Ice Network

Langdon finds relaxation, home on the range

Canadian Olympian helping next generation of skaters grow in Calgary
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Jeffrey Langdon has taken his vast knowledge of figure skating and put it into helping young skaters -- like Kurtis Schreiber, with whom he's pictured here -- grow on the ice. -Courtesy of Jeffrey Langdon

These days, the Olympic spirit is all around two-time Canadian medalist Jeffrey Langdon. A coach at the Calalta Figure Skating Club -- which is located at the site of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta -- the 41-year-old receives daily inspiration.

Langdon moved to Calgary nearly eight years ago, and he finds it to be a great place for living as well as coaching. Along with two-time U.S. champion Scott Davis, Langdon and his coaching mate have worked with numerous high-level competitors.

It was an interesting, occasionally bumpy road that led Langdon to Calgary. After representing Canada at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano and at two world championships, he struggled with injuries and confidence. When he eventually decided to step away from the competitive circuit, Langdon was burned out.

He began to coach in Waterloo, and after about four years, he got the yearn to skate again, so he decided to perform professionally. Doing the shows aboard Royal Caribbean International cruise ships proved the perfect source of inspiration, and he participated in four ship contracts with Willy Bietak Productions.

"The cruise ships were so great because I did both the Caribbean and Europe," Langdon said. "I got to see Spain, Italy, Portugal, Mexico, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Aruba, Jamaica and Barbados."

Langdon gets wistful when he thinks back to his time at sea.

"It was some of the best times of my entire life, and I met some of my best friends through that and we're still in each other's lives," he said. "I loved it; the quality of the shows is really great. It's a lot of performing, so you learn to be incredibly consistent and to deal with anything. After that, you almost wish you could go back to competitive skating."

In between skating contracts, Langdon visited Calgary and helped out coaches with their students. He liked the environment and decided that when the time was right, he'd move there.

"When I finished, I was skating great and I was in a really good place, so I felt I could leave (performing) happy and at the top," said Langdon, who moved to Calgary in 2008. "I could have kept going, but I felt centered and content with what I had done."

Among the students he shared with Davis was Vaughn Chipeur. As skaters are allowed only one accredited coach at the Olympics, Davis accompanied Chipeur to Vancouver in 2010, but Langdon still made the trip to see the men's competition live.

The complex where he now teaches has four rinks, with several additional sports utilizing the training facilities at Canada Olympic Park. The National Sports School is attached as well, so young skaters can move between sport and school with ease.

"There are all different sports (at the school): hockey, skiing, speed skating, bobsledding and figure skating," he noted. "It's good for the kids to be around that."

With students that range from pre-juvenile to senior, Langdon works on all aspects of skating, from jumps and spins to choreography and even costume design. This time of year finds him busy preparing his skaters for next season.

Life in Alberta suits him, especially the friendly and relaxed atmosphere. He enjoys the mountains and going camping in the summers. Real estate also is a bit of an avocation, and Langdon loves designing and decorating. He moved into his house three months ago and even did a photo shoot for the builder.

"Skating continues to inspire me every day," Langdon said. "It's exciting right now. I feel skating has taken a jump again in terms of pushing the boundaries in every discipline. I love it."