Josée Chouinard

Josée Chouinard holding an early photo of Pj Kwong at Taking The Ice book launch

Well…although it was 2 weeks ago, it feels like the launch was just yesterday for my first book Taking the Ice. (

I want to share a couple of things – first of all – if you are knee deep in skating, as I am, there will be pictures that will crop up unexpectedly from time to time.  My book launch was at The Granite Club, where I skated as a kid. My “good friend” (more on that later)2 time Olympian and 3 time Canadian Champion and Granite Club coach Josée Chouinard started telling me in Vancouver at the Olympics that she had a “surprise” for me – and then she would start to laugh maniacally and scamper away.  Apparently, Barb S (Skating administrator) had done a massive clean up of boxes at the Club and located pictures from the Club Competition in 1968 where I won something.  Josee decided it would be fun to frame it and to include it as part of her introduction of me at the launch. She (kindly) didn’t mention it was the last time I won anything and kept her giggles in check at my very fashionable sailor dress for which I am grateful.  It could have been worse – I might have had a grandmother who had knit me a skirt complete with matching panties and a bonnet!  Sleep with one eye open Josee! 🙂

I thought incorrectly that the lion’s share of the work would be the writing of the book – I was wrong.  There was a lot of effort that had to go into the launch of the book on the part of me and my family, Josee,  as well as Robert Morgan of BookLand Press. Then there was the sneak peek Short Dance Exhibition from Granite Club skaters and 4 Continents’ Champions Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje which really helped to set the “skating” tone of the event.

I was grateful for the support of Skate Canada’s Debbi Wilkes and CBC’s Chris Irwin who both spoke about skating in Canada in glowing terms.  It was also an amazing gift to have photographer Justine Chiu capture all the special moments.  (

It was a little strange to get up and speak and to  be able to talk a little about some of the conversations that I had had along the way with Canada’s best skaters, coaches and choreographers.  To be able to finally talk about David Wilson who almost quit skating prematurely, Toller Cranston who sees himself as an alchemist, Barbara Ann Scott who values duty and honour to one’s country over anything else was a treat.  Then there was the chance to share the details of the Vancouver experience of Joannie Rochette through the eyes of her legendary coach Manon Perron. To look out and see Tomas Verner and Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier in the audience re-living Vancouver was a privilege and maybe shed a tiny shred of light on the fishbowl that is an Olympic Games.

I felt like a kid with a delicious secret as I spilled the beans that there had already been serious talk surfacing of a “deal” regarding the 2002 Olympic pairs title at a social function at Skate Canada in October of 2001. Thrilled to hear and write the 37 stories in that section?  You bet!

Small wonder writing the book never felt like work.Hope you like it! Thanks to all of my supporters and guests for a magical event!

******  Get your copy of Taking The Ice *** got to for info ***

Tagged with: ,