Uplifter Inc. Named As Skate Canada’s Preferred Club Management Software Partner

Ottawa, ON: Skate Canada is proud to name Uplifter Inc. as its preferred partner for skating club management systems. Through this partnership, Uplifter technology platforms will play a strong role in implementing Skate Canada’s programs throughout its national network of skating clubs and schools.

Uplifter. Web-based club and Athlete management technology.

“Uplifter has been providing valuable business solutions to over 150 of our clubs for the past two years,” explains Dan Thompson, Skate Canada CEO. “Their proven, leading-edge web-based technologies align with our organization’s core mandate by making it easier for Skate Canada clubs, coaches and skaters to engage Canadians in the sport of skating. As an official preferred partner, we’re looking forward to having more of our over 1,500 clubs experiencing the benefits of the Uplifter services.”

Founded in 2013 by Jackie Kwan, Bryce Thomas and Al Nasturzio, Uplifter Inc. is one of Canada’s newest and fastest-growing technology start-ups. Uplifter’s web-based club management SaaS system provides sport associations and clubs with advanced online registration, class management and athlete development tracking tools that automate club operations, enhance the visibility of club financials, elevate the skill development of athletes, and foster a stronger club community.

“Uplifter was born out of the desire to elevate the confidence and capabilities of athletes of all ages,” comments Bryce Thomas, Uplifter co-founder and CMO. “Through our ongoing partnership with Skate Canada, we are thrilled to put that passion and expertise into action and to help boost the success of our Canadian skaters from coast to coast.”

Uplifter’s bilingual club management technologies have already been implemented by some of Skate Canada’s largest and smallest skating clubs and schools across the country, including Skate Canada’s new National Performance Centres, Skate Vancouver (BC), Yellowknife Skating Club (NT), Ice Palace FSC (AB), Skate Winnipeg (MB), Skate Saskatoon (SK), Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club (ON), CPA Beaufort (QC), Dieppe Gold Blades (NB), Halifax Skating Club (NS), Sherwood Parkdale Skating Club (PEI), and Prince of Wales Skating Club (NL).

For more information on Uplifter Inc. and the Uplifter Club Management Technologies, visit http://www.uplifterinc.com.

Skate Canada names teams for 2016 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada has selected two synchronized skating teams for the 2016 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships taking place in Budapest, Hungary, from April 8-9, 2016.

Les Supremes

Les Suprêmes

Les Suprêmes, from the CPA Saint-Léonard, and Nexxice, from the Burlington Skating Centre, earned their entries to the world championships winning gold and silver respectively at 2016 Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships this past weekend in Waterloo, Ont.

Canadian champions Les Suprêmes are the first Canadian entry for the 2016 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships. Representing CPA Saint-Léonard, they earned their third Canadian title this past weekend in Waterloo, Ont. Les Suprêmes placed sixth at the 2015 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships. They have won one medal at this event previously, bronze in 2003. Les Suprêmes are coached by Marilyn Langlois, assisted by Pascal Denis, Amélie Brochu, and Amanda Gaiotti.

Nexxice Senior

Nexxice Senior

Representing the Burlington Skating Centre, Nexxice will be the second entry. Nexxice are the defending world champions, and have previously won the world championships in 2009, won silver from 2012-2014, and won bronze in 2007 and 2008. The 2016 Canadian silver medallists are coached by Shelley Simonton Barnett and Anne Schelter.

This will be the 17th edition of the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships with Canada having won medals at 11 of those previous events.

Earlier this season, entries for the 2016 ISU Synchronized Skating Junior World Challenge Cup in Zagreb, Croatia, from March 11-12, 2016, were determined at Skate Canada Central Ontario’s annual Winterfest competition. The 2016 Canadian silver medallists Les Suprêmes (junior) from CPA Saint-Léonard and 2016 Canadian gold medallists, Nexxice (junior), of the Burlington Skating Club earned the two entries for Canada.

Les Suprêmes ends nine-year run for NEXXICE at Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships

WATERLOO, Ont. – NEXXICE’s nine-year winning streak at the Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships is over.

Quebec’s Les Suprêmes, who led the reigning world champions by almost five points following Saturday’s short program, scored 143.19 in their free program Sunday for a two-day total of 217.42. NEXXICE finished second with 212.59, and Central Ontario’s Meraki (171.23) earned bronze.

It is the third Canadian title for Les Suprêmes, and first since 2004.

Both Les Suprêmes and NEXXICE qualify for the 2016 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships being held April 8-9 in Budapest, Hungary. Last year at the world championships in Hamilton, Ont., NEXXICE claimed their second world crown while Les Suprêmes placed sixth.

“We’ve worked very hard for this,” said Les Suprêmes coach Pascal Denis. “NEXXICE is a team that was (at the top) for many years.

“We had two great skates. They skated well both days, so we’re very happy about that.”

“It feels amazing,” said Les Suprêmes co-captain Claudia Sforzin. “Our goal was to lay out two strong performances and focus on the things we can control. The result is just a bonus. It’s surreal.”

“We were both really happy with our performances,” added Laurie Desilets, the team’s other captain. “It’s just an incredible feeling.”

NEXXICE’s run of nine straight titles began in 2007 and two years later they became the first Canadian team to win the World Synchronized Skating Championships. On Saturday, that 2009 team was the first synchronized skating team inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame.

A day later, their record run was halted.

“The short program was not good, and it put us at a considerable disadvantage,” admitted NEXXICE coach Shelley Simonton Barnett.

“It was disappointing. The free was much stronger. It’s a very difficult program that’s developing, and there’s still more we can do with it.”

In the junior category, NEXXICE scored 168.00 to turn the tables and end Les Suprêmes’ own two-year national championship streak. Les Suprêmes’ (161.11) was second followed by Les Pirouettes (154.95).

Les Suprêmes went home with Novice gold with a total of 114.05 points, edging   NEXXICE (111.89) and Les Pirouettes (102.52).

Quebec-based teams ended up taking home gold in four of the five events in Waterloo.

On Saturday, NOVA claimed their sixth straight national Open title while Cassiopée were crowned Intermediate champions.

Patrick Chan roars to gold at ISU Four Continents

TAIPEI CITY, Taipei – Patrick Chan earned a personal best score in the free skate to rocket to the gold medal in men’s competition on Sunday at the ISU Four Continents figure skating competition.

It was the second international victory this season for the three-time world champion from Toronto. He earned 203.99 points in his free program which included landing two quads and two triple Axels for a grand total of 290.21. He was fifth after Friday’s short program.

“I was looking forward to going out there and showing what I do every day in training,” said Chan, who took the year off in 2014-15. “It felt relaxed and I didn’t feel tired through the elements. That means I was able to breathe my way through the program and the keep the focus on myself. The whole day was paced really well.
Adding a second triple Axel was a new element for Chan.

“That’s a huge milestone for me on my first year back,” he said. “Landing that second Axel was a huge relief and I really did it well just like the first one. This year has been so successful for the first year back. We’ve definitely exceeded expectations.”

Chan also won the Four Continents title in 2009 and 2012. His first victory this season was at Skate Canada this past fall.
Boyang Jin of China landed four quads and took the silver on Sunday at 289.83 and his compatriot Han Yan was third at 271.55.

Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., was 11th and Liam Firus of North Vancouver 13th.

“I came back with a fight in the long program,” said Reynolds. “It was a boost of confidence and good base to build on for next season.”

Chan’s victory was Canada’s second medal of the competition. On Friday, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., won bronze in ice dancing.

Full results: ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships

Quebec teams earn pair of national titles at Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships

Les Suprêmes looking to dethrone nine-time senior champion NEXXICE in Waterloo

WATERLOO, Ont. – Defending world champion NEXXICE will have some work to do if they are to win their tenth consecutive Canadian synchronized skating title.

Les Suprêmes of Quebec are in position to end the Burlington, Ont.-based powerhouse’s record run after scoring 74.23 in their senior short program Saturday at the 2016 Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships. NEXXICE is in second spot (69.47) followed by Meraki of Central Ontario (59.98).

It was a golden sweep for Quebec teams as the first wave of medals were handed out Saturday in Waterloo.

In the Open division, Quebec’s NOVA claimed their sixth straight national title with a total score of 144.78, coming from behind to beat their provincial counterparts, Les Suprêmes (141.72). NEXXICE finished in third spot with 138.47 points.

Cassiopée, also hailing from Quebec, were golden in the Intermediate division with 102.21 points, edging out NEXXICE (101.25). Quebec’s Rythmiks Lanaudière placed third (98.36).

“We were really proud with what we did,” said Emilie Campbell-Renaud, who shares NOVA Open co-captain duties with Vicky Peloffy.

“It was a mental game after our first skate, we had a few stumbles, and we wanted to come back strong today. We just skated with our hearts and with passion and did what we wanted to do.”

In the junior short program, NEXXICE set the early pace with 62.63. Les Suprêmes (59.58) holds down second, followed by Les Pirouettes (54.32).

Les Suprêmes leads in the novice category heading into Sunday’s second free program, scoring 72.33 in their opening skate.

A pair of emotional Skate Canada Hall of Fame ceremonies also highlighted the opening two days of competition.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir returning to competition for 2016-2017 season

OTTAWA, ON: Tessa Virtue, 26, London, Ont., and Scott Moir, 28, Ilderton, Ont., announced today that they will return to competition for the 2016-2017 season. Virtue and Moir have taken two seasons off following the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, at which they won silver medals in the ice dance event and the team event.

“In returning to competition, our motivation stems solely from our love for the sport and our desire to create art. We are ready for the challenge, and ready to embrace life as athletes again!” said Virtue and Moir. “With Marie-France and Patrice, we have found a renewed passion for skating that feels both invigorating and inspiring. We have been working tirelessly on new techniques, and a different approach to ice dance – both mechanically and philosophically.”

“Canadian skating fans will undoubtedly be excited to welcome back Tessa and Scott,” said Dan Thompson, Skate Canada CEO. “The ice dance landscape in Canada is powerful and the return of six-time Canadian champions Tessa and Scott will further invigorate this discipline. We wish them the best of luck in their return.”

The 2010 Olympic champions and two-time world champions plan to move to Montreal, Que., to train with Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon at CPA Gadbois.

Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch fifth at ISU Four Continents

Duhamel and Radford withdraw, Osmond climbs to sixth

TAIPEI CITY, Taipei – Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto placed fifth in pairs while world champions Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., withdrew on Saturday at the ISU Four Continents figure skating competition.

In pairs, Duhamel skated in Thursday’s short program despite the stomach flu but she wasn’t able to compete on Saturday. The couple were second heading into the free skate.

“Meagan tried to do the practice this morning but it wasn’t going to happen,” said Radford. “I think at this point it’s just not worth it to push ourselves and risk any sort of injury before the world championships. It’s time to recuperate and build towards Boston.”

Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China won the gold medal with 221.91 points, Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim of the U.S. were second at 207.96 and Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin of China were third at 187.33.

Ilyushechkina and Moscovitch took fifth spot and Vanessa Grenier of Johnville, Que., and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., were 10th.

Ilyushechkina and Moscovitch, in their second season together, executed solid throws and lifts but struggled with their side-by-side jumps.

‘’There were some big improvements particularly in the triple twist throw and we are pleased to get a level three internationally with that,’’ said Ilyushechkina. ‘’Still there were mistakes we shouldn’t make.’’

Moscovitch says the pair is on the right track.

‘’Since the Canadian championships (in January) we’ve improved a lot,’’ he said. ‘’Our training and preparation coming into this event is the strongest we’ve been skating since we’ve come together as a team.’’

In women’s competition, Satoko Miyahara of Japan won the gold medal.  Mirai Nagasu of the U.S. was second and Rika Hongo of Japan third.

Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., produced a clean skate for the fourth best long program to climb from 11th after the short program to sixth overall. Osmond missed all of last season with a broken leg.

‘’I’m happy with it except for not completing my two big combos,’’ she said. ‘’Still it was technically a clean program and that’s something I’ve been wanting to do all year.

‘’It’s a great way to end my season.’’

Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., was 11th and Veronik Mallet of Sept-Iles, Que., 14th.

Competition ends Sunday with the men’s free skate. Canada’s Patrick Chan is fifth after Friday’s short program.

Full Results: 2016 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships

Weaver and Poje win bronze at ISU Four Continents

TAIPEI CITY – Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., won the bronze medal Friday in ice dancing at the ISU Four Continents Championships while Patrick Chan of Toronto stands fifth after the men’s short program.

Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje

In ice dancing, the Americans finished 1-2. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani took the gold with 181.62 points and Madison Chock and Evan Bates, the world championship silver medallists, followed at 174.64.

Weaver and Poje, the defending champions, followed at 173.85.

“We didn’t have our strongest skate,” said Weaver. “We fought through, we didn’t let it discourage us. Most days things come together for us but some days it doesn’t. Today was one of those. We’re still happy to go home with a bronze medal and we know we are capable of being the best.”

Poje says the result just fires them up even more for the next month’s world championships in Boston.

“We are going to use this as a learning experience,” he said. “We are going to make sure we get out the little stumbles and bumps out of the program. We plan to go into Boston full of confidence and full of energy.”

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto were fifth and Elisabeth Paradis of Loretteville, Que., and François-Xavier Ouellette of Laval, Que.,were sixth.

In the men’s short program, Boyang Jin of China stands first at 98.45 with Shoma Uno of Japan second at 92.99 and Han Yan of China third at 89.57. Takahito Mura of Japan is fourth at 89.08 followed by Chan at 86.22, a season’s best in international competition.

‘’I haven’t felt comfortable in training all week,’’ said Chan, who sat out last season. ‘’Considering that, I’m really happy with the skate, staying on feet, playing it smart and not making major mistakes. Staying in the final group for the free skate was also important.’’

Chan, a three-time world champion, says he is following his game plan.

‘’This season I want to take my time, be methodical. So far every competition it has been getting better,’’ he said.

Liam Firus of North Vancouver is 14th and Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., 20th.

Competition continues Saturday with the free skates in pairs and women’s competition.

Full results: ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships

Weaver and Poje in heated battle for ice dance gold at ISU Four Continents

TAIPEI CITY – Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., are in second place after the short dance at the ISU Four Continents Championships in figure skating which got underway Thursday.

World champions Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., are also in second after the pairs short program despite Duhamel skating with an illness.

In pairs, Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China are the surprise leaders with 78.51 points. Duhamel and Radford are second at 71.90 and Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim of the U.S. third at 67.71.

“Meagan was ill all day today heading into the short program,” said Radford. “It prevented us from having a really great skate which is what we were hoping for. But we still did some great elements out there. It’s unfortunate our Lutz was downgraded today and we lost a lot of points there.”

Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto are fifth at 61.97 and Vanessa Grenier of Johnville, Que., and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., are 10th.

“It was unfortunate about the mistake but I thought we collected ourselves really well,” said Moscovitch. “We skated well and improved a lot of areas.”

In ice dancing, Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. are first 72.86 followed closely by Weaver and Poje, the defending champions, at 72.48. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S. are third at 69.36 and world championship silver medallists Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. stand fourth at 67.05.

“We are very pleased with our short dance today,” said Poje. “We went out there and had a strong performance. We felt we captured the audience and captured the true feeling of our dance (a waltz). We did have a couple of level three’s that we want to address for the world championships.”

“Andrew and I are really happy,” added Weaver. “We felt really comfortable and enjoyed the moment which is always our goal for every competition. Right now it’s very close for the championship. We like our position heading into the free dance.”

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto are fifth at 63.92 and Elisabeth Paradis of Loretteville, Que., and Francois Xavier-Ouellette of Laval, Que., are sixth at 60.15 out of 16 entries.

Paradis and Ouellette reached the qualifying score for the world championships and earned a ticket to Boston next month.

“We really concentrated on what we needed to do,” said Paradis. “We were pretty nervous about getting our technical scores. But we focused on skating like we normally do in training and we are super happy.”

Ouellette says being relaxed was the key to their success.

“We appreciated each moment and put together a really super performance. We are going to Boston,” he said.

Japanese skaters are 1-2 after the women’s short program. Satoko Miyahara leads at 72.48 and Kanako Murakami is second at 68.51.

Canadian champion Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., is seventh, Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L. 11th and Véronik Mallet of Sept-Iles, Que., 15th.

‘’I wasn’t quite myself this time,’’ said Chartrand. ‘’I’m pretty disappointed. I had some issues with my combination and didn’t get my levels. All I can do is look forward to my free program.’’

Osmond, who missed all of last season with a broken leg, is pleased with her progress.

‘’I was happy with the program,’’ she said. ‘’It wasn’t perfect but I reached my objectives and it was another opportunity to get out and skate again. For me it’s a stepping stone kind of year.’’

Competition continues Friday with the free dance and the men’s short program featuring Canada’s Patrick Chan.

Full results: ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships

Canada’s best synchronized skaters headed to Waterloo for 2016 Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships

OTTAWA, ON: Synchronized skating teams from across Canada are travelling to Waterloo, Ont., for the 2016 Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships, taking place from February 19-21, 2016, at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex.

The event will host approximately 800 skaters and coaches on 40 teams competing for national titles in the senior, junior, open, intermediate and novice categories. The top two senior teams will represent Canada at the 2016 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships being held in Budapest, Hungary from April 8-9, 2016.

“We are eagerly looking forward to seeing Canada’s top synchronized skating teams performing on our nation’s biggest stage in Waterloo at the Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships,” said Dan Thompson, CEO Skate Canada. “Canadians have always been innovators in synchronized skating, and we have no doubt that this event will once again show how this discipline is flourishing in our country.”

Skate Canada will also be celebrating many accomplishments in the synchronized skating community with two inductions to the Skate Canada Hall of Fame. On Friday, February 19, Cathy Dalton will be inducted to the Hall of Fame in the builder category, and on Saturday, February 20, history will be made as the 2009 NEXXICE senior team becomes the first synchronized skating team to be inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame, entering in the athlete category.

Skate Canada is proud to host nearly 500 students from local area schools on Friday, February 19 from 9:15 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. The Skate Canada School Program allows local area schools to come and watch synchronized skating live for free. Students are encouraged to get creative by making handmade posters to cheer on the skaters.

The following schools will be taking part in the Skate Canada School Program:

  • Baden Public School
  • Westmount Public School
  • Our Lady of Lourdes
  • R. Kaufman Public School

Tickets are available for purchase through the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex box office, which is open Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Three-day passes can be purchased for $46.50 for adults or $24 for children, and individual day passes can be purchased for $20 for adults or $10 for children. Entry is free for children five years and younger.

Canadian ice dancers fourth at Youth Olympic Games

Photo : Jon Buckle

LILLEHAMMER, Norway – Ice dancers Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., earned Canada’s third fourth place finish in figure skating on Tuesday at the Youth Olympic Games.

Anastasia Shpilevaya and Grigory Smirnov of Russia won the gold medal with 141.88 points. Chloe Lewis and Logan Bye of the U.S. were second at 136.37 and Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin of Russia third at 134.62.

Lajoie and Lagha, in their fifth season together, followed at 125.87.

“It was a super fun competition,” said Lajoie, 15. “Everything was really solid for us today. I was particularly pleased with our twizzles.  But overall it went very well.”

This season they placed seventh at their first international assignment, ISU Junior Grand Prix in Spain. Earlier this year they won the silver medal at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in junior ice dance. Lajoie and Lagha train in Montreal with coaches Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer and Pascal Denis.

“We didn’t get the scores we wanted but what’s most important is the public and ourselves were satisfied with the performance,” said Lagha, 16. “This is our first season as juniors so we didn’t really set any precise goals except to get better at each competition.”

On Monday, Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont.,was fourth in men’s competition while Justine Brasseur of Brossard, Que., and Mathieu Ostiguy of Granby, Que., were fourth in pairs.

Full results: Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games

Two fourth place finishes for Canadian figure skaters at Youth Olympics

LILLEHAMMER, Norway – Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., came within four points of a podium finish on Monday in men’s singles figure skating action at the Youth Olympics.

Sota Yamamoto of Japan held on to first place for gold with 215.52 points followed by Deniss Vasiljevs of Latvia in second at 214.43 and Dmitri Alieb of Russia third at 209.77. Sadovsky, a double medallist this season on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit, followed at 205.69.

Sadovsky was in second spot after Saturday’s short program but a missed triple Axel in free skate which hurt his medal chances.  He had landed it for the first time in competition in Saturday’s short.

“I’m mildly disappointed not to win a medal here,’’ said Sadovksy, 16. ‘’Popping the triple Axel pretty much cost it all for me. It’s still not consistent in competition but I had been landing quite a few in practice. I just need to get more miles with it.’’

In pairs, Justine Brasseur of Brossard, Que., and Mathieu Ostiguy of Ste-Angele-de-Monnoir, Que., were also fourth with a personal best 140.59.  Ekaterina Borisova and Dmitry Sopot of Russia took the gold at 168.66.

“It went super well for us,” said Brasseur, 14, the niece of Isabelle Brasseur who won two Olympic medals in pairs with Lloyd Eisler. “It was a great experience. Our side-by-side jump and lifts were solid as well as one of our throws.”

Brasseur and Ostiguy are also tuning up for the world junior championships next month.

“We definitely reached our objectives heading into the world juniors,” said Ostiguy, 19, in his second season with Brasseur. “They were the best performances we’ve ever done together. We hit the 140 point overall and 90 point mark for the long and came within two points of getting 50 for the short.”

In ice dancing, Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of St-Hubert, Que., are fourth after Sunday’s short dance.

The free dance is on Tuesday. There are no Canadian entries in women’s competition.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1516/yog2016/.