Figure Skating Talks Up Its Tough Side

Canadian campaign aims to ice sport's sissy stereotype
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2009 8:03 AM CST

(Newser) – Canada's figure skating authorities have launched a controversial campaign to convince people the sport is as manly as any other, the Globe & Mail reports. Skate Canada, concerned about dwindling interest in the sport, is trying to scrap figure skating's sissy stereotype and play up "the danger, speed, risk, and difficulty" of the pro skating world.

Critics say the campaign, which focuses on gritty tales from the skating circuit, smacks of homophobia. But many in the skating world say it's about time the sport's image got a makeover. "Skating is about power and strength,” said former Canadian champ Elvis Stojko, whose rugged style once irked the figure skating establishment. “It's so much more than dressing up as a frou-frou.”