For most young boys growing up in rural Canada, winter months meant hockey. Youngsters eagerly lace up their hockey skates, grab their hockey sticks and glide onto frozen ponds and local arenas.
Bonard Muck of Blackville wasn’t any different. However, he kept falling and didn’t like that so his mom and dad enlisted help in the form of a skating teacher to teach basic skills to the seven-year- old.
That was the best move they could have made as far as their son was concerned.
Not only did the boy take to figure skating but excelled and with the help of his parents, various skating club instructors and skating coaches, Bonard Muck was competing in national figure skating competitions as a solo skater then in the pairs competition and bringing home medals.
At age 27, Muck is skating professionally and recently landed a lead role in the hit Disney production of High School Musical on Ice now touring the United States. The production is a take-off of the hit Disney Channel Original Movie “High School Musical” and sequel “High School Musical 2.”
“Skating is in my blood,” he says simply.
There are actually three complete production shows performing the musical in different cities at the same time. Muck portrays the character Ryan, a wanna-be actor trying for an upcoming role in a theatrical production.
Muck was in Egypt performing in another Disney production on ice when asked if he would take one of the six lead parts in the new production by Feld Entertainment. Muck has been with Disney for six years and visited every continent except Antarctica performing on ice and loving every minute, according to his father, Hal Muck.
He’s visited 20 per cent of the world’s countries and has taken 32,000 pictures to prove it, said Muck senior.
Hal and Debbie Muck are obviously proud of their son and his accomplishments. Being a figure skater growing up in a hockey- minded community had its moments but he persevered and overcame any difficulties because he loved skating, his father said.
And it wasn’t easy financially either since there was little grant and support money for training and competition and the expense of coaches and travel, but the Mucks also persevered so that their son could fulfill his dream of competing in the nationals and beyond.
Coaches usually charge $50 to $75 an hour while new skates cost $800 to $1, 000 every year or two, said Hal Muck.
Then there were the Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. at Moncton’s Dud James Arena for a couple of winters honing his skating skills. He also completed Grade 12 in Moncton.
He also spent a couple of summers in Montreal training with skating experts in the pairs dance class.
“He loved it, every minute. He was happy on the ice,” his father said.
Bonard (named after a grandfather) Muck is the only male skater in the three productions who does a back flip in the show, one of his trade marks.
An American former women’s champion figure skater in the show also does a back flip now.
He’s met many famous people along his travels, appeared in a few commercials as well and on talk shows, his father added.