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CAREER SUMMARY

Birth
Liz 29 December 1962
Peter 20 November 1958
Sydney

Coaches
Gretchen Malitz (Doolan), Gladys Hogg, John A W Nicks

International contributions
USA Ice Follies / Holiday On Ice. Liz: Disney On Ice, Torvill + Dean, Skating On Thin Ice TV series

Olympics
1980, Lake Placid

World Championships
1977-80

British Championships
1975

IEstablished mobile rink company, Stars On Ice, in 1998.

SHE WAS BORN Elizabeth Jane Cain in Sydney, Australia, on the 29 December 1962 to Eve and Leonard Cain. Her older brother and skating partner Peter Christian Cain was born 20 November 1958, also in Sydney. The Cains are the 1975 British junior pair champions; and the 1975 British senior pair bronze medalists, equalling the achievement of Mason and Bower in the British championships in 1952 and 1956. They are the 1976 World junior pair bronze medalists. They are four-time Australian national pair champions, 1975-7, 1979; and four time world championship competitors 12th/13 in 1977; 14th/15 in 1978; 13th/14 in 1979; and 14th/15 in 1980. They placed 11th of 12 in the Pairs event at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Neither competed individually.

The Cains lived at St Ives in the northern suburbs of Sydney where their father was a confectionary manufacturer. He also established the Glaciarium ice rink at Burwood in Sydney, which operated during the 1960s until its closure in 1970. Their mother Eve had been a show skater at the original Sydney Glaciarium and, although both parents had always been skating enthusiasts, they did not push the children to take it up. Peter was 13 and Liz was 9 when they decided to skate in 1972. Gretchen Malitz (Doolan), a former New South Wales champion, began their coaching at Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink, training 2 hours every day and 6 hours in the holidays. Their father Len became a director there when he saw their potential. [475] Peter achieved the figure and free-form bronze medal and Liz, the dance bronze medal. [474]

They prepared for the 1975 British junior championship with coach Gladys Hogg at the Queens Ice Dance Club at Bayswater in London. [475] Former world champion and Hall-of-Famer John A W Nicks, whom Hogg had trained, had since established himself in Santa Monica, California, as the best pairs coach in the world. Accompanied by their parents, the Cains did 5 weeks advanced tuition with Nicks and then skated off with the British junior pairs title just 3 years after they first skated. Liz was still only 12 years-old when the couple became the only Australians to ever win a British pairs figure skating championship. [474] Australian, Adrian Swan, had won both British junior and senior men's individual titles in 1952.

Nicks' coaching was acknowledged as a large part of their win, especially his advanced moves. According to London's Guardian newspaper of the time, these included "the split double twist invented only a few years ago, a press lift in which the 16 year-old Peter skates at speed with 12 year-old Elizabeth held at arm's length, horizontally turning about his head, and a Kaufmann spin where Cain momentarily released his sister to perform an extra revolution, with his leg passing over her head, ruffling her hair." [475]

In 1979, in the lead-up to the 1980 Olympics, they finished 8th/10 in the Ennia Challenge Cup contested at The Hague, Holland, and 7th/7 at the inaugural Flaming Leaves invitational tournament (now Skate America) in September at Lake Placid in America. Their 11th place at the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid was the best ever result in figures for Australia. Brother and sister caught the eye of Ken Feld, head of Ice Follies, and signed a two-year contract as principal pairs skaters with USA Ice Follies, which had just merged with Holiday on Ice. Australians such as Pat Gregory had toured with these big American ice shows decades earlier, but the Cains were probably the first Australian skating pair to do so. "Being the principal pair in such a prestigious company of 70 skaters is a real honour. And it'll be nice to have money coming in," Peter said. "In the past year it cost about $40,000 to compete in the world championships and the winter Olympics at Lake Placid." [477]

Liz later performed as a principal skater with the Disney On Ice and Torvill + Dean ice shows. In 2005, she starred in the first reality ice skating TV series with Channel 9, Skating On Thin Ice. Celebrities learnt to skate with the goal of performing with Disney on Ice.

Peter, who was coaching in Texas in 2013, is the father of American skater Ashley Cain (b. 1995), the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy bronze medalist and the 2012 USA Junior silver medalist. Liz is the mother and coach of Australian national champion Sean Carlow (b. 1985), 4 times World Championship representative and 3 times Australian Mens Champion.

In 1998, Liz Cain's dream of bringing the magic of European and North American ice shows to Australia was launched in the form of the mobile rink company, Stars On Ice. Sean now runs the business with advice from his uncle, Peter. On 28 March 2007, Liz had her leg partially amputated after her shin was severed in the Sydney Harbour Bridge Ferry Disaster. She was with her husband Peter Lyons and several members of the Australian figure skating team in their 10m boat that collided with a ferry on Sydney Harbour. Her son kept her afloat until rescuers arrived. Liz returned to coach figure skating with a prosthetic leg.

Liz and Peter Cain were among the twenty-two inaugural inductees to the Ice Skating Australia (ISA) Hall of Fame established in August 2004.

Liz + Peter Cain, Pairs Figure Skating, 1975-80
Event 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980
Winter Olympic Games 11th/12
World Championships 12th/13
14th/15 13th/14 14th/15
World Junior Championships 3rd/7
Australian Championships 1st 1st 1st 1st
British Championships 3rd/4
British Junior Championships 1st/4
Source: ISA International Placings, 2005, and press reports as cited. See note below.
01. Historical Notes
1. The local press (The Weekly at links below) recorded the 1975 British World Championships were held from 29 April 1975 (probably at Richmond) and the Cains won the Pairs title. [474, 476] The official result for the 1975 Pairs event are not yet published online via the NISA archives nor Wikipedia, but there are local press records of a British junior championship contested as far back as the early-1950s when Australian Adrian Swan won both British junior and senior titles in 1952.
02. Citation Details

Ross Carpenter, 'CAIN, Liz (1962-)" & Peter (1958- )', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia, http://icelegendsaustralia.com/bio-cain.html, accessed online .

03. Select Bibliography

[474] The Australian Women's Weekly, Wed 19 Feb 1975, p 39. Article: Consolation Prize Led to Ice Stardom. Scan of original at link in biography of Liz + Peter Cain.

[475] The Australian Women's Weekly, 28 May 1975. Article by Larry Boys: Skating Pair Hit the Top in Quick Time. Scan of original at link in biography of Liz + Peter Cain.

[476] The Australian Women's Weekly, Wed 8 Nov 1978, p 21. Article by Lana Wells: Warming Up for the 1980 Winter Olympics. Scan of original at link in biography of Liz + Peter Cain.

[477] The Australian Women's Weekly, Wed 2 July 1980, p 9.

04. Citations
Citations | 1 - 280 | 281-on |
G A L L E R YArrows at right scroll the images
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Tartan On Ice',

'Victorian Champion, The Argus, Melbourne, 19 Jul 1949.