Team Canada has changed the definition of team in a recent move to commit to nondiscrimination based on gender identity.
Ice dances and pairs will no longer be defined as a traditional man-woman team, they will now be referred to as a “team consisting of two skaters.”
President of Skate Canada Karen Butcher believes that “by updating the definition of team, many individuals in the figure skating community in Canada will have new opportunities to embrace the sport.”
Apparently “it was necessary for the ice dance and pair world to change their definition of team from a man and a woman to just two people skating together, however they identify,” says Skate Canada coach and Olympic Champion Scott Moir.
The updated definition will be reflected in the Skate Canada rule book, in the Podium Pathway documents, and the scoring system.
For new entry submissions, the pair and ice dance teams will no longer be required to enter a woman and a man. Instead, athletes can refer to themselves as “skater A” and “skater B,” “lifted partner’ or ‘lifting partner,’ or ‘follow’ and ‘lead.’
While the Podium Pathway is a high-performance training path for skaters looking to compete at the national or international level, the international rules pertaining to the definition of team remains traditionally defined as one woman and one man.
As per the International Skating Union on December 1, applications for skaters in the upcoming 2023 seminars include designations for pairs of one woman and one man.