Elladj Baldé ©Paul Zizka
The International Skating Union (ISU) is proud to announce Elladj Baldé as the Global Ambassador of the first-ever World Ice Skating Day (WISD), an annual festival celebrating Ice Skating all over the world through multiple events taking place simultaneously on December 4, 2022. This new worldwide ISU initiative strives to make ice skating an inclusive, accessible, and fun place by bringing together professional and amateur skaters regardless of any social, economic and cultural boundaries.
As a globally renowned professional Figure Skater, Elladj Baldé actively promotes equity and diversity through his inspirational videos and live performances, alongside the newly founded “Skate Global Foundation”, perfectly aligning his vision and values with the mission of World Ice Skating Day. As Ambassador for the WISD, Elladj Baldé will call for patrons and citizens of the world to engage in the sport on December 4, advocating for a diverse and inclusive future for Ice Skating.
The ISU is honored to partner with Elladj Baldé, a retired top-ranked Figure Skater who competed for Canada from 2006 to 2018, turned professional and now a world-renowned social media sensation and a leading voice to champion diversity and inclusivity in Figure Skating.
“I am excited to be the first global ambassador for the ISU’s inaugural World Ice Skating Day,” states Elladj Baldé. “Our collective goal to introduce the sport to countries, regions and communities that have yet to be exposed to the sport is something I’m deeply passionate about.”
Elladj Baldé © Wade Hudson
Born to a Russian mother and a Guinean father, Elladj was raised in Canada and introduced to Figure Skating through his mother at the age of 6. Going on to compete at the global level as part of Skate Canada, Baldé’s career marks the beginning of a generational dynamic shift in the sport. As one of the few Black professional Figure Skaters, Baldé’s journey through the sport echoes that of many minorities, though his success heavily contributes to the changing of gender stereotypes within the competitive and professional sport. As an advocate for the future of the sport, Baldé co-founded the Figure Skating Diversity and Inclusion Alliance as well as the Skate Global Foundation, built around three major pillars – equity, diversity, inclusion, mental health and climate change.
Elladj Baldé ©Paul Zizka
“I recognized a few years ago that being authentic to myself, I could help inspire so many future generations of skaters from all different backgrounds – and if that makes the difference in just one person’s life, to feel more accepted, or more inspired to step out of their comfort zone and embrace this sport, than it is all worth it. This day, for me, is a way to bring joy around the world, through both my lens and the lens of the ISU.”, continues Baldé.
After retiring from competitive skating in 2018, Baldé went on skating and performing in several high-profile shows and Figure Skating tours like the ‘Stars on Ice’ and “Art on Ice”, and works with global brands to champion the future of the sport. He recently also served as a choreographer and judge in Season 5 and 6 of the Canadian reality show - ‘Battle of the Blades’. Previously, Elladj Baldé was crowned the 2008 Junior Canadian Champion and won the Nebelhorn Trophy in 2015.
Visit the WISD website for more information and stay tuned for updates on the WISD social media accounts.
About World Ice Skating Day
The World Ice Skating Day presented by the International Skating Union (ISU), is a one-day global festival dedicated to Ice Skating celebrated on the first Sunday of December. The key objectives are to make Ice Skating sports accessible to everyone in a fun and safe environment – for first-timers, amateurs, professionals or retired competitive skaters – by creating a memorable experience for the entire family. The concept of the World Ice Skating Day stemmed from the idea to popularize and share the spirit of Ice Skating worldwide through a celebration with a vision towards development, inclusion and fairness.