Tag Archive for: Kirsten Moore-Towers

Moore-Towers and Marinaro take gold at Skate Canada Challenge

PIERREFONDS, Que. – Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., won the gold medal in pairs at the Skate Challenge figure skating competition.

Moore-Towers and Marinaro earned 193.50 points for their victory on Friday with Brittany Jones and Joshua Reagan of Oakville, Ont., second at 165.38 and Camille Ruest of Boucherville, Que., and Andrew Wolfe of Montreal third at 142.78.

‘’We need mileage at this point,’’ said Moore-Towers. ‘’The long was really only are fourth run-through this season so we’re picking that up and getting back into things as quickly as possible.’’

In men’s competition, Joseph Phan of Laval, Que., took top spot with 197.94, Bennet Toman of Brampton, Ont., was second at 192.81 and Mitchell Gordon of Vancouver third at 188.83.

‘’I didn’t skate to my expectations,’’ said Phan. ‘’I made some mistakes that I shouldn’t have.’’

In junior ice dancing, Marjore Lajoie and Zachary Lagha of Quebec were the victors with 153.86. Valerie Taillefer and Jason Chan of Quebec were second at 134.22 and Ashlynne Stairs and Lee Royer of B.C./Yukon third at 133.84.

“We felt comfortable and ready to compete,” said Lajoie. “We need to continue to work hard. Our transition parts and expression were better.”

In junior pairs, Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud of Eastern Ontario won the gold medal with 151.90 points. Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland of Quebec were second at 147.16 and Olivia Boys-Eddy and Mackenzie Boys-Eddie of Central Ontario third at 125.16.

“It feels good, we skated well,’’ said Michaud. ‘’One of our main challenges this week was to do our triple twist in the short program for the first time in competition and we were glad to get that done. It’s big step towards hopefully competing at the junior worlds.’’

In junior women, it was a medal sweep by the B.C./Yukon division with Olivia Gran placing first, Emily Bausback second and Mckenna Colthorp third.

The competition has attracted over 500 skaters from across Canada with competition also being held in the novice and pre-novice categories. Skate Canada Challenge is the sole qualifying event for novice, junior, and senior skaters to earn entries to the 2017 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships January 16-22 in Ottawa.

Full results: 2017 Skate Canada Challenge

Liam Firus, Julianne Séguin and Charlie Bilodeau withdraw from 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships

OTTAWA, ON: Canadian skaters Liam Firus, Julianne Séguin and Charlie Bilodeau have withdrawn from the 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships. The event is scheduled to take place form March 28 – April 3, 2016 in Boston, MA, USA.

In the men’s category Liam Firus, 23, North Vancouver, B.C., has withdrawn. “Making this decision was extremely difficult. However, I feel that withdrawing from the World Championships is vital for our team,” said Firus.

Nam Nguyen, 17, Toronto, Ont., will replace Firus on the Canadian Team. “My teammates Patrick Chan and Nam Nguyen are among the top men in the world. I have full faith in their abilities. This decision is about performance and giving our country the best opportunity to obtain three spots for the World Championships next year,” explained Firus. “I am extremely proud of the strides I’ve made this year; skating truly is a passion of mine. I look forward to coming back even stronger next season to help Canada obtain the three spots needed for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.”

Skate Canada’s High Performance Director Mike Slipchuk added, “I have a lot of respect for Liam and his decision on Worlds.  We have confidence in Liam being a strong part of our team leading to 2018.”

In pairs Julianne Séguin, 19, Longueuil, Que., sustained a minor injury in training earlier this year causing the withdrawl of her and partner Charlie Bilodeau, 22, Trois-Pistoles, Que. “Due to injury last month, which is not fully healed, Charlie and I had to make a heartbreaking decision to not participate at Worlds. We missed a lot of practices and during competition we want to give our best for our satisfaction and for the people around us. We are unfortunately not ready for this event. We will take the time to heal and work to come back stronger for the future. We want to thank everyone for their support,” explained Séguin.

Séguin and Bilodeau will be replaced by Kirsten Moore-Towers, 23, St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 24, Sarnia, Ont.

“Julianne and Charlie have had a great season this year and it is unfortunate they won’t be able to compete at Worlds. Full recovery for Julianne is the priority and they will return stronger for next season,” said Slipchuk.

Canada’s newest pair team – Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro

OTTAWA, ON:  Two national team members, who had success with previous partners, are Canada’s newest pair team.  Kirsten Moore-Towers, 21, St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 22, Sarnia, Ont., have teamed up, and will begin competing together for the 2014-2015 season.

The two came together in late May, and have begun training at the Kitchener Waterloo Skating Club with coaches Kris Wirtz and Kristy Sargeant-Wirtz.

“It’s been really fun to work with Mike these past few days,” said Moore-Towers. “Although we’ve known one another for many years, now we are going through the process of transforming from friends to partners. We’ve been working on our pair elements, the lifts, the throws, the twists and side-by-side jumps. As we’re getting to know how one another skates, we’re also looking at interesting and innovative entrances and exits, and just exploring what we can do together.”

According to Marinaro, “We’re just getting to know each other and trying to find our strengths. Everything right now is extremely new, but we’re having tons of fun on the ice and I’m looking forward to the next season.”

Canadian Pair Team of Moore-Towers and Moscovitch end skating partnership

OTTAWA, ON:  After reaching the pinnacle of their career with an Olympic silver medal, the pair team of Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch has decided to go in different directions.  Moore-Towers, 21, of St. Catharines, Ont. and Moscovitch, 29, of Toronto, Ont. teamed up in 2009, and competed at their first Canadian championship together in 2010, earning a 5th place finish.

They went on to become Canadian champions in 2011, and have won the national silver medal the last two years.  On the international stage, they won multiple medals on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating circuit, and qualified for the ISU Grand Prix Final three times.  In 2013 and 2014 they finished just off the medal podium at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships, with fourth-place finishes both years. This past February, they were on the silver-medal winning team in the inaugural figure skating team event at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.  They also turned in tremendous performances in their individual event, finishing the highest of the three Canadian teams with a fifth-place finish. The pair has trained under coaches Kristy Wirtz and Kris Wirtz at the Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club for the last five years.

“I’m so proud of what Dylan and I achieved in our five years together, and I do want to thank him for everything we accomplished. We are just at different points in our lives right now,” said Kirsten Moore-Towers.  “I feel that there is an opportunity for me to keep skating for at least one, maybe two, more Olympic cycles, so I want to pursue those options. My plan is to look for the partner who will share in that dream.”

“It was such an honour to represent Canada on the world and Olympic stage. Being a part of the silver-medal winning team in Sochi is the most memorable moment of my career to this point. And I’m glad that Kirsten and I accomplished that together. I wish her the best of luck going forward,” said Dylan Moscovitch. “My future includes embracing new opportunities within the sport that I love, finding a new partner and competing in the 2014-2015 season, and expanding my horizons for life after skating.

He added, “I also want to thank Kris and Kristy Wirtz for their continued support, expertise and love for over a decade.”

Outstanding performances from Canadian pair teams at first Olympic Games

It took Olympic moments to get onto the podium in the Sochi pairs event. Mistakes could be crushing.

Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch had an Olympic moment, skating with speed and flair, putting themselves into first place for a time. But Moscovitch had doubled a triple salchow – without Moore-Towers even seeing it. She celebrated at the end, jumping up and down on the ice with glee. Then she found out.

“We feel we were pretty great,” she said afterward. “I was very happy with the performance. We were knocking things off one by one.”

Their small glitch did not interrupt the program. “I still think it was great,” she said. “I’m just so excited”

They both skated with comfort and ease and sailed into fifth place in a tightly fought contest, although it was their first appearance at an Olympic Games. They defeated Canadian champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford by 2.57 points after their friends made mistakes, just a few too many to swim upstream.

Moore-Towers and Moscovitch finished ahead of the Canadian champs in the free skate with 131.18 points and in the overall total score of 202.10.

Duhamel and Radford chalked up a season’s best mark of 127.32 in the long program and finished seventh overall with 199.53.

Of course, nobody could touch Russians Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, even on a day when they didn’t skate their best. Despite a handful of tiny miscues, the Russians won the free skate with 152.69 points and a final score of 236.86. Trankov threw his fist in the air when he finished, sunk to his knees, then kissed the ice during a standing ovation.

Their compatriots, Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov – junior skaters a couple of years ago – delivered the best performance of their lives under pressure and earned the silver medal, with 218.68 points, 18.18 points behind the gold medalists. It was a personal best for them. “That’s the way you have to do your job if you want to achieve success,” Stolbova said. It’s the first time since the 1998 Nagano Olympics that Russians have stood one-two on the podium, a far cry from the 2010 Olympics four years ago, when none did.

It was a heartbreaking day for four-time world pair champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany, who had stayed around for four years to improve on the bronze medal they had in Vancouver. Actually, they spent four years in search of gold. This time, they won bronze again, and Szolkowy had to comfort a tearful Savchenko on the medal podium.

The gold slipped out of their hands early in the program when Szolkowy fell on a triple toe loop combination. Points flew out of their grasp. They tried to pull out all the stops by including a throw triple Axel at the end, but Savchenko fell on it. They finished with 215.78 points.

Pang Qing and Tong Jian of China were fourth with 209.88 points in their final Olympic performance, after having troubles in the jumps early.

Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers were 14th, with troubles on their double Axels, and a fall on a throw triple loop. They took bows upon bows upon bows, with Lawrence admitting she just didn’t want to get off the ice. “That was fun,” she said.

“I fell on the throw loop, but I got up really fast,” she said. “Honestly, I was enjoying myself the whole time. I was in the moment and enjoying the music. I was living out the dream I’ve had since I was a little girl.”

“Coming in, I was so excited to skate. Every time I’m out on the ice, I don’t ever want to get off. That’s why I kept curtseying. I wish I could stay out there and curtsey to every single person. It’s really been the experience of a lifetime.”

Trankov admitted that he and his partner dealt with huge pressure. “Today was a big day for all of Russia,” he said. “It was the hardest job of our lives.”

Volosozhar, usually cool at all times, appeared overwhelmed after the final pose. “To be honest, I was crying because I felt so many emotions, nerves, concentration,” she said. “I’m still nervous and shaking, but I’m also so happy. We did really well today.”

They had taken a nine-point lead into the free program and they started off spectacularly, with a huge triple twist. Their triple toe loop combination jump lost a tiny bit of unison, as did a side by side spin. Volosozhar put a hand down on a throw triple loop.

Duhamel and Radford, third at the world championships last year, had such high hopes and left the rink feeling disappointed. Duhamel fell on a triple Salchow, and then touched her hands to the ice on a throw triple Lutz. Their final spin lost unison. They had started strongly with a triple twist, and a triple Lutz jump that just sailed.

“I don’t know what happened,” Duhamel said. “We felt really good. We were in the zone. The first half of the program was great. I don’t know what went wrong. I surprised myself on the Salchow. It wasn’t our best.”

Radford said they felt very strong and well trained when they went out onto the ice. “Somehow, things just didn’t work out,” he said.

But, he added, they were very happy with their Olympics. It had taken them both years to get to their first Games. She is 28, he 29.

Beverley Smith