Battle of the Blades

The marriage between hockey legends and competitive figure skaters makes for interesting television.

If you haven’t heard about the new CBC show Battle of the Blades I suggest you get up to speed. CBC has me tuning in each week to watch  some of the former greats of the National Hockey League pair skate with the most skillful and talented figure skaters of our time. This is perfect for someone like me because I have always enjoyed watching competitive skating and have maintained a long love affair with hockey.

In front of a live audience at Maple Leaf Gardens, the opportunity to see people we admire in both sports and good old fashion competition, heats up the ice. This is a brilliant concept, a reality show that is open for men, women and children to watch. Canada is rich in talent in both of these sports and this pays tribute in its own way to those that have previously dedicated their life to pursuing their dream in hockey or ice skating.

Competition is good! We have long been trying to beat this out of our system and I can tell you, keeping score is what also makes this show fun. This is a good example of healthy competition, it helps improve the performances and provides a good example of how one can step out of their comfort zone to try something new.

Did any of these NHL’ers ever think that the dance they would be doing in the future would not involve, finessing around someone to score a goal or dropping their gloves? No. None of them knew they had this in them and so they are good examples of using skills in a different way and being open to learning.

For the figure skaters who are helping to train these ex-hockey players, they must exercise patience. These women and the choreographers are not dealing with equally gifted and trained ice skaters so there certainly must be a high level of trust. Hour upon hour they work toward a goal, to enjoy the experience, stay in the competition and raise money for their charity. Yes, did I mention the charities? This is what takes this program to another “special” level, each pair has chosen a charity to represent. Only good can come from that, whether it be money or exposure.

I tune in to watch, relax, cheer and voice my inexpert opinion. I also tune in because I realized there is more to this show than voting at the end of each competition for our favourite pair. It is about pushing your own perceived physical and mental boundaries, trying something you never thought you would, raising your self confidence, partnership and trust, competition, unity and charity. Now that’s a well packaged show!

Battle of the Blades

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