One of B.C.’s most decorated figure skaters was honoured recently by the B.C/Yukon chapter of Skate Canada.
In late April, Elizabeth Coret – who went by Betty McKilligan during her skating career – and her skating partner and brother, John McKilligan, were inducted into the Skate Canada B.C./Yukon Hall of Fame.
Though the siblings are from Vancouver Island originally, Coret, 72, now lives in South Surrey.
Lauded by the skating organization as “innovators for the sport” the duo – who grew up near Victoria before moving to Vancouver to train at the North Shore Winter Club – competed at three Canadian Championships from 1967 through 1969, winning two gold medals and one bronze, while also twice representing Canada at world championships, in 1968 and ’69.
They also skated for Canada at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France, where they finished 17th.
According to Skate Canada – which held an induction evening for the skating pair on April 30 – when they began to skate, there were no instructors who taught pairs skating, “so they discovered how by studying pictures.”
“Being out west, there weren’t many other pair teams, so this forced Betty and John to take on a fresh and new approach to the discipline and soon became innovators for the sport,” a bulletin from Skate Canada reads.
“They added many different features in skills that are still used today.”
Eventually, they were taught by North Shore Winter Club coach Edy Rada, who was inducted into the Skate Canada B.C./Yukon Hall of Fame in 2018.
Peace Arch News has reached out to Coret for comment on her induction.