Oak Bay skater brings home double gold

Ice is second home to Special Olympics athlete

Special Olympics gold medal winner Pauline Shaw displays her hardware at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre.

When Pauline Shaw first stepped on the ice in 1979, it wasn’t love at first sight for a sport that has become a passion, instead she found herself hoping the kids zipping past her wouldn’t hit her.

As time passed, Shaw made the ice where she figure skates her second home.

“As long as my body says I can skate, I’m going to skate,” she said.

Shaw, 50, is a member of the Oak Bay Figure Skating Club and recently brought home two gold medals from the Washington Winter Games.

“She went down there and competed in the level three free skate and then the level two dance,” said one of her coaches Kailee Bowman. “She skated absolutely phenomenally and she told me she had an absolute blast.”

Shaw went to Washington as part of the B.C. Special Olympics team.

Her recent gold medals are two in a long line of wins for Shaw. Bowman said Shaw has been skating all over the Island and so far is undefeated.

Bowman and Shaw have been working together since Bowman moved to Victoria.

“When I first met (Shaw) she was very eager to skate and soak everything up like a sponge,” said Bowman. “You could really see the joy of skating in her. She loves to be out there on the ice and calls it her second home, and you pick that up when you’re working with her. It’s really humbling.”

In addition to travelling around Vancouver Island to compete, Shaw, originally from Scotland, has also competed in the World Games in Austria in 1993, where she won gold for figure skating.

“That was a long trip,” said Shaw with a laugh. “It was different to skate with people from all over the world, because normally I just skated with people from B.C. or other parts of Canada, but all of a sudden there were American skaters, and skaters from Russian and France and all over.”

Shaw has been a Special Olympic athlete since 1982, competing in a number of sports including speed skating and rhythmic gymnastics.

Her commitment and passion for sports was rewarded by Special Olympics when she was named the Canadian Female Athlete of the Year in 2007.

“I don’t really feel any pressure to compete,” said Shaw. “I just like going there, skating and having fun. For me that’s why I do it.”

Because Shaw has been skating since 1979 she has seen a lot of changes in the sport and in Special Olympics.

When she returned to skating competitively in 1996, she noticed new levels and skills were added to the competitions.

“It was a little challenging,” she said. “It seemed overwhelming at first, because I was looking at what they were doing on the ice and thinking ‘how are they doing that.’ But when they broke it down, it made more sense.”

Shaw will be competing again in April when she heads to Parksville for the Vancouver Island Series International, and while Bowman, like Shaw, isn’t concerned about coming home with a medal, Bowman said it’s icing on the cake.

“She doesn’t go out there to compete,” said Bowman. “She goes out there to have fun and so when she goes out there to win the gold medal, it’s just an added bonus. She’s just so happy. It’s amazing to see someone who is just so in love with the sport go out there, skate and do so well. It’s really inspiring.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cycling scavenger hunt comes to Tweed City

Cyclists scour Oak Bay for clues in Bike to Work Week event

Welcome to grilling season: Saanich firefighter talks barbecue safety tips

Grills should be cleaned, serviced prior to use, firefighter says

Colwood woman launches Adopt a Grad

Facebook page aims to support students during pandemic

Police warn of rental scams after Saanich resident nearly falls victim to one

Always see the home, meet the landlord in person before sending money, police say

Construction at Clover Point pump station causes wastewater spill

Residents advised to stay out of water near Clover Point

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Most Read