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Virtue and Moir add Grand Prix Final champions to their laurels

MARSEILLES, France – Canadian Olympic and world champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir ended their Grand Prix Final gold medal drought on Saturday with the victory in ice dancing at the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating competition.

It was the Canadian couples sixth appearance at the event and the first time they’ve earned gold. They’ve been runner-up four times.

Virtue and Moir, skating to emotional music by Coeur de Pirate and Sam Smith, totalled 197.22 points. World champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France were second at 192.81 and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani third at 189.60.

‘’For us a Grand Prix title is pretty huge,’’ said Moir from Ilderton, Ont. ‘’It’s a great finish to the first half of the season and we are really pleased with the work we’ve done so far.’’

While the performance appeared flawless, Moir admitted there is still some polish to add.

‘’We are excited because when you’re off a little bit and have the training we have we are still able to come through with a good performance and get the marks that we did,’’ he said.

In women’s competition, Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., making her Grand Prix Final debut, produced a clean program but still dropped from second to fourth overall with a personal best 212.45 points. She was less than six points from the silver medal position.

World champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia took the gold with 227.66, Satoko Miyahara of Japan was second at 218.33 and Anna Pogorilaya of Russia third at 216.47.

‘’Obviously I’m really happy with the free program,’’ said Osmond. ‘’The few mistakes that I did were really silly ones for me and wish I could take them back. Still there’s a lot for me to be proud of in that skate.’’

On the men’s side it was a day to forget for Toronto’s Patrick Chan as he fell three times and placed fifth. Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan won the gold, Nathan Chen of the U.S. was second and Shoma Uno of Japan third.

Full results: 2016-2017 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final

Duhamel and Radford win bronze/ world record for Virtue and Moir

MARSEILLES, France – Canadian world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won the bronze medal Friday in pairs at the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating competition. The medal followed a world record performance in the short dance for Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

In pairs, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morosov of Russia won the gold medal with 213.85 points. Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang of China were second at 206.71 and Duhamel and Radford remained third at 205.99.

‘’We struggled with our side-by-side jumps and those are normally our strengths,’’ said Radford from Balmertown, Ont. ‘’We can’t afford missing them because it costs us too many points. We need to find the proper focus for those elements because everything else was really good.’’

Julianne Séguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., climbed to fifth with 186.85.

‘’Today was really great after a hard performance in the short,’’ said Séguin. ‘’We had a good connection and everything flowed perfectly for us.’’

In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir improved their world record short dance score from 79.47 cracking the 80-point barrier to 80.50 to stand in first place. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. are second at 77.97 and Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France are third at 77.86.

‘’It was a great skate for us,’’ said Moir, from Ilderton, Ont. ‘’We were able to bring the energy up in our performance in a pressure situation We were able to be in the moment at a big competition and had a ton of fun in the process.’’

Virtue, from London, Ont.,  says the reason the couple returned to competition this season is to experience those moments once again.

‘’We’re embracing the nerves, the pressure, the challenge,’’ she said. ‘’That was a great part of the appeal for us. Now with the lead we can’t be cautious. We have to attack the free dance tomorrow.’’

There was more good news for Canada in women’s competition as Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., is second after the short program scoring a personal best 75.54. Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia leads at 79.21and Satoko Miyahara of Japan is third at 74.64.

‘’To get another clean program is really exciting,’’ said Osmond, who landed a triple-triple combo, triple Lutz and double Axel. ‘’It is so rewarding for me to be at the Grand Prix Final for the first time in my career. Every time out I improve something and hope that tendency continues for the free skate.’’

The men’s and women’s free skates and free dance are on Saturday.

Full results: ISU Grand Prix Final

 

Biggest Canadian team in history headed to ISU Grand Prix Final

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada is sending its largest team ever – five entries, for a total of eight skaters – to the ISU Grand Prix Final in Marseille, France. The event takes place from December 8-11, 2016, at the Palais Omnisports Marseille Grand-Est. This is the first time that Canada has qualified a skater in every discipline. The event includes both the ISU Senior Grand Prix Final and the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final, however Canada did not qualify any entries for the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final.

Patrick Chan, 25, Toronto, Ont., will represent Canada in men. This season, Chan won the silver medal at the Finlandia Trophy, and gold medals at both Skate Canada International and the Cup of China. He is coached by Marina Zoueva, Oleg Epstein and Johnny Johns in Canton, MI, USA.

Kaetlyn Osmond, 21, Marystown, Nfld./Edmonton, Alta., is the Canadian representative in the ladies category. Osmond won the gold medal at the Finlandia Trophy, and earned the silver medal at both Skate Canada International and the Cup of China this season. She is coached by Ravi Walia in Edmonton, Alta.

Meagan Duhamel, 30, Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford, 31, Balmertown, Ont., are one of two Canadian entries in the pairs discipline. Duhamel and Radford won gold at all of their events thus far this season: the Finlandia Trophy, Skate Canada International and the NHK Trophy. They are coached by Richard Gauthier, Bruno Marcotte and Sylvie Fullum in St. Leonard, Que.

Julianne Séguin, 20, Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau, 23, Trois-Pistoles, Que., will be the second Canadian pairs team at the event. This season, the duo won gold at Autumn Classic International and Skate America and placed fifth at the Rostelecom Cup. Séguin and Bilodeau are coached by Josée Picard in Chambly, Que.

Tessa Virtue, 27, London, Ont., and Scott Moir, 29, Ilderton, Ont., will be the Canadian entry in ice dance. This season, Virtue and Moir won gold at each of their events: Autumn Classic International, Skate Canada International and the NHK Trophy. Virtue and Moir are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon in Montreal, Que.

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director, will travel with the team as team leader. Dr. Ghislaine Robert of Montreal, Que., and physiotherapist Agnes Makowski of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian medial staff onsite. Beth Crane of Burnaby, B.C., and Nicole Leblanc-Richard of Dieppe, N.B., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

Emma Bowie, Skate Canada Communications Manager, will be the Canadian media contact. She can be reached onsite at [email protected] or 613-914-2607.

For results and full entries please click here.

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT THE 2016-2017 ISU GRAND PRIX FINAL

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Senior Men Patrick Chan 25 Toronto, Ont. Granite Club Marina Zoueva / Oleg Epstein / Johnny Johns
Senior Ladies Kaetlyn Osmond 21 Marystown, Nfld. & Edmonton, Alta. Ice Palace FSC Ravi Walia
Senior Pairs Meagan Duhamel / Eric Radford 30/31 Lively, Ont. / Balmertown, Ont. CPA Saint-Léonard / CPA Saint-Léonard Richard Gauthier / Bruno Marcotte / Sylvie Fullum
Senior Pairs Julianne Séguin / Charlie Bilodeau 20/23 Longueuil, Que. / Trois-Pistoles, Que. CPA Longueuil / CPA Chambly Josée Picard
Senior Ice Dance Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir 27/29 London, Ont. / Ilderton, Ont. Regroupement élite de patinage artistique de Montréal / Regroupement élite de patinage artistique de Montréal Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon

Skate Canada qualifies five entries for ISU Grand Prix Final

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada has qualified five entries for a total of eight skaters for the ISU Grand Prix Final taking place in Marseille, France, from December 8-11, 2016. This is the first time that Canada has qualified a skater in every discipline and will be the biggest team Skate Canada has ever sent to the Final. The ISU Senior Grand Prix Final will be held jointly with the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final.

In senior men, Patrick Chan, 25, Toronto, Ont., qualified in second. Chan won the gold medal at Skate Canada International and at the Cup of China.

Kaetlyn Osmond, 20, Marystown, Nfld./Edmonton, Alta., qualified fourth in senior ladies, having earned the silver medal at both Skate Canada International and the Cup of China.

Meagan Duhamel, 30, Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford, 31, Balmertown, Ont., qualified in first in the senior pairs discipline. Duhamel and Radford won gold at both Skate Canada International and the NHK Trophy.

Also in senior pairs, Julianne Séguin, 20, Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau, 23, Trois-Pistoles, Que., qualified sixth. Séguin and Bilodeau won gold at Skate America and placed fifth at the Rostelecom Cup.

Senior ice dancers Tessa Virtue, 27, London, Ont., and Scott Moir, 29, Ilderton, Ont., qualified in first place. Virtue and Moir won gold at Skate Canada International and at the NHK Trophy.

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), Russia (Rostelecom Cup), France (Trophée de France), China (Cup of China), and Japan (NHK Trophy). Skaters are awarded points based on their placements at their assigned events and the top six in each of the four disciplines advance to the final.

Canada did not qualify any entries for the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final.

For results and full entries please click here.

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT THE 2016 ISU GRAND PRIX FINAL

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Senior Men Patrick Chan 25 Toronto, Ont. Granite Club Marina Zoueva / Oleg Epstein / Johnny Johns
Senior Ladies Kaetlyn Osmond 20 Marystown, Nfld. & Edmonton, Alta. Ice Palace FSC Ravi Walia
Senior Pairs Meagan Duhamel / Eric Radford 30/31 Lively, Ont. / Balmertown, Ont. CPA Saint-Léonard / CPA Saint-Léonard Richard Gauthier / Bruno Marcotte / Sylvie Fullum
Senior Pairs Julianne Séguin / Charlie Bilodeau 20/23 Longueuil, Que. / Trois-Pistoles, Que. CPA Longueuil / CPA Chambly Josée Picard
Senior Ice Dance Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir 27/29 London, Ont. / Ilderton, Ont. Regroupement élite de patinage artistique de Montréal / Regroupement élite de patinage artistique de Montréal Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon

Led by Patrick Chan’s gold, Canadians fill their Cup of China with medals

BEIJING – Three-time world champion Patrick Chan won the gold medal in comeback fashion in men’s singles on Saturday to highlight a four-medal day for Canadians at the Cup of China figure skating competition, the fifth stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit.

Chan, third after a shaky short program, roared to the title in his free skate with 279.72 points overcoming a 13-point deficit on Boyang Jin of China, second at 278.54. Sergei Voronov of Russia was third at 243.76.

‘’The program felt very methodical,’’ said Chan, also the Skate Canada International winner three weeks ago. ‘’I didn’t give it more energy than it needed. I told myself to relax and not try and rush through the program.’’

Chan made sure to keep an even keel during the skate.

‘’Even the fall during the quad Salchow I made sure I didn’t panic and just continued to do the program as I did at home and forget about the mistake.’’

In women’s competition, Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., took the silver with 196.00. Elena Radionova of Russia was the winner at 205.90 and her compatriot Elizaveta Tuktamysheva third at 192.57.

‘’I started the program really strong,’’ said Osmond. ‘’Then I did two mistakes that were really uncharacteristic for me. That’s something I just have to work on leading into the next big competitions. I need to keep my focus a little bit longer even if the program is going really well.’’

In ice dancing, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., were the silver medallists with 181.54. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S., took gold at 185.13. Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin of Russia were third at 177.41.

‘’This season is all about building,’’ said Weaver. ‘’There are many new things for us. We are learning from the beginning and that takes time and it’s not always an instantaneous result. Everything can get better even though we didn’t make any major mistakes.’’

In pairs, Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto added a bronze behind two Chinese teams with 191.54. Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang took the gold at 203.76 and Cheng Peng and Yang Jin were second at 197.96.

The sixth stop on the circuit is next weekend in Sapporo, Japan.

Full results: ISU GP Audi Cup of China 2016

Osmond, Weaver/Poje lead after short program at Cup of China

BEIJING – Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L. leads the women’s field and Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., are first in ice dance after Friday’s short programs at the Cup of China figure skating competition, the fifth stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit.

In ice dancing, Weaver and Poje produced a personal international score for their short dance with 73.78 points. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani follow closely at 73.23 and Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin of Russia are third at 72.09.

Weaver and Poje were third at the Rostelecom Cup in Russia earlier this month.

“We’ve shown great improvements since Russia,” said Weaver. “We still haven’t had a perfectly clean performance and that’s what we are aiming for.”

Alexandra Paul of Midhurst, Ont., and Mitchell Islam of Barrie, Ont., withdrew after Paul injured her knee in practice.

In women’s competition, Osmond continued an impressive 2016-17 season earning 72.20 points. Elania Radinova of Russia is second at 70.75 and Mai Mihara of Japan third at 68.48.

So far this season, Osmond was second at Skate Canada International with two personal best scores and won an international event in Finland.

“I’m overall pretty happy,” said Osmond. “It didn’t feel quite as good as Skate Canada but I got everything done.”

In pairs, Xiaoyu and Hao Zhang of China are first at 72.49 followed by Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto in second at 71.28 and Cheng Peng and Yang Jin of China third at 69.93.

‘’The program felt good,’’ said Moscovitch. ‘’We were at an even-keel energy-wise and other than a little mistake on the jump felt we were very connected.’’

In men’s competition, three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Toronto stands third after the short program with 83.41 points. Boyang Jin of China has a big lead at 96.17 and Daniel Samohin of Israel is second at 83.47.

“Today was a bit rough,” said Chan, coming off a victory at Skate Canada International. “I obviously could have done a lot better. All the landings were a little shaky. The little mistakes add up to big mistakes in the short program.”

All four free skates are on Saturday.

Full results: ISU GP Audi Cup of China 2016

Canadian skaters en route to ISU Grand Prix Cup of China

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send five entries, for a total of eight skaters, to the fifth stop on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, the Cup of China. The event takes place from November 18-20, 2016, at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, China. Canada will have one entry per discipline in men, ladies and pairs and two entries in ice dance.

Three-time World Champion and double Olympic silver medallist (men’s and team) Patrick Chan, 25, Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian entry in the men’s discipline. This will be his first time competing at this event. This season, Chan won the silver medal at his first event, the Finlandia Trophy, followed by the gold medal at Skate Canada International. The eight-time Canadian champion is coached by Marina Zoueva, Oleg Epstein and Johnny Johns and trains in Canton, MI, USA.

Olympic silver medallist (team) Kaetlyn Osmond, 20, Marystown, Nfld./Edmonton, Alta., will be the Canadian entry in the ladies’ category. This will also be her first time competing at this event. This season, she won the Finlandia Trophy, and won the silver medal at Skate Canada International. The 2016 Canadian bronze medallist is coached by Ravi Walia and trains in Edmonton, Alta.

Lubov Ilyushechkina, 25, Moscow, Russia, and Dylan Moscovitch, 32, Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian pairs entry. Last season, the duo placed seventh at this event. Earlier this season, Ilyusechkina and Moscovitch won the silver medal at the Nebelhorn Trophy and the bronze medal at Skate Canada International. The 2016 Canadian bronze medallists are coached by Lee Barkell, Bryce Davison and Tracy Wilson in Toronto, Ont.

Two-time world medallists Kaitlyn Weaver, 27, Toronto, Ont., and Andrew Poje, 29, Waterloo, Ont., are the first of two Canadian entries in ice dance. This will be their fourth time competing at this event, having won the bronze medal in 2012 and placed sixth in both 2008 and 2009. This season, Weaver and Poje won the bronze medal at their first ISU Grand Prix assignment, the Rostelecom Cup. The two-time consecutive Canadian champions are coached by Nikolai Morozov and train in Hackensack, NJ, USA.

Alexandra Paul, 25, Midhurst, Ont., and Mitchell Islam, 26, Barrie, Ont., are the second Canadian entry in ice dance. This will be their second time competing at this event, having placed fifth in 2014. This season, they won the bronze medal at the 2016 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic and placed eighth at Skate Canada International. Paul and Islam train in Montreal, Que., with coaches Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer.

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director, will travel with the team as team leader. Dr. Cole Beavis of Saskatoon, Sask., and physiotherapist Karen Seymour of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian medial staff onsite. Jeff Lukasik of Calgary, Alta., and Karen Butcher of Greely, Ont., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

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

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT 2016 CUP OF CHINA

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Men Patrick Chan 25 Toronto, Ont. Granite Club Marina Zoueva / Oleg Epstein / Johnny Johns
Ladies Kaetlyn Osmond 20 Marystown, Nfld. & Edmonton, Alta. Ice Palace FSC Ravi Walia
Pairs Lubov Ilyushechkina / Dylan Moscovitch 25/32 Moscow, Russia / Toronto, Ont. Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club / Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club Lee Barkell / Bryce Davison / Tracy Wilson
Ice Dance Kaitlyn Weaver / Andrew Poje 27/29 Toronto, Ont. / Waterloo, Ont. Sault FSC / Kitchener-Waterloo SC Nikolai Morozov
Ice Dance Alexandra Paul / Mitchell Islam 25/26 Midhurst, Ont. / Barrie, Ont. Barrie SC / Barrie SC Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon / Romain Haguenauer

Behind The Blades with Kaetlyn Osmond: Skate Canada International

My bags were packed, I was ready, and I was off to the airport to begin my short journey to Mississauga for Skate Canada International! Only my short journey became a little bit longer than expected. Two hours delayed leaving Edmonton, a short flight, a quick trip to the hotel, and the registration process complete: I had the perfect amount of time to collapse onto my bed and sleep for my early morning trek to the rink.

Practice Day. This day involves getting the lay of the rink and know where everything is. I scout out where I want to do my warmups, where the dressing rooms are, and where we get on/off the ice. Knowing all these things allows me to feel more relaxed when I am doing what I have to do. It lets me focus on what my job is. The practice day includes two practices. It also includes a few media interviews, and the opening press conference, and of course, the draw for the short program.

kaetlyn1Competition days! To be completely honest, I am the most boring person on competition day. My alarm clock goes off at 5:30am. I had to be super quiet not to wake my roommate who was competing later that night. I did my hair. I put my makeup on. Grabbed my skates and my dresses, then left my room to eat and catch the early bus to the rink. At the rink, it is always the same process. Warmup, skate, cool down, and catch the bus back to the hotel. Then it is a much-needed rest up before I compete. There is a nice nap involved, card games, colouring, a little walk outside to freshen up, and then some food to fuel up. The time between practice and competition is really finding ways to distract myself, while still staying relaxed and ready.

About an hour before it is time to head back to the rink, it is time to get ready. Time to redo my hair and makeup, while watching my tv show choice of the competition: this time, it was Supergirl!

kaetlyn3When it is all over, I enjoyed the rest of the event as much as I could. I was beyond happy with how well I had done. I was amongst so many other amazing skaters that I love to watch. There were so many friends and fans in the stands that I wanted to be a part of. So, that is exactly what I did. I became a part of the crowd. I watched the remaining events with Elvis Stojko, his wife, Gladys, and my national team member and friend, Michelle Long. The next morning, I got to hang out with the other skaters for the gala and just have fun, enjoying celebrating the event we just finished. The gala is always my favourite part of the event. It is a time to celebrate, skate, and thank every single fan for coming to the competition and continuously supporting the sport.

Then it was just time to head home.

It is amazing how fast the competition week goes. So much anticipation to get there. Then all of a sudden it is time to go home and train for the next event. Though, I will always celebrate with my friends when I get home. This time, it was with a giant bowl of delicious coffee.

kaetlyn6

Canadians blast out of the gates at Skate Canada International

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Patrick Chan, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir as well as Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are all in first place after their respective short programs Friday at Skate Canada International.

Duhamel and Radford earned 78.39 points with China’s Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang of China in second at 69.43. Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto are third at 67.53.

The two-time world champions were most excited about landing their new throw triple Axel.

‘’Landing the throw triple Axel is a huge confidence boost,’’ said Radford. ‘’We had to prove to ourselves that we were capable of doing it. It’s a nice reassuring feeling and we know we can do it even better.’’

The pair paid tribute to the Hershey Centre venue. They executed their first clean short program on the same ice in 2011.

‘’We’ve had some of the most amazing memories in our career here,’’ said Duhamel. ‘’It’s a special rink, we love it. The crowd was unbelievable right from the second we stepped on the ice for the warm-up.’’

Brittany Jones and Joshua Reagan of Toronto are seventh.

In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir are in first place after the short dance. They almost equalled their personal best score with 77.23 just off the 77.72 they skated in their comeback a couple of weeks ago at the Autumn Classic in Montreal.

‘’This is the start of our journey towards the 2018 Olympics,’’ said Moir, from Ilderton, Ont. ‘’We were really thrilled with our skate. We left some points on the table level wise which we’ll look to improve. For the end of October we are very pleased.’’

Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. are second at 76.21 and Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto third at 72.12. Alexandra Paul of Midhurst, Ont., and Mitchell Islam of Barrie, Ont., are eighth.

In the men’s short, Chan compiled 90.56 points to stand first. Takahito Mura of Japan is second at 81.24 and Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam. B.C., stands third at 80.57 ahead of Olympic champ Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan. Liam Firus of North Vancouver is 10th.

‘’I was committed to staying tight in the air and saving the landings,’’ said Chan. ‘’Landing that quad triple gave me a ton of energy going into the triple Axel. The rest of the program I was really pleased with, especially the footwork.’’

In the women’s short program, Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., set a personal best 74.33 to stand in second place. Only world champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia beat the Canadian earning 76.24. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia is third at 66.69.

‘’It was a long time coming to finally do a short program like that,’’ said Osmond, whose previous best was set in 2013. ‘’It feels so good to finally get a personal best again and skate great again. I’ve been working towards it for so many years.’’

Canadian champion Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., is sixth but still in the medal hunt at 62.15. Only six points separate seventh from third.

All four free skates are on Saturday.

Full results: 2016 Skate Canada International

Skaters from around the world headed to Mississauga, Ontario, for 2016 Skate Canada International

OTTAWA, ON: Canada’s top figure skaters are headed to Mississauga, Ont., this week to compete against some of world’s best at the 2016 Skate Canada International. The event takes place October 28-30, 2016, at the Hershey Centre. Canada will have 11 entries (three entries per discipline in men, pairs and ice dance, and two entries in ladies) for a total of 17 skaters.

Skate Canada International is the second of six competitions on the International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating circuit, which qualifies skaters for the ISU Grand Prix Final, taking place December 8-11 in Marseille, France.

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 will be his eighth time competing at this event, having previously won the gold medal five times and the silver medal once. Chan won silver at his first event this season, the Finlandia Trophy. The eight-time Canadian champion is coached by Marina Zoueva, Oleg Epstein and Johnny Johns and trains in Canton, MI, USA.

Canadian silver medallist Liam Firus, 24, North Vancouver, B.C., is the second Canadian entry in men’s. He placed 11th at this event in 2014 and 10th in 2012. This season, Firus placed fifth at his first event, the Nebelhorn Trophy. Firus is coached by Bruno Marcotte in Sainte-Julie, Que.

Olympic silver medallist (team) Kevin Reynolds, 26, Coquitlam, B.C., rounds out the Canadian entries in the men’s discipline. Reynolds previously competed at this event in 2010 and placed fourth. This season, Reynolds won the silver medal at his first event, the Ondrej Nepela Trophy. He is coached by Joanne McLeod in Burnaby, B.C.

Canadian champion Alaine Chartrand, 20, Prescott, Ont., is the first of two Canadian entries in the ladies’ category. Chartrand previously competed at this event in 2014 and placed seventh. She began this season winning the silver medal at the 2016 Autumn Classic International. Chartrand is coached by Michelle Leigh and Brian Orser.

Olympic silver medallist (team) Kaetlyn Osmond, 20, Marystown, Nfld./Edmonton, Alta., will be the second Canadian entry in the ladies’ discipline. Osmond won this event in 2012 and placed 11th at this event last season. This season, she won the gold medal at her first event, the Finlandia Trophy. The 2016 Canadian bronze medallist is coached by Ravi Walia and trains in Edmonton, Alta.

Two-time World Champions and Olympic silver medallists (team) Meagan Duhamel, 30, Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford, 31, Balmertown, Ont., lead the Canadian pair entries. This will be their seventh time competing at this event, having won gold in 2014 and 2015 and medalled five years consecutively. Duhamel and Radford won their first event this season, the Finlandia Trophy. The five-time consecutive Canadian champions are coached by Richard Gauthier, Bruno Marcotte, and Sylvie Fullum in Saint-Léonard, Que.

Lubov Ilyushechkina, 24, Moscow, Russia, and Dylan Moscovitch, 32, Toronto, Ont., are the second Canadian pair entry, and will be competing at this event for the first time. The 2016 Canadian bronze medallists won the silver medal at their first event this season, the Nebelhorn Trophy. Ilyushechkina and Moscovitch are coached by Lee Barkell, Bryce Davison and Tracy Wilson in Toronto, Ont.

Brittany Jones, 20, Toronto, Ont., and Joshua Reagan, 26, Toronto, Ont., will be the third Canadian entry in pair. Jones and Reagan placed seventh at this event in 2014. This season, they won the gold medal at the 2016 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic. Jones and Reagan are coached by Bryce Davison in Hamilton, Ont.

Olympic and World champions Tessa Virtue, 27, London, Ont., and Scott Moir, 29, Ilderton, Ont., are the first of three Canadian entries in ice dance. They have previously competed at this event six times, winning the gold medal on five occasions and the silver medal once. Virtue and Moir returned to international competition at the 2016 Autumn Classic International where they won the gold medal. They are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon in Montreal, Que.

Canadian silver medallists Piper Gilles, 24, Toronto, Ont., and Paul Poirier, 24, Unionville, Ont., will be the second Canadian entry in ice dance. They have previously competed at this event twice, winning the silver medal in 2014 and placing fourth in 2012. Gilles and Poirier won the bronze medal at their first event this season, the Nebelhorn Trophy. They are coached by Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs in Scarborough, Ont.

Alexandra Paul, 25, Midhurst, Ont., and Mitchell Islam, 26, Barrie, Ont., are the third Canadian entry in ice dance. This will be their fourth time competing at this event, having placed sixth in 2015, fifth in 2013 and fourth in 2010. This season, Paul and Islam won the bronze medal at the 2016 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic. They train in Montreal, Que., with coaches Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer.

Carolyn Allwright of Kitchener, Ont., and Manon Perron of Boucherville, Que., will be the Canadian team leaders at the event. Dr. Julia Alleyne of Toronto, Ont., and physiotherapist Agnes Makowski of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Karen Howard of Regina, Sask., Sylvain Guibord of Brossard, Que., Lynne Dey of Edmonton, Alta., and Andrea Derby of Windsor, Ont., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

Practices will be streamed live on the Skate Canada Dailymotion page.

For results and full entries please visit www.skatecanada.ca or www.isu.org.

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT 2016 SKATE CANADA INTERNATIONAL

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Men Patrick Chan 25 Toronto, Ont. Granite Club Marina Zoueva / Oleg Epstein / Johnny Johns
Men Liam Firus 24 North Vancouver, B.C. Vancouver SC Bruno Marcotte
Men Kevin Reynolds 26 Coquitlam, B.C. Vancouver SC Joanne McLeod
Ladies Alaine Chartrand 20 Prescott, Ont. Nepean Skating Club Michelle Leigh/ Brian Orser
Ladies Kaetlyn Osmond 20 Marystown, Nfld. & Edmonton, Alta. Ice Palace FSC Ravi Walia
Pairs Meagan Duhamel / Eric Radford 30/31 Lively, Ont. / Balmertown, Ont. CPA Saint-Léonard / CPA Saint-Léonard Richard Gauthier / Bruno Marcotte / Sylvie Fullum
Pairs Lubov Ilyushechkina / Dylan Moscovitch 24/32 Moscow, Russia / Toronto, Ont. Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club / Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club Lee Barkell / Bryce Davison / Tracy Wilson
Pairs Brittany Jones / Joshua Reagan 20/26 Toronto, Ont. / Toronto, Ont. Hamilton SC / Hamilton SC Bryce Davison
Ice Dance Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir 27/29 London, Ont. / Ilderton, Ont. Ilderton SC / Ilderton SC Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon
Ice Dance Piper Gilles / Paul Poirier 24/24 Toronto, Ont. / Unionville, Ont. Scarboro FSC / Scarboro FSC Carol Lane / Juris Razgulajevs
Ice Dance Alexandra Paul / Mitchell Islam 25/26 Midhurst, Ont. / Barrie, Ont. Barrie SC / Barrie SC Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon / Romain Haguenauer

Canadian skaters continue on ISU Challenger Series at Finlandia Trophy

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send three entries, for a total of four skaters to the 21st annual Finlandia Trophy, the sixth event on the 2016 ISU Challenger Series. The competition runs from October 6-10, 2016, at the Espoo Metro Arena in Espoo, Finland. Canada will have one entry per discipline in men’s, ladies and pair.

Three-time World Champion and double Olympic silver medallist (men’s and team) Patrick Chan, 25, Toronto, Ont., is the Canadian entry in men’s. This will be his first time competing at this event. Last season, Chan won gold at Skate Canada International, placed fifth at Trophée Éric Bompard, and fourth at the ISU Grand Prix Final. He also won gold at the ISU Four Continents Championships and placed fifth at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships. The eight-time Canadian champion is coached by Marina Zoueva, Oleg Epstein and Johnny Johns and trains in Canton, MI, USA.

Olympic silver medallist (team) Kaetlyn Osmond, 20, Marystown, Nfld./Edmonton, Alta., will be the Canadian entry in the ladies discipline. Last season, she won gold at the Nebelhorn Trophy, placed 11th at Skate Canada International, sixth at the NHK Trophy and sixth at the ISU Four Continents championships. The 2016 Canadian bronze medallist is coached by Ravi Walia and trains in Edmonton, Alta.

Two-time World Champions and Olympic silver medallists (team) Meagan Duhamel, 30, Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford, 31, Balmertown, Ont., will be the Canadian pair entry at the event. Last season on the ISU Challenger Series they won gold at the Autumn Classic International. Duhamel and Radford also won gold at Skate Canada International and the NHK Trophy, won silver at the ISU Grand Prix Final, and won gold at the world championships. The five-time consecutive Canadian champions are coached by Richard Gauthier, Bruno Marcotte, and Sylvie Fullum.

Skate Canada High Performance Director Mike Slipchuk will travel with the team as Canadian team leader. Physiotherapist Sylvia Ciurysek of Berwyn, Alta., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Cynthia Benson of Quispamsis, N.B., and Nicole Leblanc-Richard of Dieppe, N.B., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

For results and full entries please visit the official event website.

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT 21st FINLANDIA TROPHY

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Mens Patrick Chan 25 Toronto, Ont. Granite Club Marina Zoueva / Oleg Epstein / Johnny Johns
Ladies Kaetlyn Osmond 20 Marystown, Nfld. & Edmonton, Alta. Ice Palace FSC Ravi Walia
Pair Meagan Duhamel / Eric Radford 30/31 Lively, Ont. / Balmertown, Ont. CPA Saint-Léonard / CPA Saint-Léonard Richard Gauthier / Bruno Marcotte / Sylvie Fullum

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