(January 19, 2009) – The last day of the 2009 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships got off to a later start. Medal ceremonies and special award presentations began at 3:00 p.m.

One of the special presentations was the HomeSense Personal Best Award which recognizes individual performers who achieved personal best scores.

HomeSense Personal Best Award Winners
Sarah Jones and Jeremy Sandor – Junior pair – Quebec Section    
New seasonal best score – 123.67 (+19.12)

Kaliegh Hole – Junior women – Manitoba Section
New seasons best score – 105.18 (+14.27)

Alexa-Marie Arrotta and Martin Nickel – Junior ice dance – Manitoba Section
New seasonal best score – 136.87 (+17.08)

Paul Parkinson – Junior men – Eastern Ontario Section
New seasonal best score – 141.46 – (+11.32)

Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers – Senior pair – Saskatchewan Section
New seasonal best score – 138.92 (+17.8)

Amélie Lacoste – Senior women – Quebec Section
New seasonal best score – 143.01 (+25.38)

Allie Hann-McCurdy and Michael Coreno – British Columbia and Yukon Section
New seasonal best score – 160.36 (+17.41)

Debbi Wilkes, Skate Canada Director Marketing and Communications also gave a notable mention to newly certified level five coach, Sylvie Wandzura who is a member of the Saskatchewan Section.

Annie Barabé, Marina Zoueva and Lee Barkell all received the Petro Canada Coaching Excellence Award. The award honours coaches whose Canadian athletes or teams win medals at World Championships, Olympic Games, Special Olympics and the Paralympics Games.

Doug Leigh was also recognized for his coaching efforts with the Geoff Gowan Award. The award recognizes a person’s lifetime contribution to coaching development regardless of their sport. The coach must also present a positive public image and have helped to enhance the role of coaches within the Canadian sport community.

The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State for Sport also made an appearance at the event. Lunn helped award medals in the senior disciplines. He also mingled with volunteers, athletes and media while watching the men’s free program.

“Regardless of what sport discipline you get young people involved in, whether it’s skating, skiing or cycling; whatever it may be, it’s the character it builds. The determination, passion makes for the most inspiring athletes.” said Lunn. “The skaters have put their hearts and souls into their training and I am sure we are going to see that on the ice today and I am looking forward to it.”

Lunn joined the crowds at Credit Union Centre at 4:30 p.m. for the start of the men’s free program.

It was Patrick Chan the 18-year-old from Toronto who once again had the fans in Saskatoon on their feet. Chan swept through his long program for a score of 165.93 and a total competition score of 254.82. Chan not only beat his own personal best score he also beat the Canadian record that was previously held by Jeffery Buttle. This is Chan’s second Canadian title; he also won the event in 2008.

Edmonton native Vaughn Chipeur, 24, was able to hold on to the silver medal. Chipeur scored 134.41 points in the free program for an overall total of 206.30 points. Jeremy Ten, 19 of Vancouver, B.C., edged his way onto the podium to win the bronze medal. Ten scored 134.97 points in the free program for a total score of 204.03.   
After the senior men’s free program the BMO Possibility Awards were given out. The BMO Possibility Awards have been presented annually since 2004 and include a $500 BMO Financial Group training grant and a glass sculpture. This year’s awards were presented by Harold Halyk, Market Manager, BMO Harris Private Banking.

The Awards take into account some of the following criteria during individual performances in any part of the 2009 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships:

  • personal best performance
  • performance given above adversity
  • performance that stuck in the minds of the spectators
  • performance that displayed new and creative skating talent and set new standards or sought a new horizon

Brittany Jones and Kurtis Gaskell from Western Ontario showed focus, determination and commitment to perform two clean programs in junior pair. Karen Routhier and Eric Sauke-Lacelle from Quebec dominated the junior dance category. They captured three clear victories in all three parts of the junior dance event. Jean-Simon Légaré from Quebec was able to entertain the crowd to no end. From a spectator perspective he was one of the skaters that the audience came to love for his passion and skill of skating. His energy was undeniable in his short program. Kathryn Kang from the British Columbia Yukon section showed mental toughness in executing two consistent and solid technical and artistic performances in the senior women.

The five-day event was a huge success with great performances from skaters in every discipline and the amazing work of all the volunteers! This event would not have been possible without the help of wonderful Saskatoon volunteers! Thank you!

Skate Canada looks forward to the 2010 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships hosted in London, Ontario next January!

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