SARASOTA, Fla. (Sept. 04, 2019) – Pairs figure skater Amanda Evora competed at the highest levels in the Olympics and World Figure Skating Championships, but she admits to still feeling some jitters when it comes to Battle of the Blades, the Canadian reality-TV skating competition.
“It’s important for the charities we’re competing for and as an athlete I always want to do my best,” said the two-time U.S. pairs silver medalist and USF Sarasota-Manatee alum ’12.
The program matches figure skaters with hockey players in a seven-week figure skating competition on CBC Television in Canada. In the show’s most recent season in 2013, Evora and 17-year NHL veteran Scott Thornton won the competition to earn $100,000 for their charity, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Now, Battle of the Blades is back on CBC and Evora is again scheduled to compete. Training for three weeks, the teams will take to the ice for the first live show on Sept. 19. Evora left for Toronto last week. She won’t learn about her skating partner until both arrive at training camp. To repeat as champion, she’ll need to excel at both figure skating and coaching.
“Although they are professional hockey players and have skated their whole life, figure skating is completely different and they’ll need to learn a whole new way of skating,” said Evora, who coaches full-time at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex in Manatee County.
Evora retired from competitive skating in 2012, having achieved silver medals (2010, 2011) and a bronze medal (2012) at the U.S. Figure Skating Champions with skating partner Mark Ladwig.
After retiring, she remained involved in figure skating as a coach alongside her former coach and mentor, Jim Peterson. With Peterson, she coached pairs team Felicia Zhang and Nate Bartholomay to the 2014 Olympics, and in January 2016 she returned to the U.S. Nationals as part of the coaching team for Tarah Kayne and Daniel O’Shea, who won gold in pairs skating.
A dedicated athlete who finished tenth at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver – the highest score among Team USA pair skaters – Evora said she can’t help but feel some competitive nerves as the CBC show approaches. She wants to perform her best, but her top priority remains raising money for breast cancer research.
“The Olympics were definitely the highlight of my career, but this is right near the top,” she said. “My mother fought this disease and won, so this program matters a lot to me. It showed me that, in a direct way, skating really can make a difference in the world. I’m excited and honored to be a part of this program again.”
U.S. viewers can watch the competition through CBC Player, https://www.cbc.ca/player/, but first will need to download and install a VPN service to remove geo-restrictions.
For more about Battle of the Blades, visit https://www.cbc.ca/mediacentre/program/battle-of-the-blades.
To learn more about USF Sarasota-Manatee, visit http://sar.usfsm.edu/.