Champion Figure Skater Glides Across Frozen Canadian Lake In Stunning Helicopter Video
At 2,500 feet above sea level, former competitive figure skater Elizabeth Putnam glides across a vast frozen lake in British Columbia, Canada in 2015 while a helicopter films it all.
The pro figure skater, once a Skate Canada national team member, is no stranger to performing on thick sheets of ice in front of hundreds of attentive spectators — not to mention a few judges. But what makes this Widgeon Lake performance special is how isolated the skater is. As Putnam flies across the ice, there’s not a person in sight —only majestic snow capped mountains and the verdant forest.
“I’ve had the pleasure of performing in Central Park and different unique places around the world, but that was, by far, one of the most special experiences I’ve ever had, because it was just untouched,” she told GlobalNews.ca.
Part of Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, Widgeon Lake is located high up in the mountains in British Columbia, though it’s not exactly known for ice skating. But with Putnam’s skill, the lake becomes a veritable ice playground for the skater. And the graceful performance, which local filmmaker and helicopter pilot Brad Friesen recorded in 4K video, looks incredible with the natural backdrop. That’s not to mention that the music from Vancouver artist Delaney Kai fits perfectly with the natural surroundings.
Although it might look amazing and undoubtedly choreographed, Putnam told GlobalNews.ca that she ad libbed most of the moves, that “not too much was planned.” That unplanned attitude was, as Putnam explained it, really integral to the performance itself, which the skater described as freeing.
“It was really, really liberating. It was just so free and so quiet,” Putnam told GlobalNews.ca. “In the competitive environment, there are so many eyes on you…this was so peaceful and so unique because of the space and the serenity of it all.”
Before Putnam retired from professional skating, before she decided to skate across a high-altitude lake in the middle of nowhere, the 35-year-old Canadian skater was a successful athlete. But now that Putnam and her boyfriend, fellow figure skater Patrick Chan, are retired from the competitive rink, they say they want to start a skating school together.
"That's the dream...a base for young coaches in the area to come, and brainstorm and chat about skaters, how we can make a certain skater better, and make it an individualized curriculum for each skater, and most importantly a fun environment for both skater and coach,” Chan said in an interview with CTV News in 2018.
If Putnam and her boyfriend do end up opening a skating school, maybe Putnam can take a few of her students up to Widgeon Lake in the helicopter to show the kids how its done.
What do you think of Putnam's Widgeon Lake routine? Let us know and pass this on to your friends and family members who appreciate the beauty of figure skating.