World figure skating champion Meagan Duhamel believes strongly in giving back to the sport she loves.
Duhamel and her partner Eric Radford won back-to-back world championships in 2015 and 2016. They helped Canada win a gold medal in the team event at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang.
They officially retired after the games in Korea.
“The time was right,” said Duhamel, who is now a full-time figure skating coach.
The 34-year-old Sudbury native says she and her partner accomplished everything they set out to do.
“I think Eric would agree that we did even more than we expected,” Duhamel said.
“We knew our performance at the 2018 Olympics would be our last. We left everything on the ice and won a bronze. An injury didn’t force us to retire. Poor results didn’t force us to retire. No misfortune pushed us into retirement. We just knew the time was right to move on to other things.”
Duhamel is now coaching young skaters to be the best they can be. She recently stopped off at the Lou Jeffries Arena in Gananoque to conduct some seminars for skaters in the region.
“I really love going around and doing seminars and skating workshops. Hopefully, I can be a source of inspiration for the kids to keep working hard and striving to reach their potential. The kids are here because they love to skate. I try to pass along some knowledge and experience I’ve learned over the years.”
Duhamel is just starting her new career as a figure skating coach and admits she is not an expert in that area.
“I have a lot to learn as a coach but as a skater, I believe I have the knowledge and expertise to pass along to the next generation of skaters. I believe in having fun but also setting standards and rules.
That’s important for their stability and growth as human beings and not just as skaters. I aggressively drive that home while trying to keep everything light and fun at the same time.”