1959 British Figure Skating Champion David Clements was recently reunited with a gold test medal thanks to the efforts of the BIS team.
We understand the incredible work that goes into skating achievements, and how much the physical reminders of those achievements mean. So when David Clements reached out to us, asking for help locating a replacement for his Gold Test Medal, we were eager to help.
Since he skated under the previous test system, however - with very different medals to those awarded today - sourcing a replacement proved difficult. Fortunately, British Ice Skating historian Elaine Hooper was on the case:
“Over the years I have had a number of requests for replacement medals; some from skaters who could not afford them when they passed their test, others who had lost them or, as in David's case, been burgled. To support these skaters, I have purchased test medals whenever they come up for sale; this has even included a television appearance on "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" to secure one medal set!”
Elaine has been able to provide a number of skaters with replacement medals this way (occasionally they just require a small gilt or metal plating makeover!) For David, her scouting efforts paid off again, and a replacement medal is now back in his possession – currently in use as a stylish fob for his watch chain. Big thanks to Elaine and to the rest of the team involved in its journey!
Did you know?
Under the previous system, medal categories were: Preliminary, 3rd Class (Bronze), Intermediate 2nd Class (Inter Silver), 2nd Class (Silver), Intermediate 1st Class (Inter Gold), 1st Class (Gold) and Gold Star. Additionally, passing your gold test required
the skater to pass the figure test before they could take the free skating test at each level. This made things harder if you were a really good free skater but not so good at figures, particularly at gold level - you could not complete the gold test if you couldn't pass the (rather difficult!) gold figure.
David Clements noted:
“When I was Chairman of B.I.T.A, I asked for that rule to be changed…Back in the day if you passed the gold figure test then went on to fail the free test you had to re-take the figures all over again; how could that be fair? I felt…it would give the skater the option to work harder on the free if one kept the pass on the figures.”
Eventually the rule was changed and the present day test structure was introduced.