Battle of the Blades

Overheard at bootcamp: hockey players describe their first time on figure skates

"I never thought when I was fighting this guy in my career that I'd be out there holding hands with him, on the ice, in figure skates." And other memorable quotes from the first day of Battle of the Blades training

"I felt like Bambi on ice" and other memorable quotes from the first days of Battle of the Blades training

An unamed pair of skaters practice during the first week of bootcamp. (Battle of the Blades/CBC)

When seven brave hockey players strapped on their figure skates for the first time at Battle of the Blades bootcamp, it was a humbling affair. Elite athletes who've been skating almost as long as they've been alive lost their footing, caught their toe-picks and went crashing to the ground. NHLers and Olympians hit the ice with modest goals like "try not to die." Meanwhile, their patient figure skater partners tried their best to keep them upright, get them used to their new skates, and maybe teach them a couple moves.

Also, we saw two former NHL tough guys attempt a basic pair spin together. Adorable.

But whether it was on ice or in the locker room, if you listened closely those first few skates there was some comedy gold. Here are some of the most memorable quotes from the first week at bootcamp:

Some skaters met their first challenge just lacing up their skates

"What do you do with that middle part?"

"Oh, you wear normal socks?"

"What did you do!?"
"That's the way I tie my hockey skates."
"How many bows are there? There's 14 bows!"
"That's how I tie my skates!"

Skaters take the ice at the Battle of the Blades practice facility in Mississauga, Ont. (Battle of the Blade/CBC)

Others managed to make it on the ice before realizing that figure skating is a different world

"Why do I feel like I'm learning to skate all over again?"

"I felt like I was Bambi on ice. I couldn't lift my feet up"

"I was literally stepping. I felt like my three-year-old son getting on the ice."

"I'm confident I'll faceplant. I want to get it out of the way."

Several of these elite athletes found their first attempt at figure skating to be a humbling experience

"I think I should be better than I am."

"The second I got confident, like 'Oh, yeah. I got this.' Boom. Faceplant. Reality check."

"Are you OK?"
"Yeah, I just hate it."

A cluster of skaters discuss what a swizzle is. (Battle of the Blades/CBC)

In addition to learning how to use their new skates, the hockey players also had to learn a whole new sporting language

"You just did a twizzle! An outside twizzle!"

"They're called swing rolls."
"Spring rolls?"
"Swing rolls."
"Spring rolls?"
"Spring rolls it is."

And all of them learned a new respect for the sport of figure skating

"It's intimidating. It's so foreign to me. I've been on ice my entire life, but I'm incredibly impressed with the figure skaters."

"I never thought when I was fighting this guy in my career that I'd be out there holding hands with him, on the ice, in figure skates."

"As a hockey player, you grow up and you're sort of always ripping figure skaters… You're always pissed when figure skaters are on your ice, digging holes in it. Now I'm kind of biting my tongue."

Find out more about the skaters behind these hilarious quotes: check out the full roster of skaters and pairings for this this season of Battle of the Blades.