OTTAWA, ON: Not that the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2020 needed any more star appeal, but figure skating’s flagship event just got it anyway.
As Montreal, Quebec gets set to welcome the world to the Centre Bell from March 16-22, 2020, a pair of Canadian legends with 16 national titles between them will once again step onto the sport’s grandest stage. Only this time, they’ll be watching from the wings.
Skate Canada today introduced three-time world champion Patrick Chan, who also holds a record ten Canadian titles, and Montreal’s own Joannie Rochette, the 2010 Olympic Winter Games bronze medallist and six-time Canadian champion, as official Athlete Ambassadors for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2020.
As the world championships return to Canada for the first time since 2013, Chan and Rochette, as co-Athlete Ambassadors, will handle speaking engagements and media interviews, conduct appearances on behalf of competing athletes and spend time with the fans who meant so much to them over their careers.
“I am thrilled that the 2020 ISU World Championships are being held in Montreal and very excited to be an ambassador for the event,” says Chan.
“One of my fondest memories in figure skating was when I competed at the 2013 ISU World Championships in London, Ontario. Having the support of a home crowd energized me to be the best I could be and ultimately achieve a gold medal.”
Rochette is ecstatic that the world championships are coming to her hometown for the first time since 1932.
“It means so much to me to be named Athlete Ambassador for the world championships in Montreal,” says Rochette. “Montrealers are known to be welcoming and open to the world and am honoured to represent Skate Canada and all the athletes participating at this incredible event. I wish all the skaters a great week of skating in Montreal and hope they get a chance to see the beautiful city.”
This will mark the second time that Chan and Rochette have served as Athlete Ambassadors as Skate Canada continues to honour the athletes that have contributed so much to its rich and storied history. Most recently, Chan was Athlete Ambassador at the 2018-19 ISU Grand Prix Final and Rochette at 2018 Skate Canada International. Other Athlete Ambassadors at recent Skate Canada events include Kevin Reynolds, Elvis Stojko, Kurt Browning, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, Jeffery Buttle and Shae-Lynn Bourne.
“We are honoured to have Patrick and Joannie as our athlete ambassadors for the world championships. Skate Canada is thrilled to bring the world championships to Montreal and are proud to have alumni like Patrick and Joannie who are incredible role models for not just athletes but for all Canadians,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “Over their careers they have both taken part and won medals at every major skating event and know firsthand the pressures of competition and we know they will help make an unforgettable event for all participants.”
Chan and Rochette need no introduction to figure skating aficionados, in Canada or around the world.
In eight trips to the world championships, Chan stepped onto the podium on five occasions, including three consecutive world titles from 2011 to 2013. In addition to his record ten Canadian championships, he is three-time Olympic medallist, including a gold medal as a member of the winning Canadian squad in the team event at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.
Shortly after those Olympics, Chan announced his retirement from competitive skating and regularly performs in skating shows across Canada. He currently resides in Vancouver and continues to give back to the sport that gave him so much, teaching seminars in the Vancouver area.
Chan’s affection for Vancouver is understandable, considering he won his first national title in the city in 2008 before capturing his final Canadian crown in the city.
“It’s great that the next generation of Canadian figure skaters get that same chance to compete on home soil against the world’s best, and I look forward to welcoming the world to Canada,” Chan adds.
Rochette left her footprint on the heart of a nation at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, with her emotional bronze-medal performance, which led to her being named Female Athlete of the Year by Canadian Press.
In addition to her six Canadian championships, Rochette represented Canada seven times at the world championships, winning silver in 2009. During six career appearances at Skate Canada International, she medalled five times including gold in 2006, 2008 and 2009. In 2017, Skate Canada announced Rochette will be inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame.
These days, Rochette keeps a busy schedule as she continues to attend medical school at McGill University, but the opportunity to have a rink side view of a home world championships was too much to pass up.
“There is nothing quite like representing your country on the international stage. I am sure it will bring back a lot of memories for Patrick and I,” adds Rochette.
Along with an entire country.
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships ® 2020 will offer six different levels of day ticket packages located in the 100 and 200 levels at Centre Bell. To view a venue map please click here.
The Bell Centre ticket system offers two ways to purchase tickets: “best available” or “choose a section” in which the system will offer the best available seat in the specified section (if available). Each day ticket includes access to the daily competition and daily early practice (excluding Sunday’s closed Gala practice).
*All prices are in Canadian dollars.
Fans may add a Super Fan Bag to their ticket order. Super Fan Bags include a souvenir program, commemorative championship pin, premium branded blanket and stylish tote for $110 ($100 ticket + $10 venue fee). Super Fan bags are available for pre-order until November 1, 2019.
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships is an annual event that moves around the globe, attracting more than 300 million television viewers worldwide showcasing the 200 best athletes from 50 countries in four disciplines: men, women, pair and ice dance. An event of this magnitude could not take place without the contribution of the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the City of Montreal and Montreal Tourism.
The 2020 world championships will mark Canada’s 11th time hosting, a second for Montreal. Montreal last hosted the championships in 1932, the very first time Canada hosted the event. Canada last hosted the event in London, Ontario, in 2013.