Gangwon, South Korea (January 30, 2024) – Canadian skaters wrapped up the individual competition portion of the 2024 Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon, South Korea on Tuesday with two top-10 finishes in ice dance, and an 11th place for Kaiya Ruiter in women’s singles.
Audra Gans and Michael Boutsan from Prévost, Que., had the top Canadian finish of the day with a fifth-place in the ice dance competition. Their free skate, performed to music composed by three-time Olympic medallist Eric Radford, scored an 83.83 – a huge new personal best score for the team, giving them a new personal best total score of 136.82.
“This felt amazing. I felt really good on the ice, and everything went smoothly, and I really trusted my skating,” said Gans who made her ISU Junior Grand Prix debut earlier this season in Poland with Boutsan.
“I felt the elements were clean, and I felt it was a good skate and I felt I was able to perform a little bit and I hope the crowd and the judges saw that,” added Boutsan.
The second Canadian ice dance team of Caroline Kravets and Jacob Stark of Kitchener, Ont., set a new personal short program score of 47.98 on Sunday, and finished the competition in 9th position after scoring a 67.72 for the free skate (total score 115.70).
“This felt a lot more comfortable than the first day, it felt more like what we do at home, so it was really good to put out a performance that we’re happy with,” said Stark. “This competition has really taught us to reach for the stars. We weren’t expecting to be here at the beginning of the season – we felt like we were a long shot, but we made it happen and so this has taught us that we can achieve anything we want, as long as we work hard and train for it.”
Newly-minted Canadian senior women’s champion Kaiya Ruiter of Calgary, Alta., had a tougher skate today in her free program, finishing the competition in 11th position with a total score of 154.95. She had entered the day in sixth position after a fantastic short program, which saw her skating in the final group with the top skaters, but with one fall today, and some other jumps under-rotated, she wasn’t able to retain her top-10 position.
“There were certainly some highlights that I’m really proud of, and it wasn’t what I was hoping for, but I really enjoyed the experience and getting to compete on that Youth Olympic ice,” said Ruiter who cited skating in the last group as a real highlight of her time at the Games. “That was such a win for me. Getting to be part of that group of the most incredible girls in this skating world, was just incredible, and was an experience that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.”
The 2024 Youth Olympic Games figure skating competition will conclude on Thursday with the team competition where Canadian skaters will look to capture their first medal in this first edition of a non-mixed nations team competition.
For full results please click here.