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PODCAST: Former world figure skating champ Victor Kraatz back coaching in B.C.

TODAY IN B.C.: Skater spent 3 years in Finland teaching hockey players about power and efficiency

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On this edition of Today in BC, host Peter McCully talks with Victor Kraatz, the former champion figure skater. Kraatz retired after winning the 2003 World Figure Skating Championships with his partner, Shae-Lynn Bourne.

I had achieved the goal, I was world champion, we went three times to the Olympic Games and during those last two Olympic Games we placed fourth - so for me, that was a failure,” said Kraatz.

The former Vancouver Islander added: “I failed at my task, I wanted to, if not be Olympic champion, I wanted to be top three and that didn’t materialize.”

After coaching both figure skating and hockey skating skills in Vancouver, Kraatz was given a contract to help develop players for Jokerit, a Finnish hockey club.

Kraatz and his family were living in Finland when Russia invaded Ukraine.

“The KHL being the Kontinental Hockey League the counterpart to the NHL, the moment Russia invaded Ukraine, the Finnish government stepped in and said, ‘we don’t want you to be training here in Finland, we will confiscate the arena,’” said Kraatz.

The Jokerit club had three players who were coached by Kraatz that were selected in the 2022 NHL entry draft.

Joakim Kemell was taken 17th overall by the Nashville Predators, while Miko Matikka was drafted 67th overall by the Arizona Coyotes and Santeri Sulku in the seventh round by the Philadelphia Flyers.

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Peter McCully

About the Author: Peter McCully

Peter has been a broadcaster and publisher on both of Canada’s coasts and has owned a small newspaper and run an advertising agency along the way.
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