Craig Heath, vegan figure skater
Craig Heath, vegan figure skater
Excellence on the ice
Craig is a champion figure skater and choreographer known for his positive attitude and high energy routines.
Craig turned professional in 1993, and achieved a number of notable career highlights both before and since doing so.
In 1990 he visited England and won Skate Electric, and in 1991 he won the US National Championships. Since then he has become a World Professional Bronze Medalist, US Figure Champion, US Junior Bronze Medalist and two time American Open Silver Medalist. He is a five-time Gold Medallist (American/Canadian).
Craig's enthusiasm and commitment are recognised within the ice dance world, as is his perfection. He has received perfect 19 scores for his spins in four consecutive professional competitions and is famous for completing ten double axes in a row in many performances of Toy Story on Ice.
- US National Champion
- Five time American/Canadian Gold Medallist
- World leading entertainer and choreographer
He had been the Star of Disney on Ice-Toy Story where he played both of the characters Andy and Sid, and starred in Holiday on Ice-Hollywood. He has long been in demand and has appeared in leading performances in numerous ice across the world where he has starrred in the leading role. Known for his hard work, energy and likeability, he remains one of the most sought after trainers, choreographers and performers.
Craig states on his website "I am a Vegan Vegetarian", which may help explain his energy. Krzysztof Korcarz, Performance Supervisor for Holiday on Ice- Hollywood says that Craig "brings a happy and positive attitude to work, never making any problems or complaints and always ready to help everybody. His performances are always the same high standard. I have never seen him lazy or saving energy-even if he has to skate with an injury."
Craig told Great VeganAthletes about the process of maing the change, which started in the late 1970s when Craig was twelve years old. "We took a family holiday to the North Shore of Oahu and for some reason we went on a tour of a nearby dairy farm. In that moment, I put two and two together about what I was actually eating (cows) and once I realized this, I could not eat cow. From there I cut out one animal at a time as I realized and then started reading about it. There was also a cow that would stand next to a fence by our bungalow and I felt like it was talking to me with it’s eyes."
Craig was therefore vegetarian during his teenage years, until he had another influence, this time from 'Peak Performance' writer and speaker Anthony Robbins.
"I was vegetarian from the age of 14 to 20 and then I went to an Anthony Robins seminar in Palm Springs and we ate a vegan diet and he talked about why we should eat that way as humans, so I cut out dairy products and have eaten that way ever since."
The diet helps fuel Craig's amazing energy. Craig contacted us in 2016 on the day before his 49th birthday, but middle age had not slowed him as it slows many men. Just finishing his busiest month of the year, he was in the middle of teaching and skating in ice shows. Teaching is typically 8-12 hours per day, on top of which he skates one hour per day and also fits in two gym sessions per week. He hasn't stopped competing or travelling either.
"I am still skating in shows and competitions. I just competed in the US Open in Vegas last month. I teach in Hong Kong 8 months a year and Sun Valley, Idaho for 3 months a year. I am 49 tomorrow. I hope to keep performing and teaching as long as I still like it. Traveling the world is my passion."
With such high energy levels and so much achieved, Craig doesn't tend to get his diet criticised. "People are used to my eating habits and nobody really says anything" he tells us. "Some people are curious and want to know why. I don’t say anything about it unless people ask and want to know."
He lists rice, pasta and thai food among his commonly eaten foods along with mexican, chinese and potatoes.
With such a fulfilling occupation and lifestyle, Craig has derived much from veganism, although he also notes that there is a collective neccesity for us all to think about what we eat.
"I think eating a plant based diet (and even better to be vegan) is the only way the human race will survive in the future. I see so many people with unnecessary health issues because of what they eat. I have seen great improvements to the American diet and consciousness over the past 10 years but we still have a long way to go. I hope that I can inspire people to eat a plant based and/or vegan diet."
- Kristi Blackwell, Performance Director on Toy Story says "his smile, his energy and characterization are incomparable to anyone I have ever worked with. Craig is a high achiever that never settles for anything but his best. Even in the toughest times, the hardest schedule, Craig will challenge his performance by adding more difficulty to his solos. Do you know anyone that has landed thirteen consecutive double axels in one solo after having performed nine shows in three days? Craig Heath, the "ironman" as I call him, has achieved this feat."