Becky Gough and Mark Rowsom

Becky Gough and Mark Rowsom

In January 1980 Becky Gough and Mark Rowsom, a Comber, Ontario native (born 1959) were crowned Canadian National Junior Pairs Figure Skating Champions.

Becky Gough and Mark Rowsom

Indeed, the championships that year were a showcase for the Preston Figure Skating Club; clubmates Tim Mills and Mary Jo Fedy placed second and Lyndon Johnston and Janice Shompe were third.

But Rowsom and Gough were at the top of their game, finishing first on all judges’ cards in both compulsory and free skating programs.

The championships were in Kitchener that year, and the Preston Figure Skating Club pair also competed in the senior competition that was won by Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini. The pair won their first Canadian title in 1979, after locals Sherri Baier and Robin Cowan won the title in 1978 at Victoria.

For Gough and Rowsom, who moved up to senior competition that year, they would finish third in their next two attempts at the Canadian crown.

They began to make their mark nationally in 1978 when competing as novices, finishing second at the Canadian Novice Championships.

Becky Gough, left, Mark Rowsom and Lorri Baier carolling at Christmas.

They followed that up in 1979 with a  silver medal at the Canadian Junior Pairs Championship, finishing behind Cambridge Sports Hall of Fame inductees Lorri Baier and Lloyd Eisler. At the World Junior Pairs Championships in 1979 Becky and Mark won a bronze medal.

Within the short span of two years they had moved up and were ranked third nationally among seniors, with only Martini and Underhill and clubmates Eisler and Lorri Baier ahead of them.

In 1981 both Gough and Rowsom, along with and Eisler and Baier were nominated for the Cambridge Tim Turow athlete of the year award, an award that figure skater Ron Shaver first won in 1974. By then Gough was a 16-year-old at Glenview Park Secondary School student while Rowsom, a music major, was in his second year of studies at the University of Waterloo hoping to have a singing career in classical music. 

Becky Gough and Mark Rowsom

 Gough always had designs on coaching, which she did following her skating career. “I’d like to try to pay back some of what my parents have given me.”

Gough and Rowsom with the Canadian national team.