OTTAWA, ON: The nation’s premier junior and senior figure skaters return to the competitive circle for the first time in months later this week at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge.
Due to the pandemic, the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge event will be held as a virtual competition that will determine berths for the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in February.
The event will be staged over two weekends, with the senior pair, junior pair, junior men and junior women competition kicking off the event January 8-10. From January 15-17, the junior ice dance, senior ice dance, senior men and senior events will be staged.
“These times are unprecedented, but we also understand the importance of giving our athletes the opportunity to get into a competitive environment so they are as prepared as they can be when things return to normal,” said Skate Canada CEO Debra Armstrong.
“For more than a century, skaters have pursued their dreams of competing at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, and we are once again giving these athletes the opportunity to qualify for this prestigious event at Skate Canada Challenge.”
As could be expected, Skate Canada Challenge will have a different look.
Prior to the start of the competition, skaters declared their performances from either their respective sectional championships or a section-organized challenge skate. Just like a live competition, once the music started, there were no second chances. Videos of these performances were submitted to Skate Canada to be judged in real time during the event.
Once the event is completed, the top two flights in each discipline will qualify for the 2021 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, to be held February 8-14 at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre in Vancouver, B.C. Twelve competitors in men’s and women’s, 10 teams in ice dance and 8 teams in pair, at both the junior and senior level, will advance to the Canadian Championships.
Most of the Canadian national team, including reigning national champions Roman Sadovsky, 20, Vaughn, Ont., (men), Emily Bausback, 18, Vancouver, B.C., (women), Piper Gilles, 29, Toronto, Ont., and Paul Poirier, 29, Unionville, Ont., (ice dance) and Kirsten Moore-Towers, 28, St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 28, Sarnia, Ont., (pair) will compete.
Like the competition, the live streaming broadcast of Skate Canada Challenge will be unique and innovative.
Not only will the entire competition be live streamed on SkateCanada.ca, but the broadcast will feature unique, engaging content including features and interviews with current and former athletes, coaches and Skate Canada leaders.
“While we are unable to host our events in the traditional sense at this time, we want to interact with our fans and bring the event to them, in the comfort of their own homes,” added Armstrong.
For more information, please visit the Skate Canada Challenge event page.