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Growing up in Marathon, this future Olympian first took to the ice as a hockey player before turning his attention to figure skating, a sport that would take him to the arenas of the world. Joining the Marathon Figure Skating Club in the early 1980s, he competed in singles, dance and pair. In no time at all he was making his presence known from the sectional to the national level.

His first of many trips to the national podium came in 1986 when he and Sarah Fry were crowned novice pair champions, the first national pairs title ever claimed by skaters representing a northwestern Ontario club. Moving to Montreal to continue his training, he added two more national medals to his collection, claiming silver in 1989 in junior men's, and in junior pairs with partner Stacey Ball.

Moving up to the senior level he and pair partner Sherry Ball claimed the bronze medal at the 1992 national championships. Making his first of three Olympic appearances he placed 12th at the Games in Albertville and 10th at the 1992 World championships.

Joining forces with Kristy Sargeant for the 1992-93 season, they embarked upon a partnership that would see them become one of Canada's top pair teams.  The 1998 and 1999 Canadian Pair champions and five-time national silver medallists, they represented Canada with distinction at the 1994 and 1998 Olympic Games with 10th and 12th place finishes.  Attending seven World Championships, they earned six top-ten finishes. Competing internationally, they won a number of medals, including Skate Canada gold in 1994 and bronze in 1999, Skate America silver in 1998 and silver in 1999 at Four Continents.

Well respected by his fellow skaters and considered a leader, Kris was named Captain of the National Team for five seasons. Retiring from competitive skating in 2003 he focused his attention on coaching, joining forces with his wife Kristy and his brother Paul, to develop the next generation of skating stars. 

Throughout his over 20 year skating career, this athlete never forgot his roots, always proudly acknowledging his hometown of Marathon, and proving through his exceptional skating abilities that a kid from a small northwestern Ontario community could compete against the best in the world.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame September 27, 2008

Kris Wirtz

Figure Skating
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