Initially learning in hockey skates, Evelyn began skating at the age of 2 with the idea that she would play ringette.
“One day I was at my weekly CanSkate session and I saw girls on the other ice surface doing jumps and spins and I told my parents that’s exactly what I want I wanted to do. A few weeks later I was in my first pair of figure skates and the rest is history.”
Her entry into pairs skating wasn’t a very typical journey.
“I was a 15-year-old singles skater when the idea [of skating pairs] was first presented by my coaches. I thought it was worth a try since I loved doing head-bangers and lifts in our annual ice show and I got to skate with my best friend at the rink, who was Trennt Michaud; they told me we could re-evaluate in a couple of weeks.”
After only six short weeks, Evelyn and Trennt competed at their first international Grand Prix assignment in Tallinn, Estonia. The following week they competed in Dresden, Germany where they placed 5th. Later that year (2017), they proceeded to win Junior Nationals and placed 5th at Junior World in Taipei.
“I don’t fully remember that season as most of my energy was focused towards remembering how to do each element since it was drastically different for singles. The ongoing joke now at the rink is that the supposed ‘check-in’ a couple of weeks into [training] pairs that was supposed to happen to see if I was enjoying it never really occurred, but I think my constant smile every day answered it!”
Today, the pair train in Brantford, Ontario and represent Canada in senior pairs.
Q: Who was your skating ‘role-model’ when you were younger?
“Tessa Virtue because of her maturity and ability to create an admirable balance between skating ‘normal life’.”
Q: What is your favourite type of off-ice training?
“I love running on trails along the water with a great playlist but also find great enjoyment in yoga and stretching in silence.”
Q: What is your favourite element in skating?
“I love a lot of the elements but my favourite is probably throws because of that feeling of satisfaction when you land a perfect throw; it’s [indescribable].
Q: Least favourite?
“Death spirals. In my first year skating pairs, it was a victory if we got a base level and not an ‘invalid element’. It took several years and I’m still working on it!”
Q: Do you do any type of visualization or meditation?
“I am constantly visualizing elements and our program throughout our whole season as I find it to be the most effective and successful method.”
Q: How do you cope with competing in high pressure situations?
“I try to keep my mind quiet during those important moments but our coach always tells us to trust our training and enjoy these moments.”
Q: Did you ever endure some type of adversity in your career?
“A journey that I am constantly trying to navigate is balancing education with sport. My parents have always expressed the importance of school within my life and the reminder that there is life after skating.”
“I have always enjoyed school as it provides me with an outlet that requires my entire focus, removing my brain from constantly thinking about skating but it hasn’t come easy. From taking half in-person [courses] to fully online, summer school, moving schools, taking exams at competitions and into university, the journey has been far from linear and filled with plenty of trial and error but is certainly possible.”
“The challenging part is that there is no set road map to follow and it can be intimidating as an athlete trying to navigate it. By taking it a semester at a time, it can be done successfully and reveal endless possibilities during and post sport.”
“Skating has taught me extensive time management skills balancing sport, school, family and friends along with learning when to take time for myself.”
A perfect example is even in the completion of this questionnaire! Evelyn notes that she was riding in a car driving through the mountains in Banff, Alberta.
“We are here on a family trip soaking in my last break until our season begins.”
… talk about balance!
Q: What keeps you motivated on ‘rough’ training days?
“Trennt and my training mates tend to keep me motivated when I’m not fully feeling it. We train with a great group of hard-working athletes who inspire me every day both on and off the ice.”
Citing their 2019 qualification for the World Championships as her most recognizable achievement within skating, Evelyn cites that there were several factors her and Trennt had to overcome that season both physically and mentally.
“The odds weren’t always in our favour that season, therefore, we had to rely heavily on each other, our training and the team surrounding us, making that qualification the most gratifying.”
Q: What is it that you love most about skating?
“I love the ability to tell a story and connect a feeling through movement without using a single word.”
Q: What is your favourite skating memory?
“Qualifying for my first Canadian Nationals in 2015 as a singles skater as it was my first national competition.”
Q: What is your ultimate goal with skating?
“My ultimate goal with skating is to make it to the Olympic games. Right now we are focused on Beijing 2022 and earning one of those two spots.”
Q: What is one piece of advice that you have for young skaters?
“There is no certain path or time frame you must follow [to reach certain goals or overcome] obstacles by. We are all on our own journey so embrace your own story.”
If you weren’t a skater…
“I think I would try gymnastics or cheerleading. I have always been fascinated by the body’s ability to be so strong when completing flips and being thrown while making it look effortless.”
Evelyn also attended a music school growing up, which fostered her love for all types of music.
“Leading to great dance parties and some less great singing.”
Currently majoring in Psychology, Evelyn will be entering into her second year at Wilfrid Laurier University in the fall.
“I would love to explore sport psychology deeper and eventually assist athletes of all sports to reach their dreams.”
She also hopes to travel to Italy someday to try some pizza and pasta.
Lastly, hat does it mean to you to have a #ChampionshipMindset?
“I believe mindset is everything and has the power to affect all aspects of life. By having a #ChampionshipMindset, I have the ability to control all of my thoughts and feelings and by doing so, I feel unstoppable.”