OTTAWA, ON: Three-time Canadian pair champions Kirsten Moore-Towers, 29, St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 30, Sarnia, Ont., have retired from competitive skating. The team began skating together in June 2014.
Moore-Towers and Marinaro won their first of five national championship medals in 2017 and would land on the podium at that event every year after (bronze 2017, bronze 2018, gold 2019-2022). They would go on to represent Canada at two Olympic Winter Games, placing 11th in 2018 and 10th in 2022.
“I am filled with gratitude for having been able to compete internationally for Canada for 13 years. My eternal thanks go to my family; their constant support and sacrifice allowed me to live my dream. Thanks to our support staff for keeping us together physically and mentally. To Pat Magee, especially, for working so hard for us from anywhere in the world. I am grateful for my past partners and coaches. Thanks, Dylan Moscovitch for carrying me, literally, through the first half of my career,” said Moore-Towers.
Moore-Towers continued, “There are not enough words to express my love and respect for the coaching team that saw us through to the end. Julie Marcotte, who is responsible for so much of our growth as people and athletes through the years. Mark Pillay, who started and ended the choreography of my pair career. Brian Shales, for his expertise and the fun lessons we had. Bruno Marcotte and Alison Purkiss, who see us as humans first and athletes second. My career has been more enjoyable and worthwhile with them as coaches and mentors. It has been the honour of my life to skate with Mike. I have no regrets and will cherish the memories forever”
“What an honour it has been to represent this amazing country and federation. It has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of my training and support staff throughout my career. I will do my best to pass on all the valuable skills and lessons each and every one of you have taught me,” said Marinaro. “None of this would have been possible without my parents. I would like to thank them for their endless support and giving me the opportunity to chase my dreams. Lastly, thank you to Kirsten for sharing this amazing journey filled with a lifetime of memories. It was a blast.”
Together they won seven ISU Grand Prix medals and qualified for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in 2019 where they placed fifth. They picked up gold medals at both the 2019 Nebelhorn Trophy and at the 2017 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic. Moore-Towers and Marinaro represented Canada at four ISU World Figure Skating Championships placing in the top eight each time.
“Kirsten and Mike have had a fantastic career in pair skating. Their dedication and drive to advance pair skating in Canada has helped to inspire the next generation,” said Mike Slipchuk, High Performance Director, Skate Canada. “Skate Canada wishes Kirsten and Mike the best in their future ventures.”
Moore-Towers and Marinaro both had international success with previous partners before teaming up in 2014.
Moore-Towers skated with Dylan Moscovitch from 2009-2014. They went on to become Canadian champions in 2011. Moore-Towers is a four-time Canadian pair champion in total across her two skating partnerships. They competed at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships three times together, with two fourth place finished in 2013 and 2014. In 2014, Moore-Towers and Moscovitch won the silver medal as part of figure skating team event at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and placed fifth in the pair event.
Marinaro skated with Margaret Purdy from 2007-2014. They saw success on the junior circuit winning three medals on the ISU Junior Grand Prix series and placing fourth at ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in 2012. Marinaro and Purdy won silver at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in 2013.
Moore-Towers is relocating to Vancouver, she looks forward to sharing her love of skating in her new community and is excited to explore new roles within the figure skating community. She will continue to advocate for the mental health of athletes and will be cheering on the next generation of skaters from the stands.
Marinaro looks forward to staying involved in the sport and spreading his love and passion for figure skating.