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Karel Vosatka
November 20, 1929 - May 27, 2022
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<div itemprop="description">It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mr. Karel Vosátka, on May 27, 2022 at CHSLD Vigi, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec peacefully in his sleep. <br> <br>Karel was a devoted life partner to Cristina Patraulea, loving father to Robin (Glenda Newton) and cherished Deda (grandfather) to Colin. <br> <br>Karel Vosatka was a household name in Czechoslovakia in the late 1940’s and 50’s. Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia November 20, 1929, Karel an only child, was an active athlete who began his career in individual figure skating at the age of 7 and as a pair’s skater at the age of 14. During his figure skating career Karel competed with Blažena Knittlová, winning a silver medal at the 1948 European Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He went on to competed at five European Championships, with other partners, achieving 5th place in 1960. In 1948 he represented Czechoslovakia at the 5th Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He retired from competition in 1961, following the crash of Sabena Flight 548, sadly he knew many of the US skaters on-board and as a result the World Figure Skating Championships in Prague was cancelled. <br>Karel remained in Czechoslovakia until 1962 when he moved to Romania to coach the Olympic Figure Skating Team. This is where he met his wife Romanian National Champion figure skater Cristina Patraulea who he married in 1963. They returned to Czechoslovakia in 1965 where they remained until the Russian Invasion in 1968 when they escaped to Switzerland with their young son, as political refugees. <br>In 1975 they emigrated to Canada. Soon after arriving in Montreal, they were contacted by the CPA Stellaire (Hauterive) and CPA Fantasia (Baie Comeau) figure skating clubs. Where, as a husband-and-wife team they successfully coached numerous figure skaters to the national level, including their son Robin who finished 4th in pairs skating at the 1981 Canadian Championships. <br>The Vosatka’s relocated to Montreal in 1983, where they both taught at several figure skating clubs throughout the city. Karel taught numerous students over 35 years in the region and was well recognized as a pillar within the skating community. In 2012 the Deux-Rives Figure Skating Club in Pierrefonds, Quebec paid tribute to Karel for coaching figure skating for fifty years. <br>Karel is less known for his 1963 invention of the short program in pairs figure skating. His proposal at the time to the International Skating Union (ISU) was; a two and half minute short program with compulsory elements which could be put together in any order, adapted to the skater’s music of choice. The compulsory elements included; lifts, spins, spirals, and individual; jumps, spins and foot work. The added value of this program was to give skaters an additional opportunity to demonstrate their technical abilities together, and as individuals. Although Karel maintained the original documentation of his proposal to the ISU he was never fully accredited due to the political consequences of his escape from the then communist regime of Czechoslovakia. <br>Karel’s coaching experience spanned over 50 years in numerous countries including; Romania (1962–64); Czechoslovakia (1964-1968); Switzerland (1968–1974); France (1974–1975) and Canada 1975-2019. He has coached thousand of students and has been an ambassador to the sport. <br>His passion, his contribution to generations of figure skaters and his development of excellent coaches has left his mark on the sport of figure skating in Canada and the world. <br>The figure skating community has lost a true gentleman and a legend. <br></div>