Walking into work for the first day at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, Pj noticed a familiar face. Stephanie Van Veen is a former junior national level ice dancer who earned a degree in Kinesiology from Western University in London, Ontario. She decided on a Master’s degree from the University of British Columbia in Sports Sociology which she completed focusing on the impact the new ISU judging system has had on gender stereotypes and movement styles in figure skating.
The last time Pj and Stephanie had seen each other was when she was still a teenager, so once Pj heard about the focus of her Master’s thesis, she thought this kind of academic analysis would be interesting not only for the skating fans but for Open Kwong Dore listeners as well.
When she left high school, Stephanie was recruited by the Western track team to run cross-country. As an elite athlete in figure skating and cross-country running, Stephanie brings unique insights to this topic from her experience as an athlete turned academic and researcher.
This interview has as much substance as the style it talks about.