Tag Archive for: Kaiya Ruiter

New, Defending, and Returning Champions Crowned on Final Day of 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships

Calgary, AB (January 13, 2024) – The final day of competition at the 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships taking place at the WinSport Arena in Calgary, Alta., saw two new senior champions crowned, defending champions retain their title, and former champions reclaim their title.

Canada has a new senior women’s national champion after Kaiya Ruiter of Calgary, Alta., delighted her hometown family and friends with a new personal best free skate and the best free skate of the day to win gold with an overall score of 180.86. Ruiter dethroned Madeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont., who was looking for her third-straight national title, but who had a tough skate today and finished the free program ranked third. Schizas had to settle for the silver medal (172.90), while Hetty Shi of Mississauga, Ont., last year’s junior national champion, claimed the bronze medal (162.51).

“That was one of the most special performances I’ve ever had in my life, and to be able to share that with my family and friends and everyone I love, is just surreal,” said Ruiter who will be representing Canada at the Youth Olympic Games in Korea at the end of the month. “I just wanted to enjoy the moment. I love this program so much and I just wanted to share that with the audience.”

Former champions reclaimed their senior national titles in the ice dance competition. Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto, Ont., who missed last year’s championships while Gilles recovered from surgery, won their third senior Canadian title with a new personal best free skate (136.17) and a new personal best overall score of 222.95.

“Paul and I really skated like champions today. We stepped out onto the ice and remembered who we were, and why we’re here, and used this as a stepping stone for worlds. We want to be on the top of that podium, so we have to start acting like those champions and I think we really did that today,” said Gilles.

Marie-Jade Lauriault and Romain Le Gac of Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Que., claimed the silver medal, also with a new personal best free skate (122.50) and personal best overall score (200.50), as did the bronze medallists – Alicia Fabbri of Terrebonne, Que., and Paul Ayer of Brossard, Que., whose free skate score (117.86) and overall score (195.61) were both personal bests as well.

The only skaters to defend their senior national title at these Championships were Deanna Stellato-Dudek of Chicago, USA and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., who won gold in the pair competition, and their second-straight national title with an overall score of 205.79. Lia Pereira of Milton, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Brantford, Ont., took the silver medal (193.14), while Kelly Ann Laurin of St-Jérôme, Que., and Loucas Éthier of St-Alphonse, Que., captured bronze with a huge new personal best free skate (125.19) and overall score (187.40).

“We’re happy that we were able to come back from that bad performance yesterday and show the work that we’ve been doing on our throws. I was not going to back down from those after what happened yesterday,” said Stellato-Dudek who had an uncharacteristic fall on a throw in yesterday’s short program. “We are our own biggest competitors. All we have to do is our own job and I know what the outcome is going to be,” she added.

There was a new national champion in the men’s competition following the retirement of last year’s champion Keegan Messing – last year’s bronze medallist Wesley Chiu of Vancouver, B.C. put in another solid program to finally claim gold with a total of 232.15, almost 7 points ahead of runner up Aleksa Rakic of Burnaby, B.C. Anthony Paradis of Boisbriand, Que., almost missed the podium after his lace broke mid-program, but came back with renewed energy to win the bronze with a total score of 209.98, only a fraction of a point ahead of Conrad Orzel.

“Having Canadian Champion on my back, I can skate with more pride now, but it also comes with responsibility. Overall, I think it’s really motivating to go back and train hard,” said Chiu.

The 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships will wrap up Sunday with the exhibition gala.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canadian Skaters Win Four Medals on Second Day of Autumn Classic International

Pierrefonds, Quebec (September 15, 2023) – Canadian skaters had an amazing day on Friday at the 2023 Autumn Classic International taking place in Pierrefonds, Que., finishing the day with four medals – 1 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze from the pair and women’s events.

Deanna Stellato-Dudek, 40, of Chicago, USA and Maxime Deschamps, 31, of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., debuted their new free skate to music from “Interview with a Vampire” and were very happy with their score of 131.82 which combined with their first-place score from their short program, earned them a total score of 203.62 to win gold in the pair competition.

“It was the first time we came out with that program so we’re happy with it overall. We have stuff we still need to work on, but overall, we were able to pass the 200-point mark and that was a big goal we set this year and now that’s already done!” said Deschamps following the competition.

Fellow Canadian pair skaters Emmanuelle Proft, 21, of Ottawa, Ont., and Nicolas Nadeau, 25, of Boisbriand, Que., who were competing in their first international competition as a pair, also had a strong free skate, despite a couple of errors, that saw them mount the podium to take the bronze medal with a total score of 165.39.

“Honestly, I’m a bit disappointed in myself as I would have really liked to have done the triple loop side-by-side, but aside from that, I’m happy with our performance. I stayed in the character, and in the choreography, and the solo and I’m really happy about that and I’m even more happy that I get to come home with a medal on home ice,” said Proft.

Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan, the 2023 World Pair Champions who live and train in Oakville, Ont., captured the silver medal with a total score of 188.05.

In the women’s competition, two-time World Champion Kaori Sakamoto of Japan was unstoppable, winning the gold with a total score of 203.20. Kaiya Ruiter, 17, of Calgary, Alta., improved from her fourth-place finish in the short program to finish second in the free skate, garnering her the silver medal with a score of 172.68.

“It was a fight for sure, but it felt like a good fight,” said Ruiter who was competing in her first international competition this season. “It felt like a good performance, and I’m very excited to take some things that I’ve been working on and put them towards the next performance this season.”

Justine Miclette, 17, of Chambly, Que., rounded out the podium, bringing home the bronze medal with a total score of 169.24.

“I’m pretty happy, I was going out there to have some fun, and I had some fun. The crowd was even bigger than yesterday so that was fantastic. I really felt their energy and it helped me keep going when I was tired at the end. It was an incredible experience,” said Miclette.

The men’s event started today with the short program, and Canadians Stephen Gogolev of Toronto, and Wesley Chiu of Vancouver finished the day sitting in the silver and bronze positions respectively behind Ilia Malinin of the USA. Their competition will wrap up Saturday with the free skate.

After the rhythm dance, Sandrine Gauthier of Saint-Constant, Que., and Quentin Thieren of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que., are sitting in sixth, while Alyssa Robinson of Ridgetown, Ont., and Jacob Portz of Calgary, Alta., are sitting 9th. The ice dance competition will wrap up Saturday with the free dance.

For full results click here

Quebec-based Pair Dominate Opening Night of 2023 Autumn Classic International

Pierrefonds, Quebec (September 14, 2023) – 2023 Canadian pair champions Deanna Stellato-Dudek of Chicago, USA and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorian, Que., dominated the first night of competition on Thursday at the 2023 Autumn Classic International taking place in Pierrefonds, Que., finishing their short program more than 12 points ahead of the reigning world champions from Japan with a score of 71.90.

“We were coming here just to show off what we worked on this summer, and we’re proud and happy to have been able to deliver a performance like this after all of the work we did this summer,” said Deschamps following the competition.

Stellato-Dudek added: “We really focussed this summer on adding speed and power. We made some new lift positions, more signature to us, and we’re really looking forward to showing those – we did one of them today. We have really unique programs and program choices, and we’re really excited to debut our ‘Interview with the Vampire’ program tomorrow.”

Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan, the 2023 World Pair Champions who live and train in Oakville, Ont., sit second with a score of 59.13, while Emmanuelle Proft of Ottawa, Ont., and her partner Nicolas Nadeau of Boisbriand, Que., are sitting in third with a score of 58.44. Caidence Derenisky and Raine Eberl of Regina, Sask., are sitting fifth with a score of 52.76.

Justine Miclette of Chambly, Que., had the top Canadian performance in the women’s event with her short program scoring a 59.45 to put her in third at the end of the evening.

“It was a pretty good skate, I was supposed to do the triple flip-triple toe, but I wasn’t feeling super good on the triple toe, so I did a double instead, and I was just trying to do a clean program all the way through because of that,” said Miclette who recently placed 11th at the 2023 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. “My goal here was to enjoy every moment and so I think I nailed that on the short program.”

Kaiya Ruiter of Calgary, Alta., sits just behind Miclette in fourth with a score of 58.87.

Two-time women’s World Champion Kaori Sakamoto of Japan sits in first with a score of 75.62, while Audrey Shin of the USA sits second with a score of 60.07.

Friday will see the women’s and pair competitions wrap-up with their free skates, while the men will skate their short program, and the dance competition will begin with the rhythm dance. The event will wrap up Saturday with the men’s free skate and the free dance.

For full results please visit: https://skatecanada.ca/results/23aci/cscan2023/

Bashynska and Beaumont Less Than One Point from Podium After Rhythm Dance

CALGARY, ALTA. (March 3, 2023) – Canadian skaters will be in contention for two medals on Saturday after Nadiia Bashynska and Peter Beaumont posted the fourth best rhythm dance on Friday at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

The women’s competition concluded later Friday as Mao Shimada of Japan won the gold medal with 224.54 points. Jia Shin of South Korea took the silver with 201.90 and Ami Nakai of Japan was third at 197.40. Kaiya Ruiter, 16, of Calgary gained a position with her free skate and placed 10th with 169.65.

‘’It was really special to perform here in front of friends and family,’’ said Ruiter. ‘’It was so much fun and a really cool experience.’’

In ice dancing, Katerina Mrazkova and Daniel Mrazek of Czechia lead after the rhythm dance with 71.19. Hannah Lim and Ye Quan of South Korea are second at 71.08 and Phebe Bekker and James Hernandez of Great Britain are third at 68.89. Bashynska and Beaumont, the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final champions this season, notched 68.00. The Ajax, Ont., couple look to improve on their bronze medal performance at last season’s world juniors.

‘’This isn’t a setback,’’ said Bashynska, born in Kyiv, Ukraine. ‘’Perhaps it might be a little benefit for us. It will put less pressure on us for the free dance which is our stronger performance. We plan to come back tomorrow (Saturday).’’

Sandrine Gauthier and Quentin Thieren of Montreal are eighth at 63.09 and Hailey Yu and Brendan Giang of Burnaby, B.C., 14th. The top-20 of the 30 entries advanced to the free dance.

‘’We are really proud of what we did today,’’ said Thieren. ‘’It’s our first year doing international competitions so it’s all about getting experience for us.’’

Competition ends Saturday with the men’s free skate and the free dance. In the men’s event, Wesley Chiu of Richmond, B.C., is second after Thursday’s short program.

For full competition results, click here.

Canada’s Kaiya Ruiter wins silver medal at season opening ISU Junior Grand Prix

COURCHEVEL, France – Canadian junior champion Kaiya Ruiter of Calgary produced a flawless performance in the women’s free skate Friday to win the silver medal as the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating season kicked off in the French Alps.

‘’I’m so excited,’’ said Ruiter. ‘’Just to come here to Courchevel and perform in front of a live crowd was really special.’’

Lindsay Thorngren of the U.S. took the gold with 181.45 points followed by the 15-year-old Canadian in second at 177.60. Clare Seo of the U.S., the leader after Thursday’s short program was third at 174.80.

Ruiter was third after her short. In the free skate to music from Mulan, she landed all her seven jumps including one triple combination and two double combos. There were 22 entries.

‘’The program is about strength and determination. I just wanted to go out there and skate a personal best and give everything I have,’’ she said. ‘’I enjoyed the whole thing, from the second I got on the ice to the second I got off.’’

In ice dancing, Miku Makita of Annmore, B.C., and Tyler Gunara of Burnaby, B.C. are in second spot after the rhythm dance with 57.41 points. Katarina Wolfkostin and Jeffrey Chen of the U.S. have built a solid lead with 64.75 while Katerina Mrazkova and Daniel Mrazek of the Czech Republic are third at 57.04.

The Canadians, together since 2016, are chasing their first medal in four ISU Junior Grand Prix appearances. They were fifth at the Youth Olympics and eighth at the world junior championships in early 2020.

Hailey Yu and Brendan Giang of Burnaby, B.C., are ninth at 44.84.

Canada is also in medal contention in men’s competition. Canadian junior champion Corey Circelli of Toronto stands second after Thursday’s short program with 76.63. Ilia Malinin of the U.S. leads at 80.07 and Lucas Broussard of the U.S. is third at 62.65.

Competition ends Saturday with the free skates for men and ice dancing.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season2122/jgpfra2021/