(January 18, 2010) – It was the final day of events at the 2010 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships in London at the John Labatt Centre.

The last event to finish was the men’s singles but before that got under way Skate Canada showcased some of the young talent in a CanSkate exhibition and also had a special Hall of Fame presentation.

Skate Canada welcomed Marijane Stong to its Hall of Fame in the professional category. Stong blended innovative choreography with stirring music and vivid costumes to create a complete skating package over the years and made her work as a coach, choreographer and costume designer, influential to the development of the sport. Serving as Skate Canada’s National Coach Consultant since 1999, Marijane continues to influence the current generation of skaters. She works with skaters and coaches to complement their skating programs with the ideal skating costumes and music.

Skate Canada also welcomed Donald Knight in the athlete category. Making his mark on the sport during the 1960s he became the Canadian Junior Champion in 1961 when he was just 13 years old. For the next six years he finished on the podium at the senior Canadian championships, placing 3rd in 1962, second in 1963 and 1964 and was crowned champion for three straight years, 1965-1967.

Skate Canada is pleased to welcome both Marijane Stong and Donald Knight into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame and thanks them for their contribution to the sport.

The men were up next as they hit the ice in front of excited fans at the JLC. You could feel the tension and energy in the crowd since Olympic dreams were on the line and would come true for some competitors. There was no surprise that Central Ontario’s Patrick Chan claimed his third consecutive title. He scored 177.88 points in the free program for an overall total score of 268.02. Alberta/Northwest Territories/ Nunavut skater Vaughn Chipeur was able to hold on to the silver after scoring 143.23 points in the free program for a competition total of 222.10 points. In third place was Kevin Reynolds from the British Columbia Yukon Territory with 149.10 in the free for a total of 216.49.

Chan said “I feel great about what happened here” but plans to keep working towards Vancouver.  “I know there’s room for improvement but I have four weeks to get ready. I’m so excited to be going to the Olympics.”

Once again the Canadian Olympic Committee, along with Skate Canada, announced the final skaters to be nominated to the Canadian team for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.  Canada has two entries in each of the four disciplines.  The ice dance competitors will be Tessa Virtue from London, Ontario/Scott Moir from Ilderton, Ontario and Vanessa Crone from Aurora, Ontario/Paul Poirier from Toronto, Ontario. In the men’s the skaters will be Patrick Chan from Toronto, Ontario and Vaughn Chipeur, originally from Lloydminster, Saskatchewan and now living in Calgary, Alberta.

After seven days of skating at both the Western Fair Centre and the John Labatt Centre Skate Canada has named Canadian champions in novice, junior and senior in all four disciplines.

The event ended with the exhibition gala. The top three placements in senior events skated as well as the Canadian Junior Champions.

“These championships had everything, strong rivalries, world-class skating, and the deepest Canadian field in all four disciplines in recent memory,” said Skate Canada CEO William Thompson.  “Our novice and junior skaters gave us a glimpse of what the future of skating is in our country.  And our senior athletes came to this event to compete, and they showed the audience both here and watching at home, what amazing skaters we have in Canada.”

Skate Canada would like to thank the volunteers, sponsors, coaches, athletes, parents, officials, venue staff and of course the fans for making this a great event for everyone involved.

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