Posts

TEN CANADIAN SKATERS HEADED TO FINLAND FOR FINLANDIA TROPHY

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will have six entries, for a total of ten skaters competing at the 2021 Finlandia Trophy in Espoo, Finland this week. Canada will have one entry in men, one entry in women, two entries in pairs and two entries in ice dance. This event is the fourth stop of the 2021 ISU Challenger Series and takes place from October 7 to 10, 2021.

Keegan Messing, 29, Girdwood, Alaska, USA, will be the lone Canadian entry in men. Last season, Messing finished sixth at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2021 and brought home bronze at Skate America. He is coached by Ralph Burghart in Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

Madeline Schizas, 18, Oakville, Ont., will be the only Canadian entry in women. Last season Schizas finished first at the Skate Canada Challenge and thirteenth at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2021. She is coached by Nancy Lemaire and Derek Schmidt in Milton, Ont.

National pairs team, Kirsten Moore-Towers, 29, St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 29, Sarnia, Ont., will be the first of two Canadian entries in pairs. Last season they finished sixth at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2021. They are coached by Bruno Marcotte, Alison Purkiss and Brian Shales in Oakville, Ont.

National pairs team, Vanessa James, 34, Scarborough, Ont., and Eric Radford, 36, Balmertown, Ont., will be the second Canadian entry in pairs. They finished second at the 2021 Autumn Classic International. This is their first season competing together internationally. They are coached by Julie Marcotte in Montreal, Que.

Marjorie Lajoie, 20, Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha, 22, Saint-Hubert, Que., will be the first ice dance entry representing Canada. Lajoie and Lagha are the 2020 Canadian Silver Ice Dance Medalists and most recently placed fourth at the 2021 Autumn Classic International. They are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, Pascal Denis and Josée Piche in Montreal, Que.

Carolane Soucisse, 26, Châteauguay, Que., and Shane Firus, 27, North Vancouver, BC., will be the second Canadian entry in ice dance. In 2020, they finished third in the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships and most recently finished fifth at the 2021 Autumn Classic International They are coached by Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs in Toronto, Ont.

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director will be the team leader and Dr. Shae Zukiwsky, Senior Director, Performance Excellence will be the team official at the event. Physiotherapist Pat Stanziano, Oakville, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Beth Crane, Burnaby, B.C., and Janice Hunter, Vancouver, B.C., will be the Canadian judges attending the event.

For more information, please visit www.isu.org.

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT ISU CS FINLANDIA TROPHY – ESPOO, FINLAND

MEN
Keegan Messing (29) / Girdwood, Alaska / Ice Palace FSC / Coached by Ralph Burghart

WOMEN
Madeline Schizas (18) / Oakville, Ont. / Milton SC / Coached by Nancy Lemaire and Derek Schmidt

PAIRS
Kirsten Moore-Towers (29) and Michael Marinaro (29) / St. Catharines, Ont., and Sarnia, Ont. / Skate Oakville / Coached by BrunoMarcotte, Alison Purkiss and Brian Shales

Vanessa James (34) and Eric Radford (36) / Scarborough, Ont., and Balmertown, Ont. / EPJM and C.P.A. Saint Leonard / Coached by Julie Marcotte

ICE DANCE
Marjorie Lajoie (20) and Zachary Lagha (22) / Boucherville, Que. and Saint-Hubert, Que. / CPA Boucherville and CPA Saint Lambert / Coached by: Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, Pascal Denis and Josée Piche

Carolane Soucisse (26) and Shane Firus (27) / Châteauguay, Que. and North Vancouver, BC. / CPA Repentigny / Coached by Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs

James and Radford Take Silver in International Debut at Autumn Classic International

PIERREFONDS, Que. – Vanessa James and Eric Radford launched their new partnership for Canada with a silver medal in pairs on Friday at the Autumn Classic International figure skating competition.

This past April, two-time world champion and three-time Olympic medallist Radford announced he was coming out of retirement to skate for Canada once again. But this time it was with new partner Vanessa James, a European champion and world championship medallist who formerly competed for France.

Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan stayed in first place for the victory Friday with 204.06 points followed by the new Canadian pair with 184.01. Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy Leduc of the U.S. hung on for third with 170.64.

Skating to Harry Styles, James and Radford opened with a solid triple twist and executed a clean throw triple Salchow later on. But they were shaky on their side-by-side jumps with James falling once and stepping out of another.

‘’We were hoping for better obviously,’’ said Radford, 36. ‘’But there’s so much for us we have to keep in perspective, and we are finding out how to do this. We know we are going to have a clearer target at our next competition. We have a huge opportunity here and that’s how we are going to take this.’’

‘’For me it’s a learning lesson on how to control my stress,’’ added the 33-year-old James, born in Scarborough, Ont. ‘’I’m taking this as a step in our career.’’

Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil, Que., missed a berth on the podium by less than a point finishing fourth at 169.91 while Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland of Levis, Que., remained seventh.

In the women’s free skate, Marilena Kitromillis of Cyprus won the gold ahead of two South Koreans: Young You and Seoyeon Ji.

Emily Bausback of Vancouver, B.C. was the top Canadian climbing from ninth to seventh. Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., was eighth and Alison Schumacher of Tecumseh, Ont., 10th.

“There’s a lot of positive takeaways from this competition,’’ said Bausback, whose free skate ranked sixth. ‘’I learned a lot about myself and how to deal with my nerves. It’s something I can build on going into Skate Canada International.’’

In ice dancing, world championship bronze medallists Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto, Ont. are first after the rhythm dance with 83.35, Olivia Smart of Adrian Diaz of Spain are second at 75.20 and Caroline Green and Michael Parsons of the U.S. third at 73.93.

‘’We were very pleased with our speed today because it’s always hard to come out for the first event and not overdo it,’’ said Gilles. ‘’We skated very sensible and considering where we are in the season, we are super happy.’’

There are three other Canadian entries: Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of St-Hubert, Que., are fourth at 71.27, Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver are fifth at 65.11 and Haley Sales of Kelowna, B.C., and Nikolas Wamsteeker of Langley, B.C. are sixth at 59.91.

All three entries in men’s competition are Canadian. After the short program, Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., is first with 80.82 points, Bennet Toman of Brampton, Ont., second at 63.30 and Beres Clements of Gibson, B.C., third at 55.48.

‘’I was really nervous and holding back on some of the jumps,’’ said Orzel, 21, in his third season at the senior level.

The ISU Challenger Series provides an opportunity for senior skaters to compete at an international level and earn world ranking points.

Competition ends Saturday at the Pierrefonds Sportplexe with the men’s free skate and the free dance.

Full results: https://results.skatecanada.ca/2021ACI/

Satisfying start for James and Radford at the Autumn Classic International

PIERREFONDS, Que. – The new Canadian pairs partnership of Vanessa James and Eric Radford made its international debut on Thursday and earned a satisfying second place in the short program at the Autumn Classic International figure skating competition, the second stop on the ISU Challenger Series.

This past April, two-time world champion and three-time Olympic medallist Eric Radford announced he was coming out of retirement to skate for Canada once again, but this time with new partner Vanessa James, a European champion and world championship medallist who formerly competed for France.

Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan are in first place after Thursday’s short with 72.32 points, James and Radford follow at 68.29 and Ashley Cain Gribble and Timothy Leduc of the USA are third at 59.58.

Skating to a song called First Time, the Canadians had one mishap when James fell on the side-by-side jump.

‘’When we get out there, we’re waiting to find how we feel exactly,’’ said Radford, 36, from Balmertown, Ont.

‘’We need a little bit more time to figure that out. I think by the end of the season with a bit more comfort we are really going to be able to be able to bring the joy of our skating which is where we connect.’’

James agreed that she and Radford are trying to work towards a point where their experience will be more obvious on the ice.

‘’For today we felt like we had a really great time and performed it,’’ said the 33-year-old born in Scarborough, Ont. ‘’In six months to put two programs together, learning and still mastering all of our elements, we are doing a really good job.’’

Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil, Que., also in their debut as a team, are fourth at 57.83 and Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland of Levis, Que., are seventh at 51.17.

‘’It went O.K.,’’ said Stellato-Dudek. ‘’We’ve been waiting a long time for this opportunity so a bit disappointed. Practice had been much, much better.’’

Matte and Ferland were fifth at this event in 2018.

‘’We know we can do better,’’ said Ferland. ‘’Some elements were good and we are working on consistency which has to improve much more.’’

The women’s short program was also held Thursday. Marilena Kitromilis of Cyprus is first followed by two South Koreans: Seoyeon Ji and Young You.

Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., is the top Canadian in eighth, Emily Bausback of Vancouver is ninth and Alison Schumacher of Tecumseh, Ont., 10th.

‘’I’m happy to be back competing internationally,’’ said Daleman, 23, a two-time Olympian. ‘’But from a skating perspective that was awful.’’

Bausback also wanted to do better.

‘’I’m a little bit disappointed with how I skated,’’ said Bausback, 19, the 2020 national senior champion. ‘’It wasn’t how I skated in training. But it was super awesome to compete again in front of a panel of judges and I had a great time.’’

The ISU Challenger Series provides an opportunity for senior skaters to compete at an international level and earn world ranking points.

Competition continues through to Saturday at the Sportplexe Pierrefonds.

Full results: https://results.skatecanada.ca/2021ACI/

Pride Profile: “I believe the world is changing but I know there is still more work to be done”

June is Pride Month and an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the LGBTQI2S+ community. Skate Canada has done and is continuing to do substantive work in relation to LGBTQI2S+ inclusion but we know there remains critical inclusion work to be done moving forward.

To support an inclusive environment this Pride Month we are sharing personal stories from our skating community. Below is the story of two-time world champion Eric Radford.

When I first watched figure skating on TV, I was instantly enamoured. It seemed as though the skaters could fly and as a kid, I was obsessed with planes and being able to fly. At that moment, I had no idea that skating would bring so many incredible experiences into my life, but also many challenges.

Being the only male figure skater in a small northern community where hockey was the most popular sport was not easy. There was a lot of name calling and bullying. I couldn’t understand why the other kids hated me so much because I liked this amazing sport. As I got older, and I started to have more success, the bullying never completely disappeared, but it diminished.

When I was 17, after a lot of internal struggle, I finally accepted that I was gay. My closest friends at the time were my training mates and when I came out to them, they were nothing but supportive and positive. Their acceptance and support of who I was, made a profound impact on me and was the catalyst for the self-acceptance and freedom I began to feel.

Fast forward 13 years and the opportunity to show the world my true self was presented. When I decided to come out publicly, it conjured up the same fear and anxiety I had when I came out to my friends and family. What if this changed everything? What if it affected my chances at success? Again, I was lucky to have so many wonderful friends and family supporting me, but the biggest and best surprise was the messages and support I received from people I didn’t even know.

Young athletes wrote me about their struggles and related that sharing my story had helped them. This made any fear and anxiety I did have totally worth it. I received so much support from around the world and from within the skating community.

A special moment for me was at the Grand Prix Final in Barcelona, where at the end of the long program, there were pride flags waving in the stands. I believe the world is changing but I know there is still more work to be done for the LGBTQI2S+ community and for LGBTQI2S+ athletes. I would love a future where an athlete’s sexuality is no longer news and that they simply feel free and comfortable to share details about their life that they otherwise would want to hide. As athletes in figure skating and other sports continue to share their stories about being their authentic selves, let us take a moment and appreciate how far the LGBTQI2S+ community in sport has come.

Happy and safe Pride everyone!

Skate Canada thanks to Eric Radford for sharing his story and bringing awareness to the skating community. If you are a member of the LGBTQI2S+ skating community and are interested in sharing your personal story please send us an email at [email protected].

Vanessa James and Eric Radford to compete in pairs together

OTTAWA, ON: Vanessa James, 33, Scarborough, Ont., and Eric Radford, 36, Balmertown, Ont., have formed a new skating partnership and will compete for Canada in the pairs discipline this coming season. Both skaters have previously competed internationally with different partners, James representing France and Radford on the Canadian national team.

“Partnering up with Eric is a very exciting career opportunity. I am looking forward to a season full of inspiration, joy and personal growth,” said Vanessa James. “We’re both very much looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.”

“I’m looking forward to this new partnership with Vanessa and getting back on the ice and doing what we love,” said Eric Radford. “Vanessa and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to represent Canada this coming season and are looking forward to see what the future holds for our partnership.”

James and Radford both did not compete this season. James, with her previous skating partner Morgan Ciprés, is the 2019 European Champion, the 2018 World bronze medallist in the pairs event, and represented France at the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics. James and Ciprés announced their retirement in September 2019. Radford, with his previous skating partner Meagan Duhamel, is a two-time World pair champion (2015, 2016), a 2018 Olympic gold medallist in the team event, a 2018 Olympic bronze medallist in the pairs event, and a seven-time Canadian national champion (2012-18). Duhamel and Radford announced their retirement in April 2018.

This coming season, James and Radford will be training in Quebec coached by Julie Marcotte, and the pair team looks forward to representing Canada at international events.

Any media inquiries please contact [email protected].

Photo Credit: Naskademini naskademini.com

World and Olympic champion Eric Radford vying for spot on ISU Athletes’ Commission

OTTAWA, ON – Eric Radford may have retired from competitive figure skating last year, but the two-time world champion and three-time Olympic medallist wants to remain an integral part of the sport he is so passionate about.

Radford, who is also a seven-time Canadian pair champion, will bid for a spot on the International Skating Union’s Athletes’ Commission when secret-ballot voting takes place at the 2019 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan from March 18-24.

The Commission is made up of five athletes – one each from singles/pair, ice dance, synchronized skating, short track and long track speedskating disciplines.

“I’m excited and honoured to be running for the ISU athlete representative position as the sport of figure skating is close to my heart and the Olympic ice is fresh in my memory,” says Radford, who enjoyed paramount success in pair skating but also skated singles early in his career.

“Our sport is in a constant state of evolution and my goal is to ensure the athlete’s voices will be heard as new directions are taken. I dedicated so many years to achieving the highest possible level in this amazing sport and I’d be honoured if given the opportunity to apply my focus to this position.”

Radford and partner Meagan Duhamel formed one of the most successful teams in Canadian pair skating history. In addition to back-to-back world titles in 2015 and 2016, Duhamel and Radford won seven consecutive Canadian pair championships between 2012 and 2018. They were also two-time Four Continents champions (2015, 2013) and the 2014-15 ISU Grand Prix Final champions. At the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games in 2018, Duhamel and Radford put the finishing touches on an outstanding career by helping Canada to a gold medal in the team event and adding bronze in the pairs event.

“We are honoured to endorse Eric’s bid for a seat on the ISU’s Athletes’ Commission,” says Debra Armstrong, Skate Canada’s Chief Executive Officer. “During his career, Eric was a national, world and Olympic champion, and is an outstanding ambassador for figure skating, both in Canada and around the world. We have no doubt Eric will excel in this role if he is elected and will do an outstanding job promoting our athletes and our sport.”

“Having competed internationally in both singles and pairs I know I have the insight and experience to give the athletes a strong voice within the ISU,” adds Radford. “I believe I have the experience to add so much to the sport, and I would be honoured to be a voice for these outstanding athletes. I look forward to getting to the table right away if I am elected.”

Journey of Friendship: Eric Radford composes free program music for friend and fellow world champion Patrick Chan

The music, aptly titled “A Journey”, was as sudden as it was uplifting for Patrick Chan, a spellbinding piece of wonder composed by one world champion for another.

Barely a month has passed since friends and national team stablemates Patrick Chan and Eric Radford returned from a casual night out in St. John’s, Newfoundland, during the Skate Canada Ice Summit. Radford, a polished musician and the two-time defending world pair champion with Meagan Duhamel, sat down at a piano in the hotel lobby and, without warning, began playing.

A photo posted by Eric Radford (@ericradford85) on

The moments that followed turned out to be awakening of sorts for Chan, the three-time world champion who had been searching, without luck, for the perfect free program music.

Until then.

“I immediately tuned in to what he was playing,” says Chan. “I couldn’t believe how beautiful the piece was, and I asked if he wrote it. He said yes, it was his.”

“I told him to keep playing. I was like ‘Oh my God.’ It was exactly what I was looking for. Complete strangers were coming over to listen to him play. It was amazing.”

“Right there I asked him if he could send me a couple of pieces to possibly consider for a program.”

Within days, Chan says, Radford sent five pieces of music for Chan to listen to. Unable to contain his excitement, he forwarded the pieces to coach Kathy Johnson, refusing to tell her who had composed the music. He just wanted Johnson to listen.

She did and, like Chan, fell in love with the music.

“Kathy loved it. We went from there and we’ve kind of built it to where we are now. It’s been amazing.

“It’s almost choreographed itself.”

Not that it needs to, since Chan is once again teamed up with world-renowned choreographer David Wilson, one of the best in the business.

“It’s challenging after such a short off-season to get back in the rink, try to focus and get creative,” says Chan. “I find this process can sometimes be challenging, so to work with David, who very nurturing as an individual, makes it fun and creative. He is just amazing to work with.”

Chan will perform the program at Skate Canada International, his first ISU Grand Prix assignment of the year. Duhamel and Radford will also defend their titles at the event in Mississauga, Ont. this October.

Previously, Radford had composed “Tribute” in honour of his longtime coach Paul Wirtz, who passed away in 2006.  Duhamel and Radford skated to the music for their short program during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics season.

When working on the final product for Chan, Radford went back in the studio and merged two pieces of music together – one strings-based and the other solely piano.

“When I originally watched Patrick skate to the music (on video), what made me smile most was how David captured the more intricate things,” says Radford. “David’s originality as a choreographer, and Patrick’s skating ability, make them the ultimate team.”

“Our friendship has really blossomed over the past couple of years, especially since the Sochi Olympics,” says Radford of his bond with Chan.

“When I found out Patrick was going to skate to my music, it was like winning a world championship of my own. I hope he is able to find a calmness, something special, within the music.”

It is a season like no other for Chan, who goes in search of a ninth Canadian – and fourth world – title. Returning to competition last season after a year hiatus, Chan is determined not to put any added pressure on himself as a new season dawns.  The goal, as always, will be to finish atop the podium, but Chan isn’t going to focus as much on the results as he his on his growth as a skater, a performer and a person.

“For me, it’s all about the process and growing as an individual, when it comes to movement,” he adds. “This program, and Eric’s piece, is making me grow as a skater, to express in different ways that nobody will ever understand. It’s very much for personal gain, a selfish gain, which is good.

“I don’t think I’ve given myself enough years to do that. I think I’ve spent a lot of years trying to please everyone that’s watching.”

For Chan, there is something different about this season.

It’s about the music and the journey, not necessarily where, or even if, he finishes on the podium.

“This is just another season to me,” Chan admits. “When the music plays and I’m on the ice by myself, that’s when the magic happens. I don’t want to make a big deal.

“It’s just another competition that I’m going to give my best and hopefully affect people’s lives in a positive way.”

Canadian team prepared for 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send 10 entries for a total of 16 skaters to the 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Boston, MA, USA, from March 28 – April 3. Canada will have two entries per category in men’s and ladies and three entries per category in 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 two Canadian entries in men’s. Chan returns to the world championships for the first time since 2013, when he won gold. In his return to competition this season, the representative of the Granite Club won gold at Skate Canada International, placed fifth at Trophée Éric Bompard, fourth at the ISU Grand Prix Final, and won gold at the ISU Four Continents Championships. The eight time Canadian champion is coached by Kathy Johnson and trains at the Detroit Skating Club.

Nam Nguyen, 17, Toronto, Ont., will be the second Canadian entry in men’s. Last season, he placed fifth at this event, and in 2014, he placed 12th. This season, Nguyen placed fifth at Skate Canada International, seventh at the Rostelecom Cup and fourth at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. He is coached by Brian Orser and Ernest Pryhitka at the Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club.

Canadian Champion Alaine Chartrand, 19, Prescott, Ont., is one of two Canadian entries in the ladies category. Last year, Chartrand placed 11th at this event. This season, she placed 12th at Skate America, sixth at the Rostelecom Cup and 11th at the ISU Four Continents Championships. The representative of the Nepean Skating Club is coached by Michelle Leigh and Brian Orser.

Gabrielle Daleman, 18, Newmarket, Ont., will be the second Canadian entry in ladies. Daleman placed 21st at this event in 2015 and 13th in 2014. Earlier this season, she placed fifth at Skate Canada International, sixth at Trophée Éric Bompard at won silver at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. Daleman is coached by Lee Barkell and Brian Orser at the Toronto Cricket, Skating & Curling Club.

Defending World Champions and Olympic silver medallists (team) Meagan Duhamel, 30, Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford, 31, Balmertown, Ont., lead the Canadian entries in pairs. The representatives of CPA Saint-Léonard have previously competed at this event five times, winning medals the past three years. This season, they won gold at Skate Canada International and at the NHK Trophy, and won silver at the ISU Grand Prix Final. The five-time consecutive Canadian champions 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 event. Last year, they placed 13th at the World Championships. Earlier this season, the representatives of the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club placed seventh at the Cup of China, fifth at the NHK Trophy and fifth at the ISU Four Continents Championships. The two time Canadian medallists are coached by Lee Barkell, Bryce Davison and Tracy Wilson.

Kirsten Moore-Towers, 23, St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 24, Sarnia, Ont., are the third Canadian entry in pair. This will be their first time competing at this event. Earlier this season, Moore-Towers and Marinaro won bronze at Skate Canada International, placed seventh at the Rostelecom Cup and placed fourth at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. The representatives of Kitchener-Waterloo SC and Point Edward SC are coached by Bruno Marcotte, Richard Gauthier, Sylvie Fullum, Julie Marcotte and Cynthia Lemaire at CPA Saint-Léonard.

Two-time world medallists Kaitlyn Weaver, 26, Toronto, Ont., and Andrew Poje, 29, Waterloo, Ont., are the first of three Canadian entries in ice dance. This will be their eighth time competing at this event; last year, they won the bronze medal. This season, the representatives of Sault FSC and Kitchener-Waterloo SC won gold at Skate Canada International, Rostelecom Cup and the ISU Grand Prix Final, and won bronze at the ISU Four Continents Championships. Weaver and Poje also won their second consecutive Canadian title. They 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 placed sixth in 2015. This season, they won bronze at Skate America, silver at Trophée Éric Bompard and placed fifth at the ISU Four Continents Championships. 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, 24, Laval, Que., are the final Canadian entry in ice dance. This will be their first time competing at this event. Earlier this season, the representatives of CPA Loretteville and CPA Les Lames D’Argent De Laval Inc. placed eighth at Skate Canada International, sixth at the ISU Four Continents Championships and won their first Canadian medal (bronze) at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. They are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer.

Skate Canada High Performance Director Mike Slipchuk will be the team leader along with Cynthia Ullmark of Canmore, Alta. Dr. Bob Brock of Toronto, Ont., and physiotherapist Agnes Makowski, also of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Andrea Derby of Windsor, Ont., Jean Senft of West Vancouver, B.C., and Benoit Lavoie of Baie St-Paul, Que., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

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

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT 2016 ISU WORLD FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Mens Patrick Chan 25 Toronto, Ont. Granite Club Kathy Johnson
Mens Nam Nguyen 17 Toronto, Ont. Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club Brian Orser / Ernest Pryhitka
Ladies Alaine Chartrand 19 Prescott, Ont. Nepean Skating Club Michelle Leigh / Brian Orser
Ladies Gabrielle Daleman 18 Newmarket, Ont. Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club Lee Barkell / Brian Orser
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 Kirsten Moore-Towers / Michael Marinaro 23/24 St. Catharines, Ont. / Sarnia, Ont. Kitchener-Waterloo SC / Point Edward SC Inc. Bruno Marcotte / Richard Gauthier / Sylvie Fullum / Julie Marcotte / Cynthia Lemaire
Ice Dance Kaitlyn Weaver / Andrew Poje 26/29 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 23/24 Loretteville, Que. / Laval, Que. CPA Loretteville / CPA Les Lames d’Argent de Laval Inc. Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon / Romain Haguenauer

Canadian Skaters in Barcelona for ISU Grand Prix Final

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will have five entries at the 2015 ISU Senior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Barcelona, Spain, taking place from December 9-13, 2015. Canada will have one entry in men’s, two entries in pair, one entry in ice dance and one entry in synchronized skating.

The ISU Senior Grand Prix Final is the concluding event of the ISU Senior Grand Prix of Figure Skating circuit. The series hosts six stops: United States (Skate America), Canada (Skate Canada International), China (Cup of China), France (Trophée Eric Bompard), Russia (Rostelecom Cup), and Japan (NHK Trophy). Skaters are awarded points based on their placements at their assigned two events and the top six in each of the four disciplines advance to the Final.

In senior, Canada will be represented by Patrick Chan, 24, Toronto, Ont., in men’s, Meagan Duhamel, 30, Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford, 30, Balmertown, Ont., and Julianne Séguin, 19, Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau, 22, Trois-Pistoles, Que., in the pair category, as well as Kaitlyn Weaver, 26, Toronto, Ont., and Andrew Poje, 28, Waterloo, Ont., in ice dance.

For the first time in the event’s history, the ISU Senior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final will also include synchronized skating. One entry was assigned to each of the top five ranked ISU members in synchronized skating; Canada being represented by Nexxice. The synchronized skating competition will consist of free skating, which will take place on Saturday, December 12, 2015. The teams will not perform a short program.

Earlier this season, Canada qualified one entry, Roman Sadovsky, 16, Vaughan, Ont., to the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final, also taking place in Barcelona, Spain from December 9-13, 2015. Similar to the senior qualification, juniors are assigned two events on the seven-event series, with the top six in each category advancing to the Final.

ISU Senior Grand Prix Final

Three-time World Champion and double Olympic silver medallist (men’s and team) Patrick Chan, 24, Toronto, Ont., will represent Canada in men’s. 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. The representative of the Granite Club has previously competed at this event six times, medalling four times and winning gold on two occasions (2010 and 2011). He is coached by Kathy Johnson and trains at the Detroit Skating Club.

World champions and Olympic silver medallists (team) Meagan Duhamel, 30, Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford, 30, Balmertown, Ont., are the first of two Canadian pair entries. The representatives of CPA Saint-Léonard have previously competed at this event four times and are the defending champions. This season on the grand prix circuit, they won gold at Skate Canada International and at the NHK Trophy, qualifying in first place for this competition. Duhamel and Radford are coached by Richard Gauthier, Bruno Marcotte, and Sylvie Fullum.

Julianne Séguin, 19, Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau, 22, Trois-Pistoles, Que., are the second Canadian pair entry at the event. Last year, they won gold at the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final; this will be their first time competing in this event at the senior level. The representatives of CPA Longueuil and CPA Chambly won bronze at Skate America and placed third in the short program at the Trophée Éric Bompard to qualify for this competition. Séguin and Bilodeau are coached by Josée Picard in Chambly, Que.

Nexxice.

Nexxice

Two time world medallists Kaitlyn Weaver, 26, Toronto, Ont., and Andrew Poje, 28, Waterloo, Ont., will be the Canadian entry in ice dance. This will be their fifth time competing at this event and they are the defending champions. Weaver and Poje won gold at Skate Canada International and the Rostelecom Cup to qualify first for this competition. The representatives of Sault FSC and Kitchener-Waterloo SC are coached by Angelika Krylova, Pasquale Camerlengo and Shae-Lynn Bourne in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Two-time world champions, Nexxice, will be the Canadian entry in synchronized skating. The nine-time consecutive Canadian champions most recently won the 2015 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships. Representing the Burlington Skating Centre, Nexxice is coached by Shelley Simonton Barnett and Anne Schelter.

ISU Junior Grand Prix Final

Roman Sadovsky Junior Grand Prix gold.

Roman Sadovsky

Roman Sadovsky, 16, Vaughan, Ont., will be Canada’s sole entry in men’s. Earlier this season, he won gold at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Slovakia and bronze at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Poland. Last season he placed fifth at this event. Sadovsky is coached by Tracey Wainman at the YSRA Winter Club.

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director, will be the Canadian team leader at the event. Dr. Ghislaine Robert of Montreal, Que., and physiotherapist Agnes Makowski of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Diane Kamagianis of Mission, Ont., Leanna Caron of Timmins, Ont., and Jeff Lukasik of Calgary, Alta., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

Emma Bowie, Skate Canada Communications Manager, will be the media contact at the event. To arrange onsite interviews please contact her by email at [email protected].

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

 

 

 

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT THE 2015 ISU SENIOR GRAND PRIX FINAL

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Mens Patrick Chan 24 Toronto, Ont. Granite Club Kathy Johnson
Pair Meagan Duhamel / Eric Radford 30/30 Lively, Ont. / Balmertown, Ont. CPA Saint-Léonard / CPA Saint-Léonard Richard Gauthier / Bruno Marcotte / Sylvie Fullum
Pair Julianne Séguin / Charlie Bilodeau 19/22 Longueuil, Que. / Trois-Pistoles, Que. CPA Longueuil / CPA Chambly Josée Picard
Ice Dance Kaitlyn Weaver / Andrew Poje 26/28 Toronto, Ont. / Waterloo, Ont. Sault FSC / Kitchener-Waterloo SC Angelika Krylova / Pasquale Camerlengo / Shae-Lynn Bourne
Synchronized Skating Nexxice N/A N/A Burlington Skating Centre Shelley Simonton Barnett / Anne Schelter

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT THE 2015 ISU JUNIOR GRAND PRIX FINAL

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Mens Roman Sadovsky 16 Vaughan, Ont. YRSA Winter Club Tracey Wainman

World champs! Duhamel and Radford complete perfect season

SHANGHAI – Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won Canada’s first world pairs figure skating title in 14 years on Thursday to cap a perfect season.

The Canadians posted the top score in both the short skate and Thursday’s free program, finishing with a total of 221.53 points, a personal best score. Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China won the silver medal at 214.12 and their compatriots Pang Qing and Tong Jian got the bronze with 212.77.

‘’The dream has become a reality,’’ said Radford. ‘’We had a little error at the start of the program but we recovered and fought till the end.

‘’We are so excited and proud of ourselves. You never know if you’ll be able to stand on top of a world podium no matter how hard you work.’’

This is Canada’s first victory in the pairs event at worlds since Jamie Sale and David Pelletier won gold in 2001.

Thursday’s victory capped a perfect season for Duhamel, from Lively, Ont., and Radford, from Balmertown, Ont. They won three Grand Prix events including the Grand Prix Final as well as the Four Continents championships and Canadian championships.

Duhamel left the ice unsure how the judges would score their program.

‘’All I knew is that we had given everything we had,’’ she said. ‘’Ironically this season we wanted to put the focus on enjoying our skating and we started to win.’’

World junior silver medallists Julianne Séguin of Longueuil, Que., Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., were eighth and first-year partners Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto 13th.

“It’s our first international competition at the senior level and we are proud of our performances,” said Séguin. ‘’We reached our goals and learned a lot.’’

In women’s competition after the short program, Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., is 10th and Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., 21st.

Russians Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Elena Radionova are 1-2.

“It was quite the experience,” said Chartrand celebrating her 19th birthday. “I had a good skate and to get close to my personal best at worlds is very satisfying.”

Daleman dislocated her knee two weeks ago.

“That wasn’t a good skate,” she said. “I was proud though that I fought through it and I know I can get it back together for the free skate.”

Competition continues Friday with the men’s short and free dance featuring Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., who are second after Wednesday’s short dance.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/wc2015/index.htm

Strong Canadian Bond between Duhamel/Radford and Weaver/Poje heading into the World Championships

Fate and destiny have bought Canada’s top two upwardly mobile duos to much the same place, on the same path, so much so, it’s almost chilling to behold.

Never have Canadian doublets been in such step as pair skaters Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford and their ice dancing counterparts Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje.

At every bend this season, they have been matching steps to the ISU World Figure Skating Championships where both are favoured to win gold. And it would be a first if they did. Although Canadian skaters have won double-gold at world championships before (Donald Jackson and Maria and Otto Jelinek in 1962, Kurt Browning and Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler in 1993, and Patrick Chan and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in 2012), it’s never happened to two Canadian twosomes.

Partway through the season, both noticed the similarity of their journeys. “After the NHK Trophy, we had both won the event, and we looked at each other and said: ‘Wait a second. We’re the exact same right now. We’re three for three;” Weaver said.

Last fall, Duhamel and Radford and Weaver and Poje both scored victories in early season internationals in Barrie, Ont. and Obertsdorf, Germany for win No. 1. Afterwards, they never competed apart. They were assigned to the same Grand Prix events, and swept them all. Then they both won gold at the Grand Prix Final (four for four); gold at the Canadian championships (five for five); then gold at the Four Continents Championships (six for six.). In Shanghai, China next week, they’ll go for seven, a lucky number that signifies divine perfection, completeness, something that is finished.

Both didn’t have their best Olympics in Sochi last February. Both realized that they had to do their jobs on their own terms, for the joy of it. Not training in a relaxed way (“We’re exhausted after every practice,” Weaver said), but shutting out the distractions of opinion and result.

“We both feel the same pressure,” Weaver said. “To have someone else to share that with, not only with your partner, but another team altogether, has been really fun and enlightening.”

“I feel like we are sharing this special journey with them,” said Duhamel, who will room with Weaver in Shanghai. “I think we share a really special energy between the four of us.”

In Barcelona, Duhamel and Weaver started a tradition together: finding a yoga class when they first get to an event. The texts fly back and forth. Last Monday, Weaver texted Duhamel: “Last Monday of the regular season of training!”

“Yay,” Duhamel said in return. “She’s always checking up on me to see how things are going.”

They find that they share the same feelings, the same trouble getting their feet under them after a trip, the same jetlag, the same ease that things have settled back to normal at the same time. “Every time she texts me about something, we’re both feeling the same way, or our energies are the same,” Duhamel said.

Ditto for Radford and Poje, who roomed together in Barcelona. “At every competition, I think there is an unspoken connection and feeling because we’re both in the exact same situation,” Radford said. “And it’s comforting and nice to know in those really high intense moments of pressure, when you’re feeling nervous, we have teammates that are in the exact same situation. And they are still alive. And they survived. And they are doing an amazing job. It gives us confidence to know we are going through the same situation with some of our best friends.”

It’s not as if they are forged from the same pieces of clay. They are in different disciplines for Pete’s sake: pairs with their fearlessness, ice dancers with their twizzles and emotion. They have decidedly different personalities, all of them.

“What’s neat is that you get to see how someone else handles the situation,” Weaver said. “I really admire Meagan’s tenacity and I love her aggressiveness when she skates. So we can learn from each other in that way.”

If Weaver and Poje arrive to the rink after a pair practice, they’ll ask how Duhamel and Radford fared. They’ll say (so many times this year): “Awesome!”

“And you know what? We can have awesome practices, too,” Weaver said. “They are very confident and we feed off each other in that way. I think we are all very different personalities, but we are able to come together and know that we are all feeling the same thing.”

Case in point: In Barcelona both wanted to do so well and Duhamel was feeling butterflies about it all. Weaver advised her that they do the same program every time, the same quads, the same twizzles, the same lifts. Nothing changes from one competition to another. “We both really kind of hung onto that,” Weaver said. “We have that little reminder for each other every time we go out.” They both won gold at the Grand Prix Final – quite decisively.

And what if they both were to win in Shanghai? The thought gives Weaver chills up her sparkly arm.

“It would be monumental for sure,” Poje said. “It would be such a powerful message for Canada to be able to display those two champions. We both have to go out there and do our jobs and make sure that we put everything we can out there.

“But it’s a wonderful picture to think about and to be able to share the same memories and the same moment with them, coming from the same country and hearing the same anthem. It would be amazing.”

Weaver says she rarely misses watching Duhamel and Radford skate, at least for the long program. She thinks she’s seen them five out of six times, perhaps all of them. “I’m very proud to witness their growth and the incredible strides that they have made as a team, especially with that long, which is gorgeous,” she said.

And what if there is an incredible double-barrelled win, two golds for two teams?

“It would mean a lot of champagne for Team Canada,” Weaver said.

Perfect season continues for Duhamel and Radford

Duhamel and Radford win gold medal at Four Continents Cup.

SEOUL – Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford remained undefeated this season as they won the gold medal in pairs on Saturday at the ISU Four Continents figure skating competition.

Duhamel and Radford produced the best scores in both the short program and free skate to finish with 219.48 points. Three Chinese pairs followed including Cheng Peng and Hao Zhang in second at 201.45 and Qing Pang and Jian Tong in third at 199.99.

‘’I’m really proud we how we handled the pressure,’’ said Radford, from Balmertown, Ont.. ’’We kept it together and still executed a strong performance and what I`m most excited about it that we had such a strong score here and we know we can do that much better. Heading into the world championships we’ll be looking to improve upon that.’’

The Canadians have won their four international assignments so far this season, including the ISU Grand Prix Final, as well as the national title last month.

‘’We’re very proud of our effort here,’’ said Duhamel, from Lively, Ont. ‘’The highlight was landing the throw quad after we had a small mistake on the side-by-side triple Lutz. That’s very difficult to do but we kept our focus and composure and that was very important for the rest of the program.’’

Next assignment for Duhamel and Radford: the world championships in March.

‘’Going into the worlds we’ll be looking to add more sharpness to the technical elements as well as more speed and energy throughout the program,’’ said Duhamel.

Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto were sixth and Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., ninth.

In men’s competition, Denis Ten of Kazakhstan took the gold with Joshua Farris of the U.S. second and Han Yan of China third.

Nam Nguyen of Toronto was 11th, Jeremy Ten of Vancouver 12th and Liam Firus of North Vancouver 14th.

Competition ends Sunday with the women’s free skate.

http://www.isuresults.com/results/fc2015/index.htm