the Coast’s own Beres Clements are set to perform as featured guests in the Sunshine Coast Skating Club’s showcase on March 11. 

Andrea Watson, president of the Sunshine Coast Skating Club (SCSC), told Coast Reporter attendees are in for an “electric” set of performances. 

Baldé holds the Guinness Book of World Records for backflipping over five people on ice in 2022 — the longest recorded backflip on ice at 20 feet. Naturally, the SCSC skaters want to see his famous backflips.

Watson said Baldé is known for his freeskating. On TikTok and Instagram, Baldé’s videos of skating on wild ice set to popular music have captured the attention of celebrities and millions of fans. 

“He’s a phenomenal skater” in terms of his abilities, Watson said, but “he’s made skating fit his world instead of vice versa.”

Baldé began skating at seven years old. Since then, he won several national junior titles before competing internationally. He retired from competition and the Canadian national team in 2018 after a series of concussions. Now, Baldé’s shows on ice are enjoyed around the world and he has also appeared on two seasons of Battle of the Blades. A Canadian with parents from Russia and Guinea, Baldé’s co-founded the Figure Skating Diversity and Inclusion Alliance, and started the Skate Global Foundation with his wife, Michelle Dawley.

While Baldé did not have time to do a seminar for SCSC skaters, Watson said he generously offered to skate with some of the higher level skaters. She said he is an inspiration to the club’s skaters, as an incredible skater and performer but also for his attitude toward inclusivity. 

The showcase will also see the return of Beres Clements to local ice, who started his skating career with the SCSC. He is now a five-time provincial champion, the current 2023 Senior Mens Champion and has represented Canada for five years (earning three international medals in the process). 

After a few hard years, and limited on-ice opportunities from seminars to competitions, Watson said the showcase is something fun and inspiring for local skaters to look forward to. 

“It's just really nice for the skating club to showcase their talents because they've not been able to do that for a few years,” she added.

The two ice shows will be held on March 11 at the Gibsons Area Community Centre, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. There are 700 tickets available for each show. 

Coasters will also have the opportunity to meet Elladj Baldé at a meet and greet. The ticketed event will be held at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 10 at the Gibsons Public Market and includes a burger and drink.