Allen, Texas/USA (October 22, 2023) – The 2023-2024 ISU Grand Prix season kicked off this weekend with Canadian skaters capturing silver medals in the ice dance and pair competitions at the Skate America competition taking place in Allen, Texas, USA.
The pair team of Lia Pereira of Milton, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Brantford Ont., who were competing in their first Grand Prix together, got things started for Canada, finishing second in both their short program and free skate to take the silver medal with a total score of 182.59. The team lost out on the gold to the German team of Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel who had bested them at the Nebelhorn Trophy earlier this season where the Germans took the bronze and the Canadians finished fourth. Chelsea Liu and Balazs Nagy of the USA took the bronze with a total score of 177.66.
“Overall, this has been a wonderful experience,” said Pereira who together with Michaud won gold at the 2023 Skate Canada Challenge and finished third at the 2023 Canadian Championships last season. “Today is extra special as it’s our first grand prix medal which is super exciting. It wasn’t a perfect skate, but we moved on and we did the best we could with what we had, and we’re really pleased with how our whole program went.”
Canada’s second silver medal of the competition went to the ice dance team of Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Saint-Hubert, Que., who had two solid skates to finish the competition with a total score of 196.99. They finished just behind the American team of Madison Chock and Evan Bates who won gold with a total score of 212.96, and just in front of the French team of Evgeniia Lopareva and Geoffrey Brissaud who took bronze with a total score of 193.47.
“This means a lot, we’re both really happy. We are both really starting to like skating in the USA – the crowd is good, the rink is nice, and it’s an honour to be with such fun competitors, and this just means a lot,” said Lagha.
The team is performing their free skate to the song “Roses” which has a special significance to the team which Lajoie explained following the competition: “Since Worlds are in Montreal, we really wanted to find something that was from Montreal. We listened to a lot of music, and we both really like this song, and when we found out that it’s by Jean-Michel Blais who is from Montreal, we knew that’s what we wanted to pick – so that’s how we found the music!”
Stephen Gogolev of Toronto, Ont., who took home a bronze medal from the Autumn Classic competition earlier this fall in Montreal, was the lone Canadian skater in the men’s competition and finished 11th overall with a total score of 210.48. Ilia Malinin of the USA won gold (310.47), while Kevin Aymoz of France took silver (279.09), and Shun Sato of Japan the bronze (247.50).
The ISU Grand Prix series moves to Vancouver, B.C., next week for Skate Canada International which will take place at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre from October 27-29, 2023.
For full results please click here: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season2324/gpusa2023/