Tag Archive for: Alaine Chartrand

Weaver and Poje in heated battle for ice dance gold at ISU Four Continents

TAIPEI CITY – Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., are in second place after the short dance at the ISU Four Continents Championships in figure skating which got underway Thursday.

World champions Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., are also in second after the pairs short program despite Duhamel skating with an illness.

In pairs, Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China are the surprise leaders with 78.51 points. Duhamel and Radford are second at 71.90 and Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim of the U.S. third at 67.71.

“Meagan was ill all day today heading into the short program,” said Radford. “It prevented us from having a really great skate which is what we were hoping for. But we still did some great elements out there. It’s unfortunate our Lutz was downgraded today and we lost a lot of points there.”

Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto are fifth at 61.97 and Vanessa Grenier of Johnville, Que., and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., are 10th.

“It was unfortunate about the mistake but I thought we collected ourselves really well,” said Moscovitch. “We skated well and improved a lot of areas.”

In ice dancing, Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. are first 72.86 followed closely by Weaver and Poje, the defending champions, at 72.48. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S. are third at 69.36 and world championship silver medallists Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. stand fourth at 67.05.

“We are very pleased with our short dance today,” said Poje. “We went out there and had a strong performance. We felt we captured the audience and captured the true feeling of our dance (a waltz). We did have a couple of level three’s that we want to address for the world championships.”

“Andrew and I are really happy,” added Weaver. “We felt really comfortable and enjoyed the moment which is always our goal for every competition. Right now it’s very close for the championship. We like our position heading into the free dance.”

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto are fifth at 63.92 and Elisabeth Paradis of Loretteville, Que., and Francois Xavier-Ouellette of Laval, Que., are sixth at 60.15 out of 16 entries.

Paradis and Ouellette reached the qualifying score for the world championships and earned a ticket to Boston next month.

“We really concentrated on what we needed to do,” said Paradis. “We were pretty nervous about getting our technical scores. But we focused on skating like we normally do in training and we are super happy.”

Ouellette says being relaxed was the key to their success.

“We appreciated each moment and put together a really super performance. We are going to Boston,” he said.

Japanese skaters are 1-2 after the women’s short program. Satoko Miyahara leads at 72.48 and Kanako Murakami is second at 68.51.

Canadian champion Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., is seventh, Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L. 11th and Véronik Mallet of Sept-Iles, Que., 15th.

‘’I wasn’t quite myself this time,’’ said Chartrand. ‘’I’m pretty disappointed. I had some issues with my combination and didn’t get my levels. All I can do is look forward to my free program.’’

Osmond, who missed all of last season with a broken leg, is pleased with her progress.

‘’I was happy with the program,’’ she said. ‘’It wasn’t perfect but I reached my objectives and it was another opportunity to get out and skate again. For me it’s a stepping stone kind of year.’’

Competition continues Friday with the free dance and the men’s short program featuring Canada’s Patrick Chan.

Full results: ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships

Canadian team en route to 2016 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Chinese Taipei

OTTAWA, ON: Canada will send 12 entries, for a total of 18 skaters, to the 2016 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei. The event takes place from February 16-21, 2016, at the Taipei Arena. The Canadian team will have three entries per category in men’s, ladies, pair and ice dance.

Three-time World Champion and double Olympic silver medallist (men’s and team) Patrick Chan, 25, Toronto, Ont., is the first of three Canadian entries in men’s. This season, Chan won gold at Skate Canada International and placed fifth in the short program at Trophée Éric Bompard to earn a berth at the ISU Grand Prix Final, where he placed fourth. The representative of the Granite Club has previously competed at this event twice, winning it on both occasions (2009 and 2012). He is coached by Kathy Johnson and trains at the Detroit Skating Club.

Canadian silver medallist Liam Firus, 23, North Vancouver, B.C., is the second Canadian entry in men’s. Last year, he placed 15th at this event. This season, the representative of Vancouver SC placed seventh at the Finlandia Trophy and eighth at the Golden Spin of Zagreb. Firus is coached by Christy Krall and Damon Allen in Colorado Springs, CO, USA.

Olympic silver medallist (team) Kevin Reynolds, 25, Coquitlam, B.C., is the final Canadian entry in the men’s discipline. Also representing Vancouver SC, Reynolds has previously competed at this event four times, winning bronze in 2010 and gold in 2013. This season, Reynolds returned to competition after a year off to win the bronze medal at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. He is coached by Joanne McLeod at the Champs International Skating Centre in Burnaby, B.C.

Newly-crowned Canadian champion Alaine Chartrand, 19, Prescott, Ont., is one of three Canadian entries in the ladies category. She placed 10th at this event last year and seventh in 2014. This season, she placed fourth at the Nebelhorn Trophy and 12th at Skate America, and sixth at the Rostelecom Cup. The representative of the Nepean Skating Club is coached by Michelle Leigh and Brian Orser.

The second Canadian entry in ladies is two-time Canadian champion and Olympic silver medallist (team) Kaetlyn Osmond, 20, Marystown, Nfld./Edmonton, Alta. She previously competed at this event in 2013, placing seventh. This season, she won gold at the Nebelhorn Trophy, placed 11th at Skate Canada International and placed sixth at the NHK Trophy. She is coached by Ravi Walia and represents the Ice Palace Figure Skating Club.

Véronik Mallet, 21, Sept-Îles, Que., is the final Canadian entry in the ladies division. This will be her third time competing at this event, having placed 13th in 2014 and 14th in 2015. Earlier this season, the representative of CPA Sept-Îles placed ninth at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, 10th at Skate Canada International and fourth at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. Mallet is coached by Annie Barabé at CTC Varennes.

In pair, world champions and Olympic silver medallists (team) Meagan Duhamel, 30, Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford, 31, Balmertown, Ont., lead off the Canadian entries. The representatives of CPA Saint-Léonard have previously competed at this event four times winning gold last year and in 2013. This season, they won gold at Skate Canada International and at the NHK Trophy, and won silver at the ISU Grand Prix Final, as well as their fifth consecutive Canadian title. Duhamel and Radford are coached by Richard Gauthier, Bruno Marcotte, and Sylvie Fullum.

Lubov Ilyushechkina, 24, Moscow, Russia, and Dylan Moscovitch, 31, Toronto, Ont., are the second Canadian pair entry at the competition. Last year, they placed sixth at this event. Earlier this season, the representatives of the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club placed fourth at the Ondrej Nepela Trophy, seventh at the Cup of China and fifth at the NHK Trophy. The two time Canadian medallists are coached by Lee Barkell, Bryce Davison and Tracy Wilson.

Vanessa Grenier, 23, Johnville, Que., and Maxime Deschamps, 24, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., will also represent Canada in pair. Grenier and Deschamps will be competing at this event for the first time. This season, the representatives of CPA Sherbrooke and CPAR Vaudreuil placed fourth at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, seventh at Skate Canada International and eighth at the Cup of China. Most recently, they placed fifth at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. They are coached by Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte at CPA Saint-Léonard.

Two time world medallists Kaitlyn Weaver, 26, Toronto, Ont., and Andrew Poje, 28, Waterloo, Ont., are the first of three Canadian entries in ice dance. They are the 2015 and 2010 champions of this competition and will be competing at this event for the seventh time. This season, the representatives of Sault FSC and Kitchener-Waterloo SC have won gold at all of their events: Finlandia Trophy, Skate Canada International, Rostelecom Cup and the ISU Grand Prix Final. Most recently, they won their second consecutive Canadian championship. Weaver and Poje are coached by Angelika Krylova, Pasquale Camerlengo and Shae-Lynn Bourne in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Canadian silver medallists Piper Gilles, 24, Toronto, Ont., and Paul Poirier, 24, Unionville, Ont., will be the second Canadian entry in ice dance. This will be their fourth time competing at this event, at which they won the silver medal in 2014. This season, they have medalled at all of their competitions: gold at the Ondrej Nepela Trophy, bronze at Skate America and silver in the short program at Trophée Éric Bompard. The representatives of Scarboro FSC also won their second consecutive Canadian silver medal. Gilles and Poirier are coached by Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs at Ice Dance Elite in Scarborough, Ont.

Canadian bronze medallists Élisabeth Paradis, 23, Loretteville, Que., and François-Xavier Ouellette, 23, Laval, Que., are the third Canadian ice dance entry. This will be their first time competing at this event. Earlier this season, they won bronze at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic and placed eighth at Skate Canada International. The representatives of CPA Loretteville and CPA Les Lames D’Argent De Laval Inc., are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer.

Skate Canada High Performance Director Mike Slipchuk will be onsite with the Canadian team. Carolyn Allwright of Kitchener, Ont., and Bev Viger of Abbotsford, B.C., will be the Canadian team leaders at this event. Dr. Lee Schofield of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian team doctor and Josiane Roberge of Sillery Que., will be the team physiotherapist.

Canadian officials at the event are Sally Rehorick of Vancouver, B.C., Nicole Leblanc-Richard of Dieppe, N.B., Cynthia Benson of Quispamsis, N.B., and Leslie Keen of Vancouver, B.C.

For results and full entries please visit www.isu.org.


Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Mens Patrick Chan 25 Toronto, Ont. Granite Club Kathy Johnson
Mens Liam Firus 23 North Vancouver, B.C. Vancouver SC Christy Krall / Damon Allen
Mens Kevin Reynolds 25 Coquitlam, B.C. Vancouver SC Joanne McLeod
Ladies Alaine Chartrand 19 Prescott, Ont. Nepean Skating Club Michelle Leigh / Brian Orser
Ladies Kaetlyn Osmond 20 Marystown, Nfld. & Edmonton, Alta. Ice Palace FSC Ravi Walia
Ladies Véronik Mallet 21 Sept- Îles, Que. CPA Sept-Îles Annie Barabé / Maximin Coïa
Pair Meagan Duhamel / Eric Radford 30/31 Lively, Ont. / Balmertown, Ont. CPA Saint-Léonard / CPA Saint-Léonard Richard Gauthier / Bruno Marcotte / Sylvie Fullum
Pair Lubov Ilyushechkina / Dylan Moscovitch 24/31 Moscow, Russia / Toronto, Ont. Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club / Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club Lee Barkell / Bryce Davison / Tracy Wilson
Pair Vanessa Grenier / Maxime Deschamps 23/24 Johnville, Que. / Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que. CPA Sherbrooke / CPAR Vaudreuil Richard Gauthier / Bruno Marcotte
Ice Dance Kaitlyn Weaver / Andrew Poje 26/28 Toronto, Ont. / Waterloo, Ont. Sault FSC / Kitchener-Waterloo SC Angelika Krylova / Pasquale Camerlengo / Shae-Lynn Bourne
Ice Dance Piper Gilles / Paul Poirier 24/24 Toronto, Ont. / Unionville, Ont. Scarboro FSC / Scarboro FSC Carol Lane / Juris Razgulajevs
Ice Dance Élisabeth Paradis / François-Xavier Ouellette 23/23 Loretteville, Que. / Laval, Que. CPA Loretteville / CPA Les Lames d’Argent de Laval Inc. Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon / Romain Haguenauer

Kingston to feel like home territory for Alaine Chartrand

Nobody seemed more surprised than Alaine Chartrand on that November day in Moscow when she unleashed her best game to the public.

There she was in Russia, home of a busy flock of Russian women all trying to outdo the other (the vast majority of them landing triple-triples at the recent Cossack nationals). And this small-framed Canadian in Maple Leaf red won the women’s short program – in only her second senior Grand Prix event.

“So I’m leading after the short at Rostelecom Cup? #what?! #cool”, she tweeted. Her senior Grand Prix debut occurred at Skate Canada International in Kelowna, B.C., where she finished seventh, admittedly more nervous than a tightrope walker in tattered slippers. Obviously, she dealt with the nerves in Moscow.

Perhaps she had a little help. The day she left for Russia, her great grandmother died, hard for someone from such a close-knit family. Chartrand dedicated her performance to her and skated like a champ.

It also didn’t hurt that Chartrand felt relatively comfortable in Moscow, where her coach Leonid Birinberg is from. Birinberg is friendly with the mother of Evgenia Medvedeva, who just won the Junior Grand Prix Final and the bronze medal at the senior level at her national championships. Chartrand knows Medvedeva “a bit.”

In Russia, the scores spilled over Chartrand’s cup, like never before. Although she has always been a mighty little jumper first, Chartrand’s component marks in Russia all climbed above 7.00 for the first time: totalling up a record (for her) 27.68 in the short and 57.72 points in the free.  Whatever she’s been working on this season with choreographer David Wilson and edge artist Gary Beacom, it’s been working.

Heading into the Canadian championships in Kingston, Ont., Chartrand carries with her a personal best short program score of 61.18, and a total score of 172.00 from the Rostelecom Cup. Her record free score of 113.05 comes from her stellar skate at the Four Continents last season, when she was only 15th after the short, and rallied to be fifth in the free, seventh overall.

Did that first-place finish in the short in Russia unsettle her for the long, where she made a few mistakes – but still roared along to take the bronze medal? No, says Chartrand. It did the opposite, taking the pressure off her from having to come from behind, as she has had to do before.

Her goals this year are realistic: finish in the top eight at Skate Canada (check) (and she more than outdid this in Moscow ); get back on the podium at the Canadian skating championships and relive or even perhaps outdo that bronze she earned two years ago; and get to the world championships in Shanghai next March. Last year she finished fifth at nationals.

The Kingston event will almost feel like home since it’s only an hour’s drive from her hometown of Prescott, Ontario. For a skater who spends her days travelling about the province, sometimes in her grandparents’ RV, to train just about everywhere, it’s an easy trip.

For Chartrand, this season has been a big step in many ways: her first year as a senior competitor on the Grand Prix scene, new tasks, new lessons, more attention to every detail. While she held onto her long program to Doctor Zhivago (appropriate for her Moscow performance), Wilson refreshed it and made it new. And she loaded all of her jump combinations into the second half, for good ammunition. She also seriously started to train a triple Axel. She does it every day, she says.

“I always wanted to be the first person to do something,” she said. She was the first Canadian woman to land a triple Lutz – triple toe loop combo at a competition and also the first to do a triple Lutz-half loop – triple Salchow, too. “It would be awesome to be the first Canadian lady to do the triple Axel,” Chartrand said. She’s stood up on some, but not on a completely rotated one yet. She’s excited about it. Needless to say, her heroes are those who push the boundaries of the sport: Midori Ito, Mao Asada, Kevin Reynolds, Yuzuru Hanyu, and Javier Fernandez.

She did attempt a triple Axel at Minto Skate in the summer, but fell. All summer she’s trained it as the first element in her long program.

She tried on two new short programs, but Raul di Blasio’s “La Leyenda del Beso” – the tragic  Legend of the Kiss – won out with its sophisticated air. It has a Spanish gypsy feel, she says.

When Chartrand skates, she now fills the rink more with her presence. “I’ve definitely been working on everything: jumps, spins, stretch, stroking lessons, everything,” she said. And she’s worked with a Canadian icon, Gary Beacom. “Just neat little things to put in my programs,” she said. “Just in general to be unique, because Gary Beacom is very unique.”

She first did a seminar with Beacom, and really enjoyed it. Every few months, Beacom rolls into the Toronto area, sometimes on his motorbike. When he comes, she gets a lesson with him for an hour. “We just really thought he was amazing from the seminar that he did,” she said. “It was great to get some unique things because it seems like everyone looks the same and it’s great if you can do something special.”

The special bits? Entrances and exits from spins, footwork. “He just does things differently,” she said.

Beacom says he thinks Chartrand is very talented. “She picks things up,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to work with her. She’s pretty well-read. An excellent jumper. She spins well, and has some good footwork.” He says he’s been working on her transitions – and some creative ways to get in and out of spins. “This is something that hasn’t been explored in the world of skating,” he said.

Chartrand has done well this season, considering she wasn’t sure she’d even get one Grand Prix event. She’s glad she stayed on her feet at Skate Canada International but really, she did more than that: getting level fours for all of her elements. She’s only just begun this new chapter.

Alaine Chartrand wins bronze medal at Grand Prix

MOSCOW – Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., took a giant step in her career on Saturday as she won the bronze medal in women’s competition to conclude the Rostelecom Cup, the fourth stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

World junior champion Rika Hongo of Japan earned the gold medal with 178.00 points followed by Anna Pogorilaya of Russia, the Skate Canada International champion two weeks ago, in second at 173.43.

Chartrand, the leader after Friday’s short program, was third with a personal best 172.00 for her first international medal.

‘’Definitely I reached a new level today to win a medal in my first season on the senior Grand Prix,’’ said Chartrand, 18.  ‘’I didn’t feel any extra pressure today because I had won the short program.  I’m always nervous anyway.’’

Despite the medal, Chartrand wasn’t thrilled with her free skate.  While she stayed on her feet from start to finish she did have to fight hard for some of her successful landings.

‘’There is definitely room for improvement,’’ she said.  ‘’But it was certainly better than at Skate Canada (where she finished seventh).’’

In men’s competition, Javier Fernandez of Spain took the gold with Sergei Voronov of Russia second and Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic third.  Jeremy Ten of Vancouver was 10th.

Despite the result, Ten was pleased with his achievements this weekend.

‘’I came here to introduce may quad jump into the program and for me that was a success,’’ said Ten.  ‘’I gained confidence that it’s a jump that I have the ability to land, hopefully at my next competition. I was also pleased with how I came back with a strong triple Axel today as well.’’

Next weekend, the circuit heads to Bordeaux, France for the Trophee Eric Bompard.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/gprus2014/index.htm

Canada’s Alaine Chartrand leads after short program

MOSCOW – Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., is in first place after the women’s short program at the fourth stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit in figure skating.

Chartrand produced 61.18 points as she put herself in position to win a first international medal. Her program included a double Axel which was quickly followed by a soaring triple Lutz in combination with a triple toe loop.

World junior champion Rika Hongo of Japan stands second at 59.85 and Anna Pogorilaya of Russia, the Skate Canada International winner two weeks ago, is third at 59.32

Chartrand, 18, is in her first season on the senior circuit. After placing seventh at Skate Canada two weeks ago she said: “I was looking to improve on that. I really just wanted to have big jumps, clean jumps.

In the men’s short program, Jeremy Ten of Vancouver skated a clean program which included a triple Axel and triple Lutz-triple toe for ninth.

Chartrand and Ten are the only two Canadian entries here this weekend.  All free skates are on Saturday.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/gprus2014/index.htm

Alaine Chartrand climbs to fifth at ISU World Junior Figure skating Championships

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., climbed from seventh to fifth spot in women’s competition Sunday at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

Elena Radionova led a Russian medal sweep with Serafima Sakhanovich second and Evgenia Medvedeva third.

Chartrand, seventh after Friday’s short program, took charge in the free skate to finish with 164.35 points. She placed eighth at this event last season. The 17-year-old was fifth at the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships and most recently, seventh at the 2014 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.

“This was a great result for Alaine in a very strong field,” said Mike Slipchuk, High Performance Director, Skate Canada. “‎Overall it was a tremendous week for our skaters with many stand out performances.”

Larkyn Austman of Coquitlam, B.C., was 16th in her world juniors debut.  The 15-year-old finished eighth at her first international assignment on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit in Estonia earlier this season. The 2013 Canadian junior champion also earned a 10th place finish at the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, competing in the senior category.

Canada ends the world juniors with two medals.  Nam Nguyen of Toronto won the gold medal Saturday in men’s competition and Madeline Edwards of Port Moody, B.C., and ZhaoKai Pang of Burnaby, B.C., took bronze in ice dancing on Friday.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/wjc2014/index.htm

Louis Daignault

Chartrand rockets to seventh with powerful free skate

TAIPEI – Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., gained eight spots in the women’s singles standings on Saturday to place seventh at the ISU Four Continents Championships figure skating competition.

It was a remarkable finish to the 17-year-old’s first senior international assignment.

Chartrand was 15th after Friday’s short program but came out firing on all cylinders for the long earning a personal best 165.19 points.  Performing to Dr. Zhivago she delivered a clean program lading her 10 jumps including three in combination.

Her long program performance was the fifth best of the day.

“I’m really with how I completed this competition,” said Chartrand.  “After a hard short program I was happy to get back to where I should be with the long.”

Kanako Murakami led Japan to a 1-2 finish with Satoko Miyahara second and Zijun Li of China third.

Amelie Lacoste of Delson, Que., was 12th and Veronik Mallet of Sept-Iles, Que., 13th.

“For me it was a very successful competition,” said Mallet.  “I had a super short program and while my long could have been better it was overall a great experience and I learned a lot.”

Canada ends the competition with a silver medal earned by ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto on Thursday.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/fc2014/index.htm

Alaine Chartrand on the road to success

It seems that Alaine Chartrand lives her life on a highway, humming along the blacktops of Ontario. She’s obviously going somewhere. She certainly is.

The 17-year-old from Maitland, Ont., flits from rink to rink around the province, getting instruction on her craft, a few days here, a few hours there. Sometimes it’s her father, John, as chauffeur. On longer trips, she rides the road in her grandparents’s RV, with a car in tow, just in case. It looks like a travelling circus. “It’s unique,” says coach Michelle Leigh.

Chartrand spends a couple of days a week in Prescott, Ont., at her home club, skating there both day and night. Another two, she skates through the day only at Prescott, then climbs aboard the family truckster to skate in Nepean, Ont., for a couple of sessions during the evenings. It’s an hour away.

Her Prescott coach is Mary-Jayne Rashotte. At Nepean, she trains with Russian-born coach Leonid Birinberg, a former national-level skater who graduated from the Sports Academy of Moscow with a diploma in physical education and sports, specializing in the coaching of figure skating.  Somewhere in there, Chartrand squeezes in classes at a school in Brockville, Ont.

Then on Saturday and Sunday and sometimes Friday, she’s really on the road, mostly in the Toronto area. Chartrand also trains with Michelle Leigh, who has taken skaters to three Olympics. She works out of the Mariposa Skating Club in Barrie, Ont., as well as at a rink in Oakville, Ont. Leigh sees her both days at different clubs.

Chartrand trucks all over, because, she says, her family is closely knit and they don’t want to leave their home near Prescott.  “Family is still really important to them,” Leigh said. Nepean has played a main role in her life for the past four years. “I think they have really figured out something special and unique to her. She skates in a lot of different rinks so I think she adjusts well to different facilities. I think there’s an advantage to that.”

When she comes to Toronto – in the RV – she can rest in it and have as normal a life as possible when you’re on the move. It’s a home on wheels, so she’s not eating restaurant food, or hotel food, or sleeping on hotel beds. It works for this family. In the winter, they keep the generator on so the pipes don’t freeze. It’s a new thing, lately, having the RV. Before that, Chartrand was well-known for her road trips in her father’s six-seater pickup truck, which had amassed more than 500,000 kilometres a long time ago.

Her younger brother travels with the family in the RV. He skates at a small speed skating club in Brockville.

This week, Chartrand will be climbing aboard a plane (for a change) to compete at Skate Canada Challenge in Regina. That’s the qualifying event for the Canadian championships, which is a stone’s throw from her home – in Ottawa. At least she won’t have to travel so far to defend her national bronze medal from last season. And of course, she’ll be going for an Olympic spot; Canada has two berths for women.

She’s always been a mighty little jumper and her hero is quad king Kevin Reynolds. The five-foot tall skater became the first Canadian female to land a triple Lutz – triple toe loop combination in competition during the short program at the Canadian championship last year, although the landing was tentative. She also has a powerful triple Lutz-loop-triple Salchow in her arsenal and both combinations have become more consistent this year.  She’s been known as a jumper, but this year, she’s going for elegance, too.

Chartrand has done that by going to Toronto choreographer David Wilson to design her long program, hoping that his experience as the man who mapped out the successes of Olympic champion Kim Yu-Na will rub off on her. She appeared transformed when she skated at the Thornhill Summer Skate, skating to Doctor Zhivago in an icy blue dress with icicles running down the bodice. And don’t forget the elbow-length gloves.

“It’s a nice piece of music,” said Chartrand, who was born more than 30 years after the epic film was released. She watched the movie – it’s a very long one, she said – before the choreography was fashioned.  “There are more emotions,” she said. “I have to do different facial expressions, instead of just one smile the whole time. I’m happy in the footwork, which is very waltzy. It’s the celebration part of the movie. And then there’s the tragedy of war. It’s really quite the story.”

The dress she wears was made by her grandmother, Patricia Young, who has sewn all of her costumes.

Her short program, to Nathan Lanier’s Torn, was choreographed by Jeff Buttle, who designed her long program last year. This new vehicle shows more drama.

Her season got off to a slower start than she wanted, at least in the Junior Grand Prix events, although she was third in the long program and fourth overall at Riga, Latvia, and 7th overall in Minsk, Belarus. But Leigh said she is now training forwardly since.

Leigh first saw Chartrand occasionally at seminars, before she had a double Axel. A skater since she was four years old, Chartrand was very tiny and very shy, but extremely hard-working, Leigh said. “I find her curious about technique and she really likes to understand the science of jumping,” the coach said.

But now the program components are also on the rise. And working with David Wilson? “He’s pretty goofy sometimes,” Chartrand said. “He makes it light, not too serious. He laughs and then says: ‘You’ll get it.’ He’s great to work with.”

He’s fine tuned Chartrand’s feistiness and made her into a more mature lady, Leigh said. It will be an interesting road ahead, indeed.

Beverley Smith