OTTAWA, ON: Legendary skating coach Ellen Burka passed away yesterday evening at the age of 95 in Toronto. Burka was a Skate Canada Hall of Fame coach and one of the world’s most respected coaches and choreographers, taking skaters to the highest level of competition over her lifetime.
A national skating champion in her native Holland, she emigrated to Canada in 1950 after surviving the holocaust. Burka joined the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club and began her successful coaching career.
Burka, an Olympic and World coach, taught many accomplished skaters. Memorable students include her daughter Petra Burka, the 1964 Olympic bronze medallist and 1965 World Champion, as well as Toller Cranston, six-time Canadian Champion and 1976 Olympic bronze medallist.
Her commitment, innovative coaching techniques and dedication earned her the Order of Canada in 1978. In 1996, she became an honored member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. In 2013, she was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Skate Canada offers its sincere condolences to Burka’s family and friends.