Mark was raised in Brantford, Ontario, but has lived most of his life in the Toronto area. As a child, he skated for a year with the Brantford Figure Skating Association, sowing the seeds for a lifetime of appreciation for the sport. The following year, he gave up skating in favour of music, which has remained a lifelong pursuit. He currently directs music at a church in suburban Toronto and is a freelance accompanist for singers and instrumentalists, including members of the Oshawa-Durham and Toronto Symphonies.
I-Ching with Dave Carmichael, World Juniors 2005
During the day, he works for a major financial company as a business analyst. After hours, he enjoys pursuing his hobbies and interests which include reading, cinema, international cuisine and listening to everything from Handel and Vivaldi to Rush and Dream Theater. He enjoys watching hockey, soccer, martial arts and (of course) figure skating. He has also been known to go on long roadtrips in his trusty little car, driving through forests, mountains, savanna and tundra for the sheer enjoyment of it. Mark lived in Korea for a couple of years in the mid-90s and travelled in Japan during that time, and maintains a keen interest in sports and culture from that part of the world.
Mark has been married to I-Ching since 2007 and would like to thank her for shivering with him in cold rinks as he pursues his dream of becoming a recognized skating journalist! He would also like to thank Dave Carmichael, one of Canada's premier skating photographers, for making skating journalism seem like a fun thing to try. Thanks also go to Gregg, of course, for seeing some of the same exciting things in the Japanese ladies and for lending his expertise to the creation of this tribute, and to Gigi for being such a great photographer (and for putting up with me!)
Finally, Mark wishes to thank all of the Japanese lady skaters for being such an inspiration, and in particular Yoshie, Miki, Yukari, Aki, Yukina, Akiko, Nana, Mao and Fumie, as well as their coaches and chaperones, for being so nice to meet!