âShe’s always there to cheer on everyone, she works hard and she’s just a positive spirit for everyone,â said longtime Carea coach Wilkie-Ellis.
An Orillia figure skater received the 2020/21 Spirit Award from Skate Ontario.
Carlea Wilkie-Ellis, a graduate of Patrick Fogarty Catholic High School, is this year’s award recipient after working tirelessly on and off the ice to become a better skater during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 29-year-old Special Olympics athlete was nominated for the award by fellow skater and her coach, Tracey Zwiers. The Spirit Award is intended to honor a skater who has worked hard, is highly decorated and is dedicated to his craft.
Zwiers says Wilkie-Ellis always arrives at the rink with a positive attitude and always cheers on the other skaters at the Orillia Figure Skating Club.
âShe’s always there to cheer on everyone, she works hard and she’s just a positive spirit for everyone,â she said.
Zwiers says Wilkie-Ellis has continuously improved.
âCarlea always works hard on her tasks and she’s always motivated to keep moving up the ranks. I think it’s her positivity and love for skating that has helped her win awards like this in the process. road, âshe said.
Wilkie-Ellis says she was blown away when she found out she had won this year’s Spirit Award; she said it was unexpected.
âI was really surprised to receive this award. I’m very excited, âsaid Wilkie-Ellis.
Wilkie-Ellis has been in figure skating since the age of four. She has won domestic competitions, competed in South Korea where she won an international silver medal in 2017, and is preparing to compete in international competitions again in four years.
âI like to meet new friends and participate in competitions,â she said.
During the pandemic, Wilkie-Ellis was kept away from the ice and his passion for long periods of time.
When away from the ice, Wilkie-Ellis enjoys staying in shape and keeping her skills up to date by training at Orillia Sports Medicine. She is expected to return to the ice next month when skating programs resume at Wasaga Beach.
âI’m really excited for the coming season. I miss the daily training, competing and seeing my friends, âsaid Wilkie-Ellis.
Wilkie-Ellis is a multisport athlete. She competed in national soccer, provincial swimming and was scheduled to compete in provincial basketball competitions before the pandemic disrupted all Special Olympic competitions.
âIt’s important for me to stay in shape, and I love the social aspect of playing sports – that’s what I love the most,â she said.
âCOVID has been difficult to stay active due to the lack of activities so I’m happy to resume skating next monthâ¦ I’m ready. “