Senior Competition Kicks Off at 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships

Calgary, AB (January 12, 2024) – The 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships have been good for the Les Suprêmes synchronized skating teams from Saint-Léonard, Que. On Friday, their senior team completed a clean sweep for the discipline by winning the senior national title, just one day after their junior team won the junior national title at the WinSport Arena in Calgary, Alta.

The senior Les Suprêmes team are the reigning World Champions so expectations were high for them and they didn’t disappoint, finishing the event with an overall score of 216.79 to win gold. The Nova team from St-Hubert, Que., actually had the top-scoring free skate of the day which moved them up from the third after the short program to capture silver with a total score of 213.97, while Nexxice from Burlington, Ont., who were the reigning Canadian champions, settled for the bronze medal with a total score of 205.95.

“We’re really happy with both of our skates; we had two clean skates, exactly like in practice. Of course, we still have things we can improve, and we’ll be working on that for the next few months,” said Julia Bernardo, co-captain of Les Suprêmes.

While the synchronized skating competition wrapped up, the senior women’s, men’s, pair, and ice dance competitions got started, with the women first in line.

Madeline Schizas of Oakville Ont., the two-time defending Canadian senior champion, finished the day well out in front with a score of 63.63, followed by Kaiya Ruiter who delighted her hometown Calgary crowd and scored a 58.25, and Sara-Maude Dupuis of Montreal, Que., in third with a score of 57.87.

“I thought the performance was good. I really felt like I gave my all on the performance side. The tech elements weren’t all there, but I thought the rest of it was really clean, and overall I’m happy,” said Schizas following the competition.

Next to compete were the ice dance teams, and to no one’s surprise, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto, Ont., the two-time ice dance World Championships bronze medallists, finished the day in first with a score of 86.78. Marie-Jade Lauriault and Romain Le Gac of Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Que., are sitting in second after scoring 78.00, followed closely by Alicia Fabbri of Terrebonne, Que., and Paul Ayer of Brossard, Que., who established a new personal best score of 77.55 to finish in third.

“We had some cobwebs to get out of the system,” said Poirier. “I wouldn’t say it was the best skate of our lives, but I think some things that we have worked on and changed have been successful and other things just need a little bit more consistency and time to practice. We’re pleased with how this performance went and we’re really looking forward to the free dance tomorrow.”

The pair competition followed the rhythm dance, and saw Deanna Stellato-Dudek of Chicago, USA and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., the defending Canadian champions, finishing in first with a score of 66.86 – just narrowly ahead of Lia Pereira of Milton, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Brantford, Ont., who finished second with a score of 66.04, due to an uncharacteristic fall on Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps’ throw triple loop. Kelly Ann Laurin of St-Jérôme, Que., and Loucas Éthier of St-Alphonse, Que., sit third with a score of 62.21.

When asked about the fall, Stellato-Dudek commented: “We’ve done probably close to like 100 throws in the past three weeks – working on them a lot. I’m not really sure what went wrong today.” Looking forward to the free skate tomorrow, she added: “The free, we’re just looking to hopefully do a better job than we did at the (Grand Prix) Final and show some of the improvement we’ve worked really hard on for the last three weeks.”

Closing out the evening was the men’s short program which was dominated by Wesley Chiu of Vancouver, B.C. who delivered a solid performance to set a personal best of 88.98. Aleksa Rakic of Burnaby, B.C., currently sits in second place with 75.49, while Anthony Paradis of Boisbriand, Que., made his senior championships debut with a score of 74.16 to finish third.

The competition part of the 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships will finish Saturday with the free skate for all disciplines, with the Championships themselves wrapping up on Sunday with the exhibition gala.

Follow the action via Skate Canada’s livestream here. For full results please click here.

Les Suprêmes Crowned Junior National Synchronized Skating Champions

Calgary, AB (January 11, 2024) – The Les Suprêmes junior team from Saint-Léonard, Que., claimed the junior national synchronized skating title on Thursday evening at the 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships taking place at the WinSport Arena in Calgary, Alta, setting a new national record along the way.

The team of 16 skaters, who last won the junior national title in 2022, delivered a very strong free skate to score 125.26 and win the gold medal with a total overall score of 197.55 – a new national record.

“We did exactly what we do at home, and I think our performance really reflected all of our hard work and we’re really proud,” said team co-captain Victoria Gimenez.

When asked if the fact that they were sitting in first after their short program impacted them at all heading into the competition today, Gabriella Musi, the other team co-captain, added: “If we were last, second, or third, it would have been the same thing that we would have delivered on the ice – because at the end of the day, it’s a new day and a level playing field for everybody. The new national record is just a great bonus!”

Last year’s champions, Nexxice from Burlington, Ont., took the silver medal with an overall score of 189.07, while Nova from St-Hubert, Que., took bronze with an overall score of 183.28.

It was a good day for the Les Suprêmes club as their senior team also topped the results with their short program. The team, who are the reigning World Champions, scored a 74.80 to take the lead with the senior team from Nexxice sitting second with a score of 72.24, and the Nova senior team sitting third with a score of 71.81.

“It feels great. We’ve worked really hard the last few weeks to clean our programs, and improve our calls, and just deliver a clean program and I think that’s what we did today,” said Les Suprêmes team co-captain Olivia Digiandomenico.

The senior synchronized skating competition will wrap up Friday with the free skate, while the senior competition gets started with the short program for the women, men, and pair skaters, and the rhythm dance for the ice dance teams.

Follow the action via Skate Canada’s livestream here. For full results please click here.

New Junior Canadian Champions Crowned at 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships

Calgary, AB (January 10, 2024) – Four new Junior Canadian Champions were crowned on Wednesday at the WinSport Arena in Calgary, Alta., as the 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships continued.

Starting things off for the second day in a row were the junior men. John Kim of Mississauga, Ont., who was leading after the short program and skated last, had a tougher time with his jumps and finished the day in fourth overall. That meant that the title was up for grabs, and Terry Yu Tao Jin of Surrey, B.C., was ready and willing to grab it – he laid down an almost flawless performance to improve from fourth in the short program to take the junior national title with a total overall score of 185.20.

“I’ve worked towards this for a long time, so I feel like I belong here – this feels great,” said Yu Tao Jin who hasn’t previously won a Canadian title. “This competition, I knew I just had to turn my mind off, trust in my technique and my training, and just see where it took me, and it turned out well!”

David Li of Richmond, B.C., who will be heading to the 2024 Youth Olympic Games in a couple of weeks, took the silver medal with a total score of 179.45, while David Shteyngart of Ottawa, Ont., took the bronze with a total score of 175.40.

In the junior pair competition, ISU Grand Prix Final silver medallists Ava Kemp and Yohnatan Elizarov of Winnipeg, Man., continued to dominate, finishing first in the free skate to win gold and their first junior national title with an overall score of 165.50.

“It feels good, we’re still a little bit upset with our performance today as it was a little bit messy, and not quite what we can do, so we’re a little bit disappointed in that, but overall, I think we’re pretty happy with how this went,” said Kemp of their free skate which scored a 105.05, well shy of their personal best score for the routine of 110.92 which they scored at the Grand Prix Final.

Martina Ariano Kent of Mount Royal, Que., and Charly Laliberté-Laurent of Boucherville, Que., moved up from third after the short program to take the silver medal with an overall score of 149.44, leaving Jazmine Desrochers of Mississauga, Ont., and Kieran Thrasher of Amherstburg Ont., to take bronze with a total score of 149.24.

There was a shake-up in the junior women’s competition from the short program as well with Lulu Lin of Mississauga, Ont., skating a very strong technical program to move up from third after the short program to win gold with an overall score of 166.74.

“I’m really happy. I came into this competition not really expecting to win, but I skated my best and I think that’s what matters the most,” said Lin who won gold at the 2023 Skate Canada Challenge – Junior/Senior competition this past December. “I landed most of my jumps. I think by the end, I got a little bit overexcited, so moving forward, I’m going to work on being calm throughout the whole program.”

Aleksa Volkova of Lac Brôme, Que., maintained second place to win silver with an overall score of 158.00, while Mély-Ann Gagner of Sherbrooke, Que., improved mightily with her free skate to move up from eighth after the short program to take bronze with a total score of 147.84. Megan Woodley of Oro Station, Ont., who was leading after the short program, struggled with her free skate and finished sixth overall.

The junior ice dance competition closed out the day and saw 2022 novice champions Layla Veillon and Alexander Brandys of London, Ont., deliver a flawless free dance to take the win with a score of 160.80. Skate Canada Challenge gold medallists Chloe Nguyen of Vancouver, B.C. and Brendan Giang of Burnaby, B.C. finished second with 154.25 and Alisa Korneva and Kieran MacDonald of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. moved up from fourth to win the bronze with a score of 147.

“We really tried not to focus on how close we were to first and the distance between second and third because in the end anything can happen, and we just wanted to put out our best skate. Whatever was going to happen we were going to be proud and obviously winning is an amazing bonus,” said Veillon.

The synchronized skating portion of the competition also began today, with the junior synchronized skating teams taking to the ice to perform their short programs. Les Suprêmes from Saint-Léonard, Que., finished the day in first with a score of 72.29, with the Nexxice team from Burlington, Ont., just behind them with a score of 71.60, followed by Nova from St-Hubert, Que., in third with 69.23.

Thursday will see the junior synchronized skating teams perform their free skate, and the senior synchronized skating teams will complete their short program.

Follow the action via Skate Canada’s livestream here. For full results please click here.

Junior Skaters Shine on First Day of 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships

Calgary, AB (January 9, 2024) – The 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships kicked off Tuesday at the WinSport Arena in Calgary, Alberta with the short program for the junior men, women, and pair skaters, and the rhythm dance for junior ice dance.

The junior men got the competition going, and John Kim of Mississauga, Ont., had the best performance of the day with a score of 67.79 to take the lead. Kim was the 2020 national novice champion, and finished third at the 2022 National Championships, but missed last year’s championships after taking a year off. David Bondar of Richmond Hill, Ont., finished the day in second with a score of 67.45, followed by David Shteyngart of Ottawa, Ont., in third with a score of 65.65.

Next up was the junior pair competition which saw Ava Kemp and Yohnatan Elizarov of Winnipeg, Man., silver medallists at the recent ISU Grand Prix Final, dominating the competition to take the top spot with a new personal best score of 60.45 in their short program.

“I thought our program went very well. I stumbled a little bit throughout the program, but I’m really happy with the elements we performed,” said Elizarov, who together with Kemp finished sixth at the 2023 World Junior Championships held at the WinSport Arena last year. “For tomorrow, we just need to focus on ourselves, and the elements, and maybe we’ll get another PB.”

Jazmine Desrochers of Mississauga, Ont., and Kieran Thrasher of Amherstburg Ont., who brought home a bronze medal from the 2023 ISU Grand Prix Final are sitting in second with a score of 51.54, while Martina Ariano Kent of Mount Royal, Que., and Charly Laliberté-Laurent of Boucherville, Que., who finished fourth at the Grand Prix Final, are sitting third with a score of 49.74.

Megan Woodley of Oro Station, Ont., skated a very strong technical program to finish the day in the top spot in the junior women’s competition with a new personal best score of 59.15.

“My program went really well,” said Woodley. “My goal for tomorrow’s free skate is to just take it jump by jump and focus on just doing the technique right and then it’ll just go where it goes.”

Aleksa Volkova of Lac-Brôme, Que., is sitting second with a score of 57.13, while Lulu Lin of Mississauga, Ont., sits third with a score of 56.58.

The day wrapped up with the ice dance teams performing their rhythm dance, with 2023-2024 Skate Canada Challenge winners Chloe Nguyen of Vancouver, B.C. and Brendan Giang of Burnaby, B.C. scoring a season’s best of 67.06 to place first. Layla Veillon and Alexander Brandys of London, Ont., were second with 64.41 and the new team of Jamie Fournier of Brossard, Que., and Everest Zhu of Waterloo, Ont. sit in third with 58.67.

“I think we put out what we wanted to, and we felt really good on the ice when we were out there so we’re happy with what we did,” said Giang.

Wednesday will feature the completion of the junior competition with the free skate for men, women, pair, and ice dance, and the beginning of the synchronized skating competition with the short program for the juniors.

Follow the action via Skate Canada’s livestream here. For full results please click here.

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Skaters on the Hunt for Canadian Championship Titles at The 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships in Calgary

OTTAWA, ON (January 2, 2024) The figure skating elite from across Canada are set to converge on the WinSport Arena at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alta. for the 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships from January 8-14, 2024. Over 300 skaters in the men, women, pair, ice dance, and synchronized skating disciplines across the junior and senior levels will look to shine as they compete for the title of 2024 Canadian champion. 

With the retirement of last year’s men’s champion Keegan Messing, the men’s title will be up for grabs with several skaters in the mix including 2023 silver medallist Conrad Orzel, 2023 Autumn Classic International bronze medalist Stephen Gogolev, 2022 Olympian Roman Sadovsky, and 2023 Cranberry Cup International silver medallist Wesley Chiu. 

Madeline Schizas will be looking to claim her third consecutive women’s title, with 2023 Autumn Classic International silver medallist Kaiya Ruiter hot on her heels.  

Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps, the reigning pair champions, will be coming off a dominating Grand Prix season that saw them capture a bronze medal at the Grand Prix Final. The new team of Lia Pereira and Trennt Michaud will also be looking to step on the podium after a successful Grand Prix season that saw the pair win the 2023 Grand Prix de France. 

Last year’s ice dance champions Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen will have a fight on their hands with the return of two-time national champions and 2023 Grand Prix Final bronze medallists Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier after the duo missed last year’s event due to illness. Two-time 2023 Grand Prix silver medalists Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha will also be on the watch list after the duo set a new personal best score at the Cup of China. 

In synchronized skating, the battle will be fierce between Nexxice who will be looking to defend their 2023 title, and the two-time reigning World Champions, Les Suprêmes. 

In addition to competing for medals, skaters will be vying for spots on the Skate Canada National Team and the Canadian teams that will compete at the 2024 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, the 2024 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships, the 2024 ISU World Figure Skating Championships being hosted in Montreal, Que., the 2024 ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships, and the 2024 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships. 

Single-session tickets for the 2024 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships are currently on sale and begin at $35 (plus applicable fees). Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.ca. 

For more information including the schedule, entries and start orders, click here.  

Triple Medal Day for Canadian Skaters at ISU Grand Prix Final

Beijing, China (December 9, 2023) – Canadian figure skaters captured three medals on the final day of the 2023 ISU Grand Prix Final in Beijing, China on Saturday with Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier capturing bronze in senior ice dance, while Ava Kemp and Yohnatan Elizarov took silver, and Jazmine Desrochers and Kieran Thrasher took bronze in the junior pair competition.

Gilles of Toronto, Ont., and Poirier of Unionville, Ont., the reigning Grand Prix Final champions, came into the competition as strong favourites after recording wins at Skate Canada International and the Cup of China but had to settle for bronze (213.58) after Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the USA skated flawlessly to win gold (221.61), and the Italian couple of Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri also stepped up their routine to capture silver (215.51).

“We’re very happy. We really lost ourselves in the program and over time this program is really starting to grow with us, and we’re learning how to push it out at certain points. It’s taken some time to really figure out where to go with it, and the more we perform it, the easier it’s gotten, and the easier it’s become to reflect our stories and everything we’re trying to emote on the ice,” said Gilles following the performance.

Laurence Fournier-Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen of Montreal, Que., finished the day in fifth with a total score of 195.57, but gained a lot of experience for the rest of the season.

“Sometimes it’s just a little harder than others. I had a really hard time adjusting to the schedule here in China, I’ve slept pretty bad every night, so I think fatigue got to me a little bit,” said Soerensen. “We changed the program quite a bit since Finland, so we’re really happy with the direction it’s going. It’s moving in the right direction, and it’s a program we love so much. It’s the kind of story that we really enjoy telling on the ice.”

Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Saint-Hubert, Que., who were competing in their first senior Grand Prix Final, finished sixth with a total score of 193.63.

Kemp and Elizarov of Winnipeg, Man., and Desrochers of Mississauga, Ont., and Thrasher of Amherstburg, Ont., both skated season’s best performances to secure their silver (168.83) and bronze (156.33) medals respectively in the junior pair competition. Martina Ariano Kent of Mount Royal, Que., and Charly Laliberté-Laurent of Boucherville, Que., finished the day in fourth (150.70).

The Georgian team of Anastasiia Metelkina and Luka Berulava continued their dominance from the short program to win gold with a total score of 202.11.

“I feel good about that program. It’s the first program we’ve ever done internationally with two throw triples, and it’s a really stressful competition, so we’re really happy that we managed to bring those out,” said Elizarov. “Every competition we’ve been getting season’s bests and that’s really what you want. It doesn’t really matter for placement as long as you’re improving yourselves.”

Desrochers and Thrasher, who have been skating together for less than a year, were delighted with their free skate performance that scored 101.42 to move them up from fourth position to take bronze.

“We’re really happy with that skate. Our goal, other than the points, was just to show everyone that we can do a good free program because in the past on the international stage, we haven’t shown people that, so that was another goal we’ve accomplished at this competition,” said Thrasher.

Next up for Canadian skaters is the 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships taking place in Calgary, Alta., from Jan 8-14, 2024.

For full results please click here.

Bronze for Pair Skaters Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps at ISU Grand Prix Final

Beijing, China (December 8, 2023) – Canadian skaters captured their first medal of the ISU Grand Prix Final on Friday with Deanna Stellato-Dudek of Chicago, USA and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., winning a bronze medal in the senior pair competition.

The pair was sitting in second following their short program on Thursday, and despite no major mistakes, some small execution errors dropped them into third in the free skate to finish the competition with bronze and an overall score of 204.30.

“We were the top team by, like, 10 points so we know this is way below expectations,” said Stellato-Dudek about their performance and the fact that they were the top-team coming into this competition. “But we are still scoring really competitively with mistakes on almost all the big elements, so if we can just clean it up, we’re know going to get higher than what we got at Skate Canada.”

Deschamps added: “After coming back from the Cup of China, we have been working on a lot of stuff and we were able to perform it today. We are so proud overall of the week and also what we wanted to make better this week.”

Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nikita Volodin of Germany also had some small mistakes in their program, and have been battling illness, but hung on to win the gold medal with a total score 106.43, while the Italian team of Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii had the best free skate of the day to move up to take the silver medal with a total score of 205.88

Lia Pereira of Milton, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Brantford, Ont., who were competing in their first Grand Prix Final, finished sixth with a total score of 185.16.

“We’re proud of what we did today,” said Pereira. “Coming from a not-so-good short – we haven’t had to do that yet, we’ve been fortunate to skate good shorts in most of our competitions so far, so that was a setback mentally and I think we did a really good job recovering from that today, and wanting to continue to push ourselves and have new experiences.”

While the senior pair competition wrapped up, competition began for senior ice dance, and saw strong performances from all six teams. Piper Gilles of Toronto, Ont., and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., the reigning Grand Prix Final Champions are the top Canadian team, sitting in third with a score of 85.17 for their rhythm dance.

“I think we’re pleased. We’ve made quite a few changes in the program since the Cup of China to try to boost the energy, and we’re really proud of that skate. We just enjoyed the moment,” said Gilles.

Laurence Fournier-Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen of Montreal, Que., had a small touch in their side-by-side twizzles that put them in fifth with a score of 74.82, while Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Saint-Hubert, Que., the youngest team in the competition, are sitting just behind in sixth with a score of 74.74.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the USA are sitting in first with a score of 89.15, while Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy sit second with a score of 85.82.

The ISU Grand Prix Final concludes Saturday with the free dance for the senior ice dance teams, and the free program for the junior pair skaters.

For full results please click here

Canadian Pair Teams Shine on Opening Day of the ISU Grand Prix Final

Beijing, China (December 7, 2023) – Deanna Stellato-Dudek of Chicago, USA and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., came into the 2023 ISU Grand Prix Final as strong favourites after an undefeated Grand Prix season, and didn’t disappoint on the first day of competition, taking second place in the senior pair short program.

Skating to the music “Oxygène”, the pair gave a dynamic performance, but were a little less than perfect on the landing of their throw triple loop, which gave the German team of Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nikita Volodin the opening to take top spot in the short program.

“We’ve been struggling with this short all year. We’ve never done it well in my opinion and today was no different. We had a struggle on the throw, struggle on the jump. So still a pretty good performance other than that, but you can’t have that many mistakes,” said Stellato-Dudek following the performance.

The German team leads going into the free skate on Friday with a score of 72.56. Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps scored 71.22, while the Italian team of Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii are sitting third with a score of 70.30.

Lia Pereira of Milton, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Brantford, Ont., had a fall on their throw triple loop and are currently sitting in sixth with a score of 61.78.

In the junior pair competition, Ava Kemp and Yohnatan Elizarov of Winnipeg, Man., ended the day as the top Canadian team with a new personal best score for their short program of 57.91 to sit second behind Anastasiia Metelkina and Luka Berulava of Georgia who dominated the competition to score 70.48.

“We’re a little bit disappointed in our spins, I was so disoriented in that spin with the huge stadium, but we’ve been working hard on spins, and in our practices they’ve been pretty good, but things happen,” said Elizarov. When asked about their goals for the competition, he added: “We just want to score PBs, and we got one, so we’re halfway there.”

Martina Ariano Kent of Mount Royal, Que., and Charly Laliberté-Laurent of Boucherville, Que., finished the day in third with a new personal best score as well of 55.97, while Jazmine Desrochers of Mississauga, Ont., and Kieran Thrasher of Amherstburg, Ont., sit just behind in fourth with a score of 54.91.

The ISU Grand Prix Final continues Friday with the free program for the senior pair, and the rhythm dance for the senior ice dance teams. The event concludes on Saturday with the free program for the junior pair skaters, and the senior ice dance teams.

For full results please click here.

Eight young figure skaters announced to Team Canada’s Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Team

OTTAWA (December 5, 2023) – Skate Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s figure skating team selected to compete at the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games. 

The Team Canada figure skating team for the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games is: 

Ice Dance
Audra Gans (Prévost, Que.) and Michael Boutsan (Prévost, Que.)
Caroline Kravets (Kitchener, Ont.) and Jacob Stark (Kitchener, Ont.) 

Men’s Singles
David Li (Richmond, B.C.) 

Pairs
Annika Behnke (Peace River, Alta.) and Kole Sauve (Grand Prairie, Alta.) 

Women’s Singles
Kaiya Ruiter (Calgary, Alta.) 

The athletes were selected based on their performances at various junior international competitions in 2023 and the age requirement for these Games. 

National Team member Kaiya Ruiter brings the most international experience to the figure skating team. The 2023 Canadian National Skating Championships silver medallist competed at her first senior ISU Grand Prix event in late October. Most recently, she finished second at the 2023 Autumn Classic International competition in Montreal. In March 2023, the 17-year-old had the opportunity to compete at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in her hometown of Calgary where she skated to a top-10 finish. 

“I feel honoured and beyond excited to be named to Canada’s Youth Olympic Games Team,” said Ruiter. “My dream, and what drives my training, is to represent Canada on the grandest stages in figure skating. With this opportunity, I get to compete on the same ice where my idol, Kaetlyn Osmond, won two Olympic medals. I am so proud, and I will do my best for myself, my family and Canada. Thank you to everyone who has supported me to make this dream come true.” 

David Li, a recipient of the Canadian Olympic Foundation’s Toller Cranston Award in 2022, kicked off his international competition season with a silver medal in the junior men’s event at the 2023 Cranberry Cup. He proceeded to compete at two ISU Junior Grand Prix events where he finished in the top-10 at both. In 2022, the 15-year-old won a gold medal at his first-ever international overseas event — the Egna Spring Trophy in Italy — where he competed in the novice men’s event. 

“Being named to the team and having the opportunity to compete in the Youth Olympic Games is an immense honour and a culmination of years of hard work, dedication and passion for my sport,” said Li. “This represents not only a personal achievement but also a chance to represent my country at a very high level of sport. The prospect of participating in the Youth Olympic Games fills me with excitement and gratitude, as it provides a unique platform to connect with athletes from around the world and share experiences.” 

Each of Team Canada’s ice dance teams competed at an ISU Junior Grand Prix event this fall, gaining valuable experience that will serve them well in Gangwon. Fifteen-year-old Audra Gans and 14-year-old Michael Boutsan, who train at the Ice Academy of Montreal, made their ISU Junior Grand Prix debut at the Solidarity Cup in Gdansk, Poland, and are excited to perform their free dance to music composed by three-time Olympic medallist Eric Radford in Gangwon. Long-time partners Caroline Kravets, 15, and Jacob Stark, 17, who have skated together for more than five years, made their ISU Junior Grand Prix debut in Budapest this past September. The team trains at the Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club.

The pairs team of Annika Behnke and Kole Sauve, who train in Sherwood Park, Alta., made their international debut at the 2023 Trophée Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur. They were also bronze medallists at the 2023 Novice Canadian Championships.

“Skate Canada is pleased to send a young talented team with a range of experience to the Winter Youth Olympic Games,” said André Bourgeois, NextGen Director for Skate Canada. “Canada will be sending one of the larger figure skating teams to the Games and we are excited to see our young skaters compete on the international stage while gaining valuable experience.” 

Figure skating will take place January 27 to February 1 (Days 8 to 13) at the Gangneung Ice Arena — the same venue that was used for figure skating at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The final medal event of Gangwon 2024 will be the figure skating team event, which will make its Youth Olympic Games debut. The mixed NOC figure skating team event was on all previous editions of the Winter Youth Olympic Games sport program, but has been replaced for Gangwon 2024 to more closely resemble the figure skating team event format at the Olympic Winter Games.

Team Canada figure skaters have won two medals at the Winter Youth Olympic Games, both in the mixed NOC team event. To date, Team Canada has converted three Youth Olympic figure skaters into Olympians – Marjorie Lajoie, Zachary Lagha, and Roman Sadovsky, who all competed at the Lillehammer 2016 edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games and became Olympians at Beijing 2022.  

“Congratulations to the athletes named to Canada’s figure skating team at the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games,” said Lisa Weagle, Team Canada’s Gangwon 2024 Chef de Mission. “Their talent and dedication reflect the bright future of figure skating in Canada. Their performances will not only showcase their individual skills but also inspire others to chase their dreams. As Chef de Mission, I am incredibly proud to support them on this remarkable journey and I wish them every success as they shine on the Youth Olympic Games stage.” 

Team Canada’s figure skating alternate athletes, coaches and support staff for the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games are: 

Alternate Athletes
Auréa Cinçon-Debout (Montreal, Que.) and Earl Jesse Celestino (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que.) – Ice Dance Alternates
Victoria Carandiuc (Saint-Constant, Que.) and Andrei Carandiuc (Saint-Constant, Que.) – Ice Dance Alternates
Grayson Long (Oakville, Ont.) – Men’s Singles Alternate
David Bondar (Richmond Hill, Ont.) – Men’s Singles Alternate
Justine Miclette (Chambly, Que.) – Women’s Singles Alternate
Hetty Shi (Northville, Michigan) – Women’s Singles Alternate 

Coaches
Élise Hamel (Montreal, Que.)
Scott Davis (Calgary, Alta.) 

Support Staff
André Bourgeois (Toronto, Ont.) – Team Leader 

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) are the world’s largest multi-sport event for high-performance young athletes aged 15-18. Gangwon 2024 will begin on January 19 and will end on February 1, 2024 and will feature 1900 athletes. Gangwon 2024 will be the fourth edition of the Winter YOG and the first in Asia. It will have a fully gender-balanced sporting program, and will feature seven sports, 15 disciplines, and a total of 81 events.  

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organisations. 

New Faces Shine at 2023 – 2024 Skate Canada Challenge – Junior/Senior in Winnipeg

Winnipeg, MB (December 3, 2023) – The 2023 – 2024  Skate Canada Challenge – Junior/Senior wrapped up Sunday after three days of intense competition at the Seven Oaks Arena in Winnipeg, Man., with many new faces taking top honours in both the junior and senior categories in the men’s, women’s, pair, and ice dance disciplines.

In the senior men’s category, Conrad Orzel of Toronto showed that he’s ready to fight for gold at the 2024 Canadian Championships next month in Calgary, Alta., with his gold medal performance at this competition. Orzel, who was the silver medallist at the 2023 Canadian Tire National Championships, had the top score for both his short program and free skate to take the win with a total score of 222.85.

“No matter how good the second half of my season was, I always feel a little bit of an underdog,” said Orzel who had two top-10 finishes at international competitions this fall. “I feel like there are four or five really good Canadian skaters that can all come first at nationals, so I don’t have an advantage – I’m just going to have to work really hard until then.”

Aleksa Racic of Burnaby, B.C., captured the silver medal with a total score of 216.92 while last year’s gold medallist Matthew Newnham of Edmonton, Alta., finished with the bronze medal and a total score of 210.84.

The senior women’s competition saw two brand new seniors on the podium with Fée-Ann Landry of Gatineau, Que., winning gold with a total score of 182.05 after two first-place scores for her short program and free skate, and Hetty Shi of Mississauga, ON, who was the 2023 Junior National Champion capturing bronze with a total score of 171.31. Kaiya Ruiter of Calgary, Alta., took the silver medal with a total score of 176.42.

“I put out two solid programs. We were really happy about it – we worked really hard,” said Landry following her win. Looking forward to the national championships in January she commented: “We’re going to try to fit in some new jumps, probably a triple-triple combo, and just keep working on some of the things that I missed in the long program.”

The senior pair podium was also full of new faces with Émy Carignan and Bryan Pierro of Quebec winning gold with a total score of 144.06. Fiona Bombardier, who also competed in the senior women’s competition and finished 9th, made her pair debut with Gabriel Farand and took silver with a total score of 143.47, while Cadence Derenisky and Raine Eberl of Saskatchewan took bronze with a total score of 141.06.

In senior ice dance, Nadiia Bashynska and Peter Beaumont of Ajax, ON claimed their first senior title (185.96) after winning gold as juniors at the 2023 Canadian Tire National Championships, and the 2022 Skate Canada Challenge. Alicia Fabbri and Paul Ayer of Quebec captured silver (182.64), while Haley Sales and Nikolas Wamsteeker of B.C., took bronze (171.60).

“Both Nadiia and I are coming off of Finland, and are a little tired, so it was nice to come here and skate relatively clean programs. They might not have felt amazing to skate, but we’re happy with how we did relative to how physically tired we are,” said Beaumont who together with Bashynska finished eighth at the Grand Prix Espoo in Finland just a couple of weeks ago.

The junior competition was rife with up-and-coming Canadian stars and saw David Shteyngart of Ottawa, Ont., win the men’s competition with a total score of 186.81. Grayson Long of Toronto, Ont., repeated as the silver medallist (183.85), while hometown Winnipeg star, David Howes captured bronze (179.71).

In the junior women’s competition, both Lulu Lin of Mississauga, Ont., and Aleksa Volkova of Lac-Brôme, Que., moved up one on the podium to win gold (164.81) and silver (153.42) respectively after finishing second and third last year, while last year’s winner – Kara Yun of Burnaby, B.C., took the bronze (148.72).

The junior pair podium was completely full of new faces this year with Beau Callahan of St-Amable, Que., and Christophe Roch of St-Basile-Le-Grand, Que., winning gold with a total score of 119.07, Noémie Rolland of Ste-Marthe-sur-le-lac, Que., and Étienne Lacasse of Quebec City, Que., taking silver (114.47), and Annika Behnke of Peace River, Alta., and Kole Sauve of Grande Prairie, Alta., taking bronze (108.83).

Chloe Nguyen of Vancouver and Brendan Giang of Burnaby, B.C., who won a silver medal at a Junior Grand Prix event in Austria in September, won gold in junior ice dance with a total score of 159.03. Last year’s bronze medallists Layla Veillon and Alexander Brandys of London, Ont., moved up to silver this year with a total score of 154.59, while Alisa Korneva and Kieran Macdonald of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., took bronze (145.27).

Next up for most of these skaters will be the 2023 Canadian National Skating Championships taking place at the WinSport Arena in Calgary, Alta., from January 8-14, 2024.

For full results please click here: https://skatecanada.ca/2023-2024-skate-canada-challenge-junior-senior/#entries-starting-orders-and-results

Eight Canadian Teams Qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final

OTTAWA, ON (November 28, 2023) – Canadian skaters of all levels had a remarkable 2023 Grand Prix season, winning a total of 16 medals on the world stage and 16 of them earning the opportunity to represent Canada at the ISU Grand Prix Final taking place in Beijing, China from December 7-12, 2023. In the senior field, Canada will count two pair teams and three ice dance teams, and will be represented by three pair teams in the junior field. 

Senior pair skaters Deanna Stellato-Dudek & Maxime Deschamps have claimed gold at every competition they entered this season, starting with the Autumn Classic International in Montreal, Que., followed by Skate Canada International and the Cup of China. The duo also set a new personal best score and broke the 200-point barrier for the first time, placing them as some of the top contenders in their discipline. They will be joined by Lia Pereira & Trennt Michaud who have had a breakthrough first Grand Prix season together where they claimed silver at Skate America and gold at the Grand Prix de France.  

In ice dance, 2023 ISU World Figure Skating Championships bronze medalists Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier will be looking to defend their 2022 Grand Prix Final title and looked in fine form to do so after winning gold at both Skate Canada International and the Cup of China. Canadian Champions Laurence Fournier Beaudry & Nikolaj Soerensen are also looking strong after capturing silver medals at the Grand Prix de France and NHK Trophy, while Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha, who also claimed two silver medals, will be competing at their first Grand Prix Final. 

Junior Grand Prix series rookies Martina Ariano Kent & Charly Laliberté Laurent were the top Canadian junior pair team to qualify for the final with a gold medal finish at the ISU Junior Grand Prix event in Austria, and a bronze medal at the Budapest, Hungary Junior Grand Prix. The new team of Jazmine Desrochers & Kieran Thrasher also made their Junior Grand Prix series debut this year and captured two bronze medals from the Istanbul, Turkey and Gdansk, Poland Junior Grand Prix events. In their second year on the Junior Grand Prix circuit, Ava Kemp and Yohnatan Elizarov won gold at the Gdansk, Poland event, and finished fourth at the Budapest, Hungary competitions to earn their spot at the Final for the second year in a row. 

The competition starts on Thursday, December 7 with the junior and senior pair short programs. The following day, medals will be awarded to senior pair skaters, while the senior ice dance teams will complete their rhythm dance. The competition will wrap up on Saturday, December 9 with medals being awarded to both junior pair skaters and senior ice dance teams. The exhibition gala will take place on Sunday. 

For full entry lists and results, please click here. 

Team Canada  

Name | Age | Hometown | Coach | Training Location   

Senior Pair
Lia Pereira | 19 | Milton, Ont. &  Trennt Michaud | 27 | Brantford, Ont. | Alison Purkiss | Brantford, Ont.  

Deanna Stellato-Dudek | 40 | Chicago, USA & Maxime Deschamps | 31 | Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que. | Josée Picard | Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que. 

Senior Ice Dance
Laurence Fournier Beaudry | 31 | Montreal, Que. &  Nikolaj Soerensen | 34 | Montreal, Que. | Marie-France Dubreuil & Patrice Lauzon | Montreal, Que.  

Piper Gilles | 31 | Toronto, Ont. & Paul Poirier | 32 | Unionville, Ont. | Carol Lane & Juris Razgulajevs | Scarborough, Ont. 

Marjorie Lajoie | 23 | Boucherville, Que. &  Zachary Lagha | 23 | Saint-Hubert, Que. | Pascal Denis & Romain Haguenauer | Montreal, Que.  

Junior Pair 
Martina Ariano Kent | 16 | Mount Royal, Que. & Charly Laliberté-Laurent | 18 | Boucherville, Que. | Marc-André Craig & David Alexandre Paradis | Chambly, Que.   

Jazmine Desrochers | 16 | Mississauga, Ont. & Kieran Thrasher | 19 | Amherstburg, Ont. | Bruno Marcotte | Oakville, Ont. 

Ava Kemp | 15 | Winnipeg, Man. & Yohnatan Elizarov | 19 | Winnipeg, Man. | Lee Barkell & Kevin Dawe | Toronto, Ont. 

Team Leaders – Andre Bourgeois & Mike Slipchuk
Medical Team – Mireille Landry & Lee Schofield
Officials – Jodi Abbott & Reaghan Fortin