Saskatchewan pair skaters Paige Lawrence, 24, Kennedy, Sask., and Rudi Swiegers, 26, Kipling, Sask., have ended their nine-year partnership. Lawrence and Swiegers achieved a lifelong dream of being Olympians earlier this year when they competed at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Lawrence and Swiegers are four-time Canadian bronze medalists (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). In 2010 they won their first international medal, a bronze at Skate Canada International. That same season they also won the bronze medal at the 2011 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.
The team trained in Virden, Manitoba with coach Patricia Hole and in Florida with Lyndon Johnston. In 2014 they qualified to compete for Canada at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi and placed 14th. They then went on to place 12th at the 2014 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Japan.
"I'm so thankful for all the opportunities and adventures that Rudi and I have had the chance to experience throughout our nine-year career together. It was amazing to fulfill our dream of competing at the Olympics and world championships and I have never been happier than I was while skating those programs," said Lawrence. "We have reached a point now where we both want different things and I wish Rudi all the health, happiness, and continued success in whatever path he follows."
Lawrence continued, "I would like to say thank you to my coaches Patty Hole and Lyndon Johnston for their unwavering commitment and belief in us, my support team back home for always being there for me, and to all our fans for cheering us on and sharing in this incredible journey. I am so grateful!"
Lawrence is looking to find a new partner and continue skating but is keeping an open mind to whatever life may throw her way.
"I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to skate with Paige and represent Saskatchewan nationally and internationally. One of my greatest joys is that we've been able to succeed and achieve our goals while staying true to our small town roots; proving that you don't need to move away to large centers to train," said Swiegers. "I'd like to personally thank Patricia Hole and Lyndon Johnston for everything they have done for me, untold hours on and off the ice. Their dedication to me as a person and an athlete has been paramount in making me the man I am today."
Swiegers finished, "I am truly grateful for all the sport has given me. This isn't goodbye for me but rather see you later!"
Swiegers is taking a year off from competitive skating for personal reasons.