With cold comes snow and ice. It provides a new landscape of winter activity, and with that activity comes a favorite pastime… skating. Being in Canada, skating is close to our hearts. With our longer winters, the sports of figure skating and ice hockey are traditional outdoor activities played 5 to 6 months out of the year.
The earliest skaters took up the sport out of necessity, having to flee from enemies and hunt for food. Skating provided quick transportation during long winters. In 50 B.C.,evidence of skating is found in Roman ruins in London. Excavations uncovered leather soles and blades made of polished animal bones. Because the blades were flat-bottomed it was not possible to get any forward thrust or momentum. The skater had to carry a staff with a pointed end to push off and brake.
Plan an afternoon in a backyard or community skating rink with some festive ideas. Bring out a table for homemade marshmallows, hot chocolate and popcorn. Later, create a bonfire for a hot dog roast or have a potluck with chili. Make it a day that involves a large gathering of family and friends. This can even start as an annual skating party tradition for your family.
Photography: Geneve Hoffman