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Canadian Hall of Fame figure skating coach Ellen Burka, pictured here in 2002 with Osborne Coulson, has died at 95. (J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail)
Canadian Hall of Fame figure skating coach Ellen Burka, pictured here in 2002 with Osborne Coulson, has died at 95. (J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail)

Canadian Hall of Fame figure skating coach Ellen Burka dies at age 95 Add to ...

Canadian Hall of Fame figure skating coach Ellen Burka has died at the age of 95.

Burka, one of the world’s most respected coaches and choreographers, died Monday night, according to Skate Canada.

“I am saddened by the loss of Ellen Burka, a legend in figure skating & someone who guided me as a young skater to reach my dream,” tweeted Canadian Olympic figure skater Elvis Stojko.

A national skating champion in the Netherlands, she immigrated to Canada in 1950 after surviving the Holocaust.

Burka went on to join the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club and began her successful coaching career.

Burka, an Olympic and world coach, taught many accomplished skaters. Her 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 innovative coaching techniques and dedication earned her the Order of Canada in 1978. In 1996, she became an honoured member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. In 2013, she was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

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