Welcome back to our series of profiles on Skate Canada’s officials assigned to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
Debbie Islam, from Barrie, Ontario, assigned to judge the men’s event, has been skating since she was two years old and is a former Canadian Junior Women’s Champion, the 1979 senior ladies bronze Medalist (a year in which she won the figures portion of the championship) and a member of Canada’s National Team for five years. Debbie trained under coaching greats Sheldon Galbraith, Ellen Burka, Kerry Leitch, Marjorie Black, Otto Gold and Osborne Colson. Debbie also started judging at a young age, getting involved while still competing. “It was a great opportunity to see things from a totally different perspective, which really helped my own skating at the time.”
While pursuing her university education, Debbie has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Health Science degree, she wanted to stay connected with figure skating as it was such a big part of her life. “I felt I had a lot to contribute and give back to a sport I am so passionate about!”
Debbie has judged internationally for 20 years during which time she has officiated at six ISU World Figure Skating Championships. Vancouver will be her second Olympic Winter Games; she judged the ladies event in Salt Lake City in 2002. Debbie is the current Chair of the Skate Canada Technical Officials Committee, was the first athlete representative on the Skate Canada Board of Directors, has sat on various committees in her section of Central Ontario and has served as a representative for figure skating on the Canadian Olympic Association Athletes’ Advisory Council.
Asked about the upcoming Olympics, Debbie says, “Words cannot describe how honored I feel to be assigned to judge at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver!! This will be the experience of a lifetime!”
If you are interested in becoming a Skate Canada official, contact your home section. Links to the websites of all Skate Canada sections, can be found on the Skate Canada web site http://www.skatecanada.ca/en/contact_us/