North Coast home-grown ice talent Carly Edwards from Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert takes centre ice on TV competition show Battle of the Blades Wednesday nights at 8 p.m., with her partner NHL partner Chris Versteeg. (Photo supplied)

North Coast home-grown ice talent Carly Edwards from Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert takes centre ice on TV competition show Battle of the Blades Wednesday nights at 8 p.m., with her partner NHL partner Chris Versteeg. (Photo supplied)

Local figure skater spotlights on TV show’s centre ice

Prince Rupert's Carly Edwards is featured on TV competition show Battle of the Blades

  • Oct. 29, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Prince Rupert figure skater Carly Edwards star is shining on centre ice as she competes on the television competition show ‘Battle of the Blades’ on Thursday nights.

Edwards, who grew up in Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert, is partnered with NHL hockey player Kris Versteeg on the reality series where hockey players are teamed up with figure skaters.

The second episode of the seven-show series aired on Oct. 29, with the skating team needing hometown supportive votes. North Coast residents can watch on CBC channel 61, 173, or 174.

“We are the underdogs of the competition,” Edwards told The Northern View, “The voting window is open until 12 p.m. with viewers voting as many times as they like. We are trying to amp up votes. We need to keep getting through.”

There are eight skating teams in the T.V. competition with a double elimination occurring in Week 5. Voters can vote online with a valid Canadian postal code.

READ MORE: North Coast figure skater to star in Dancing On Ice

“It has been awesome on the show,” she said which is filmed in Toronto, with competitors aiming to win $100,000 for a charity of their choice. Edwards is skating for Big Brothers/Big sister of Calgary and Lethbridge.

“(My charity) has a special meaning to it because I believe all youth should have a mentor in their lives … I was really lucky to have Nicole (Rumley) my figure skating coach from Prince Rupert be my mentor from the time I was ten until now.”

Edwards said while living in Calgary she met a very special girl who was going through a hard time with COVID, just as she was. They ended up unofficially doing the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.

“It all kind of fell into place really where I have to represent this charity because I’ve always had mentors in my life … The girl I met is so special. She really saved me this summer. We were each other angels, that’s for sure.”

“It’s really important … Girls today are really insecure about their dreams. I believe all youth need to pursue their dreams, she said. “I didn’t realize this was a dream ­ that Battle of the Blades was even attainable. I think if you just go for it with no expectation and put the work in a focus and visually believe that you can do this, it is a great thing will happen.”

I have always just put one foot in front of the other through any storm I have been through and I was able to weather the battles all on my own.”

The skating star who fell in love with the sport said she used to practice all the moves in her living room in Haida Gwaii, where there is no rink. Rollerblades were the solution and she would scout out the smoothest roads and surfaces to lunge and spiral. When the family moved to Prince Rupert she took to the ice like a duck to water.

Most recently Edwards was working on Dancing on Ice in London, Eng., the T.V. creation by Christopher Dean and Jane Torvill where professional skaters teach celebrities how to figure skate. She made it to the semi-finals on the show.

After two seasons on the show and a change in circumstance, she was resetting her compass point to find her way home when COVID-19 hit.

“I truly didn’t think I would step on the ice again, and that brought me to a deep sad depression. With the COVID I didn’t think I would be going back to the UK. I’m not personally ready to go back.”

“On my way home, back to Prince Rupert I stopped in Calgary to visit my sister … lockdown happened and I was stuck in Calgary, which ended up being the best thing for me. I do love Prince Rupert, but there is something about being in a new city and pressing restart with my life. Getting my feet back on the ground is really special.”

She said she got a job in a family bakery and stayed in Calgary because she knew the rinks would re-open. “

“I’m obsessed with skating. It’s all I know. It’s all I’ve done for the past 13 years professionally. I needed to get on the ice,” she said.

After a few days she called a producer friend on Battle of the Blades to put out feelers.

“I put videos together, I got my resume done. I got my story all organized and I filmed myself … like they would on the show. They were really interested in the fact that I was born and raised in Haida Gwaii.”

Several weeks later she got an email offering her a spot on the show. Edwards references the Will Smith film ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ where at the end the stars align for him, his hard work has paid off and he is overjoyed.

“That moment when I got the job with Battle of the Blades, was my Pursuit of Happiness moment. I nearly passed out … I was jumping up and down and crying.”

“My vulnerability paid off … I never thought I’d be sharing the ice with skating gods and Olympians, ” Edwards said about the Battle of the Blades team who have welcomed her so warmly. “It makes me pretty emotional.”

READ MORE: Heart of Our City: It’s not work when you love your job… all three of them


 

K-J Millar | Journalist 

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