Chatham-Kent’s Olivia Stallaert, Making CK Proud
Chatham-Kent sends athletes across Ontario, Canada, and the globe each year to compete athletically.
Sponsored by baCK to Chatham-Kent, we’ll be featuring local athletes who have left Chatham-Kent, and are proudly representing our community. We hope many of these athletic ambassadors for our community someday come baCK to call Chatham-Kent home.
This week, we feature Chatham’s Olivia Stallaert.
Stallaert has been one of Chatham-Kent’s top figure skaters for the past decade. Now, she is competing with the University of Guelph Gryphons figure skating team, winning OUA bronze medal this season. Stallaert was also named Guelph’s figure skating MVP.
Here are Olivia Stallaert’s responses to our baCK to Chatham-Kent athletes interview:
1. Can you describe what support you’ve felt from your hometown/Chatham-Kent while you’ve been away?
Whenever I return home for a visit, many people ask me how I am doing, how school is going and how varsity skating is going. Especially when I return to the Chatham Skating Club for a visit or to skate, I am greeted with open arms and well wishes. My family supports my skating by coming to the varsity competitions. CKSN has covered some of my accomplishments too, while skating for U of Guelph.
2. What do you enjoy about coming home to visit?
I enjoy coming home to see family and friends, along with some good home cooked meals too. I enjoy going back to the club to see my previous coaches, younger skaters and parents. I also like to attend the bootcamp fitness class that I participate in. Lastly I look forward to employment in the summer, to sustain me for my school year.
3. Would you consider making Chatham-Kent home again some day?
I would definitely consider making Chatham-Kent home again in the future. I love how when I am home, no matter where I am, I see a friendly face that I can either say Hi to or get caught up with. I think having such a small and supportive community is an amazing thing to grow up with. I have started on my pathway to coaching in the sport that I have participated in since I was young. Perhaps if I come back to Chatham-Kent I would consider coaching and giving back to the sport and my community.
4. What advice would you give to young athletes baCK home in Chatham-Kent?
My advice to a young CK athlete would be to work hard and persevere. It’s easy to get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results, but slow and steady wins the race. Aim for high goals, declare them to yourself and work hard to achieve them, but if you don’t, you shouldn’t beat yourself up, knowing you worked as hard as you possibly could have. I personally was on the ice 6 days a week. Before school and after school. I never made it to the Olympics, but I am satisfied with my work ethic and my achievements, which has given me the opportunity now to skate at the varsity level. Varsity has definitely been my favourite stage in my whole journey in the sport and overall an amazing experience. My hard work in skating has transferred into other areas of my life and it will with any athlete who works hard.