NORWOOD, USA (October 23, 2022) – Canada opened the ISU Grand Prix figure skating season with two medals in pairs on Saturday at Skate America.
Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil, Que., took the silver with a personal international best 197.89 points, less than four points behind the winners Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier of the U.S. This result was also five points better than their score last month when they claimed gold at the Nebelhorn Trophy ISU Challenger Series event.
It was a first senior Grand Prix medal for Stellato-Dudek 22 years after her Grand Prix debut as a singles skater. Stellato, 39, who retired from singles skating at age 17 due to hip injuries, came back in pairs in 2016.
‘’We wanted to improve our score and also improve some of the levels from the previous event,’’ said Stellato-Dudek. ‘’Right after Four Continents was over, we made a plan for the full six months until we competed again, and I think that’s the difference everyone is seeing.’’
Kelly Ann Laurin and Loucas Éthier won the bronze totalling 156.94, also a personal international high, in the eight-team field.
‘’We are super happy as we had no expectations here,’’ said Éthier. ‘’We were motivated by our performance in the short program. We had an opportunity and we capitalized on it and showed our potential.’’
World junior champion Ilia Malinin of the U.S. took the gold in men’s competition with 280.37 after placing fourth in the short. The 17-year-old is the youngest ever men’s champion at the event. He landed the quad Axel for the second time this season, the only skater to ever successfully land the jump. Kao Miura of Japan won the silver with 273.19 and Junhwan Cha of South Korea was third at 264.05. Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., tallied a season’s best 225.41 for fifth and 17-year-old Wesley Chiu of Vancouver followed in sixth at 219.90.
‘’Overall, it was an improvement from my last competition,’’ said Sadovsky, who was third at the Nebelhorn Trophy. ‘’There were some things that were still better at Nebelhorn, and I hope to improve on those at my next event.’’
Competition ends Sunday with the women’s free skate and the free dance. Marie-Jade Lauriault of Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Que., and Romain Le Gac of Laval, Que., are third after Saturday’s rhythm dance. For full results, click here.