City of Residence: Toronto
Michael Slipchuk was born in Edmonton and displayed a passion for sport from an early age. He grew up in the Ukrainian community and participated in CYMK, served as an altar boy at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Sobor and danced with the ensemble Zirka.
Michael became involved in figure skating to improve his skating skills for hockey, however in time realized his desire to jump higher and spin faster. And so Michael began his training in figure skating.
In 1986, Michael won the Canadian Junior Men’s Title followed by a bronze medal in 1987 at the Canadian Senior Men’s Championships. He was named to the 1987 World Team along with Canadian Senior Men’s Champion Brian Orser and Kurt Browning. Michael was proud of his Ukrainian heritage and with the help of world renowned choreographer Sandra Bezic, they created a Ukrainian skating program using the music of the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers and competed with that program at the 1988 Canadian Senior Men’s Figure Skating Championships. Michael competed in 4 more World Figure Skating Championships, representing Canada with his highest placement of 7th in Munich, Germany in 1991.
In January 1992, Michael captured the gold medal at the Canadian Senior Men’s Championships with the skate of his life that brought the audience to their feet. The pinnacle of Michael’s competitive figure skating career came in 1992, when Michael represented Canada at the Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France placing 9th. Following the Olympics, Michael announced his retirement and moved into coaching and performing with the touring show “Stars on Ice”.
In 1995, Michael became head coach at the Glencoe Club in Calgary and for the next 10 years developed the skills and talents of young skaters with several competing nationally and internationally. Because of his contribution to the sport of figure skating and his personal accomplishments both as a competitive skater and coach, Michael was inducted into the City of Edmonton Hall of Fame in 2001.
The 2002 Olympic Games Sale-Pelletier scoring scandal in Salt Lake City resulted in a reorganization of the judging structure where Michael played an integral part. Michael was recognized for his knowledge and positive reputation in the sport and became one of the first “technical specialists” who assesses the skater’s elements. He served as a technical specialist at several international competitions including 2005 in Moscow, 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy and the 2006 World Championships in Calgary.
In 2007, Michael accepted the position of Director of High Performance for Skate Canada. Michael is responsible for identifying talent in young skaters throughout Canada, secures funding, monitors progress of National Team members and assigns figure skaters to represent Canada in international competitions.
This past year, Michael was the team leader for the 2010 Canadian Olympic Figure Skating team where our skaters captured the hearts of all in addition to gold and bronze medals. Michael is highly respected and regarded in the field of figure skating throughout Canada and the world and continues to contribute the sport he loves.