Katie Desveaux is a third year Sport Management student-athlete whose experience in ice dance has translated to an astounding career as a key component to the Brock figure skating team. Desveaux grew up in the East end of the GTA beginning to learn to skate through the local Can Skate program at the age of five years old. Not long after, Desveaux transitioned to the Scarborough Figure Skating Club where she and her skating partner, Dmitre Razgulajees, would focus and specialize in the ice dancing discipline of figure skating. The pair would go on to achieve massive success in their eight year career together.
“Together [Dmitre and I] went to seven national championships and we did one Junior Grand Prix Circuit in the 2013/2014 season which is the equivalent to being on the U21 Team Canada,” shared Desveaux.
When the pair decided to stop skating together at the end of the Grand Prix circuit, Desveaux began looking at universities and was instantly attracted to Brock’s renowned Sport Management program.
“My first year figure skating for Brock was during the 2014/2015 season and since then the team has come a very long way from where we were that year. We were always middle of the pack as a whole and this year we made a big jump to win a silver medal at OUA’s,” said Desveaux.
In fact, Desveaux and her new skating partner, Laura Holbrough, have been an extremely consistent duo while competing for the Badgers at the OUA’s, the highest level of competition for university figure skating. Together the pair have brought home three back-to-back gold medals for the creative dance program which goes to show not only how skilled each skater is individually but also how in tune
they are as they perform on the ice together.
Desveaux has also managed to earn back-to-back gold medals for the open solo dance category at OUA’s the past two seasons.
When asked why she is so well suited to compete in these specific categories, Desveaux believes it is due to her background in ice dance.
“I would say I’m an expressive skater. In ice dance, you have to create a story and if you’re not expressing or emoting the story you’re supposed to tell, you’re not going to score top points. If you’re doing a waltz you should be happy. Trying to suit emotions properly to the style of skating is huge and I learned that through ice dance,” said Desveaux.
After practicing Monday to Thursday from 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. for the majority of the season, Desveaux and Holbrough were ready to attempt a three-peat and win gold in the creative dance program at OUA’s. Although the pressure was on for these two Badgers, they skated beautifully with textbook precision, receiving 38.29 points to capture the gold medal.
Next, Desveaux and Holbrough skated in the intermediate similar pairs event which focuses on the pair’s jumping technique and synchronization. Again, the pair stunned the crowd as they delivered a spectacular performance winning their second OUA gold medal on the day.
“That was much more unexpected because we had never won in this category before but Laura and I skated really well. We had a clean program, which means we landed all our jumps and executed the choreography, to win the gold,” explained Desveaux.
Now she turned to her third event of the day which was the solo dance category, where she would try to defend her gold medal from the previous season. In this event Desveaux performed two dances, a Viennese Waltz as well as an Argentine Tango combining for a total of 27.71 points. To put that score in perspective the next best skater received 25.29 points giving Desveaux her third gold medal of the day.
The skater wasn’t done after her third event. Desveaux also performed in the team synchro program where their combined efforts yielded the Badgers a fifth place finish.
Desveaux’s strong results contributed greatly to the Badger’s overall score of 66 points landing them in second place behind the University of Toronto who earned 83 points.
“This year has been our best year in a long time as a whole team. We have had such a good year with a lot of teammates training really hard. Everyone on the team is very dedicated, its not one thing that has made this our best year. One thing that helped for sure is our amazing coaching staff, we’ve had a few extra coaches who have helped a lot on top of Katie [our head coach] and that has contributed to help us focus on every event,” said Desveaux.
It cannot be overstated how instrumental Desveaux was in helping her team clinch the silver medal at the OUA’s. The Western Mustangs were only four points away from the Badgers with 62 combined team points. With three first place finishes all within the same day, the athleticism and execution Desveaux displayed at the competition should be applauded. This skater has one more year with the Brock figure skating team. Desveaux’s focused on continuing to train and progress to help the Badgers bring home an OUA banner in her