Twin brothers Chris and Nick Molnar were learning to skate almost as soon as they could walk. The Burnaby boys started playing hockey at the Burnaby Winter Club and getting coached in figure skating at 8 Rinks before they'd even started kindergarten.
But at 15, they had to make a decision: would they focus on hockey or see where figure skating might take them? Though their lives had run parallel until that point, Nick chose hockey, and Chris decided on figure skating; and that, you might say, has made all the difference. Being somewhat smaller than Nick, Chris thought it would be harder to make it big as a hockey player, so he pursued competitive skating, moving to Montreal at 18 to compete in ice dancing with a partner at the national level, and later, competing in France.
Now, at 23, both Molnars are committed to their sports and are thriving on the ice - Nick coaches a peewee team here at home - and Chris has no regrets about not reaching for the NHL dream.
"After I kind of matured a little, I think I could have probably got a little bigger (and been) a good hockey player, but I went far with skating as well, so I can't really say that I wish I'd went with hockey."
Chris recently auditioned for and was hired by Disney On Ice, which tours internationally.
"I've met lots of great people and got to see lots of cool places," he said, noting he loves to perform for a live audience.
"I'm still doing what I love, but the difference is that I'm getting paid for it, which is great, and I get to perform for a live audience, which is kind of the same as competing, but it's not as stressful."
The Disney on Ice tour started two months ago in Mexico City and is making its way up the West Coast.
The Dare To Dream show features three princess stories; Cinderella, Rapunzel, and The Princess and the Frog. Molnar has roles in each.
"A lot of the people who are coming to the show haven't seen me skate yet, so I'm kind of nervous and kind of excited at the same time," he said.
Performances will be at the Pacific Coliseum at the PNE, 2901 E. Hastings St., from Nov. 21 to 25.
Show times are 7: 30 p.m. during the week and at 11: 30 a.m., 3: 30 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m. on Saturday and at 1 and 5 p.m. on Sunday.
For tickets, visit www. pne.ca or call 604-280-4444.
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