Former world champion and Oshawa Skating Club celebrate major milestones

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Published April 5, 2023 at 1:55 pm

Photo courtesy Neighbour Today Oshawa

The Oshawa Skating Club celebrated their 85th anniversary Saturday with a Carnival Ice Show with their most famous student – former World Figure Skating Champion Don Jackson – on hand to help launch the event and celebrate his own milestone.

Jackson turned 83 years young the following day.

The theme of the anniversary event was ‘Bring Back the Fun’ and skaters of all ages and abilities, ranging in age from two to 25, performed choreographed segments at the Campus Ice Centre event in north Oshawa that wove together the ‘fun’ theme in a display that organizers called “spectacular.”

Thousands of young people in Oshawa and surrounding area have learned to skate at the club over the years through the Learn to Skate programs (now called CanSkate). The Oshawa Skating Club now operates out of the Campus Ice Centre on the Durham College/Ontario Tech University grounds and the Delpark Homes Centre.

The club was formed just before the Second World War, two years before Jackson was born and 24 years before the celebrated singles figure skater, representing Canada and the Oshawa club, won the gold medal at the World Championships in Prague in 1962, in what was then known as Czechoslovakia.

He landed the first triple lutz in competition and recorded seven perfect scores for a record-breaking total.

Jackson, who learned to skate at the club, also won a bronze medal for Canada at the 1960 Olympic Games in Squaw Valley, USA.

He reflected on his career and offered some words of encouragement to the skaters before lacing up his own signature pair of ‘Jackson Skates’ – one of the most popular brands in the world – and showing the audience he still had some moves.

Jackson was a four time Canadian champion and became a member of the Order of Canada in 1997. He has also been inducted in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame and skated professionally with the Ice Follies after his amateur career ended.

He later helped found the Minto Skating Club in Ottawa before returning to Oshawa and the Oshawa Skating Club with his wife Barbara in 2010.

Donald Jackson

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