Kaiya Ruiter fulfilled every skater’s dream when, at 17, she won the national title in her hometown of Calgary, Alberta, with her parents, three sisters, grandmother and countless friends in attendance.

“It felt like magic to me,” Ruiter said of the moment, which gave her a rare triple crown: Canadian women’s titles at the novice, junior and senior levels.

Performing to the aptly named “Inspiration,” a virtuoso composition for strings, the expressive skater combined musicality with athleticism, including two triple-triple jump combinations. When she finished her four-minute free skate, she couldn’t resist celebrating with a fist pump or two.

“It is still so surreal to me,” she says. “When I take the ice, they say, ‘Canadian champion.’ I can’t believe they’re talking about me. It’s crazy.”

Just two weeks later, Ruiter made more magic at the 2024 Youth Olympics in Gangwon, South Korea, where she helped Canada win the figure skating team bronze medal. The gathering of young athletes, all under the age of 17, fueled her dream of representing Canada at the 2026 Milano-Cortina Games.

“Watching the Olympics growing up, and seeing the team event, it always looked like so much fun and something I dreamed of doing,” she says. “Participating in it was even better than I thought it would be. We were all supportive team members and lifted each other up …. it only made me hungrier for the (2026) Olympics.”

Skating is a family affair for Ruiter, who took to the ice with her parents at age four, on the Rideau Canal Skateway in her birthplace of Ottawa, Ontario. When she was 10, the clan moved west for her father’s job, settling in Edmonton for a year before relocating to Calgary. All of her sisters – Keaghan, Vaunya, and Vyan – competed in figure skating.

“I couldn’t have a better support system,” she says. “They’re my best friends.”

Ruiter attends high school online, where she excels in biology and math. Her off-ice interests range from costume design – she contributes sketches and ideas to her own on-ice ensembles – to reading classics like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, to her fandom of the NHL Edmonton Oilers.

“I try never to miss an Oilers game. I love to just curl up at night and read a book and watch hockey,” she says. “I like the classics because they’re written in such different periods to what we live in now, and I think it’s cool to gain a little bit of perspective on what life might have been like back then.”

Each step Ruiter takes follows in the footsteps of her idol, three-time Olympic medalist Kaetlyn Osmond. The two briefly trained at the same rink in Edmonton, when Osmond was training for her gold medal run at the 2018 World Figure Skating Championships.

“I remember just standing there, watching by the window when she was doing her programs,” she says. “To me, Katelyn was just the epitome, she had absolutely everything. But even more than that, she had the soul to go with it …. she is just a perfect example of beauty, power and grace. I really want to be like her.”

To that end, Ruiter pledges to work hard with her coaching team in Calgary, targeting areas that need improvement – upgrading her spins is on the list – and trying on new musical styles.

“I love finding the areas I need to improve upon the most,” she says. “I really want to find new, mature programs that will make people really see a difference in me. Doing shows will be a wonderful opportunity to try out new styles without being in the competitive environment. I’m just looking forward to all of it.”

Competitive Results

Canadian Championships



Skate Canada



Canadian Championships




Show Dates



    April 28, 2024 - 4:00pm
    Canadian Tire Centre

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