Ellen Burka's unique figure skating training techniques
and groundbreaking choreography produced 26 Canadian Olympic
and World Championships medallists.
Her most prominent pupils included 1965 World figure Skating
champion Petra Burka (her daughter), Elvis Stojko, a three-time
world champion and two-time Olympic silver medallist, and
Toller Cranston, the 1976 Olympic bronze medallist who, together
with his coach, developed "Theater on Ice", changing
the face of men's artistic skating choreography.
Burka, herself, won the 1946 and 1947 Dutch women's figure skating singles championships––after surviving World War II Westerbork and Theresienstadt concentration camps. Her parents and grandmother were sent to the Sobibor camp, where they perished. At Theresienstadt Ellen met her future husband, with whom she immigrated to Canada in 1950.
Burka received the Order of Canada in 1978, was inducted into the Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1992, and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.