40 Year Old Becomes Oldest Figure Skating Winner

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Image credit: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Once retired for over a decade, Deanna Stellato-Dudek’s journey back to figure skating and becoming the oldest woman to win a World Figure Skating Championship in pairs at age 40 is extraordinary. Retiring in 2001 due to severe injuries, Stellato-Dudek returned after a 16-year hiatus, partnering with Maxime Deschamps to claim the title.

Deanna Stellato-Dudek’s early career was marked by success, winning the 1999-2000 international Junior Grand Prix Final and a silver medal at the 2000 World Junior Championships. However, repeated injuries, including a broken ankle and torn ligament, forced her to retire at 17. For 16 years, Stellato-Dudek led a normal life, becoming a successful aesthetician and getting married. Despite this, she felt the urge to return to the sport.

In her 30s, Stellato-Dudek decided to return to competitive figure skating in the challenging discipline of pairs skating. She initially partnered with Nathan Bartholomay, achieving significant success, including two national bronze medals. After Bartholomay’s injuries ended their partnership in 2019, she teamed up with Maxime Deschamps in Canada.

Training for pair skating at 40 requires extraordinary dedication. Stellato-Dudek endured rigorous physical training to meet the sport’s demands, which involve dangerous throws, lifts, and complex spins. Her perseverance paid off, as she and Deschamps became a formidable team.

Stellato-Dudek’s historic win is an inspiration, showing that age is not a barrier to success. “I hope it encourages people to not stop before they reach their potential,” she said after winning the title. Her story resonates with anyone facing challenges in their careers or personal lives.

Looking ahead to the 2026 Winter Olympics, Stellato-Dudek remains determined. Securing Canadian citizenship, a prerequisite for competing for Canada, is a hurdle she aims to overcome after it prevented their participation in the 2022 Olympics. “My goal has always been 2026 if my body can last that long,” she stated, highlighting her unyielding ambition. Deschamps, her partner, praised her dedication: “She is a warrior. For her, it’s the Olympics every day.”

Stellato-Dudek’s journey from retirement to world champion exemplifies perseverance and the power of chasing one’s dreams,/ regardless of age or obstacles.

Re-reported from the article originally published in She the People.

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40 Year Old Becomes Oldest Figure Skating Winner

Image credit: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Once retired for over a decade, Deanna Stellato-Dudek’s journey back to figure skating and becoming the oldest woman to win a World Figure Skating Championship in pairs at age 40 is extraordinary. Retiring in 2001 due to severe injuries, Stellato-Dudek returned after a 16-year hiatus, partnering with Maxime Deschamps to claim the title.

Deanna Stellato-Dudek’s early career was marked by success, winning the 1999-2000 international Junior Grand Prix Final and a silver medal at the 2000 World Junior Championships. However, repeated injuries, including a broken ankle and torn ligament, forced her to retire at 17. For 16 years, Stellato-Dudek led a normal life, becoming a successful aesthetician and getting married. Despite this, she felt the urge to return to the sport.

In her 30s, Stellato-Dudek decided to return to competitive figure skating in the challenging discipline of pairs skating. She initially partnered with Nathan Bartholomay, achieving significant success, including two national bronze medals. After Bartholomay’s injuries ended their partnership in 2019, she teamed up with Maxime Deschamps in Canada.

Training for pair skating at 40 requires extraordinary dedication. Stellato-Dudek endured rigorous physical training to meet the sport’s demands, which involve dangerous throws, lifts, and complex spins. Her perseverance paid off, as she and Deschamps became a formidable team.

Stellato-Dudek’s historic win is an inspiration, showing that age is not a barrier to success. “I hope it encourages people to not stop before they reach their potential,” she said after winning the title. Her story resonates with anyone facing challenges in their careers or personal lives.

Looking ahead to the 2026 Winter Olympics, Stellato-Dudek remains determined. Securing Canadian citizenship, a prerequisite for competing for Canada, is a hurdle she aims to overcome after it prevented their participation in the 2022 Olympics. “My goal has always been 2026 if my body can last that long,” she stated, highlighting her unyielding ambition. Deschamps, her partner, praised her dedication: “She is a warrior. For her, it’s the Olympics every day.”

Stellato-Dudek’s journey from retirement to world champion exemplifies perseverance and the power of chasing one’s dreams,/ regardless of age or obstacles.

Re-reported from the article originally published in She the People.