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Gilles & Poirier claim bronze medal, Canada adds two more top-eight finishes on final day in Stockholm

STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Consider it mission accomplished for Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier.

Arriving in Sweden with their sights clearly set on a podium finish at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships, the reigning Canadian ice dance champions delivered when it mattered most Saturday, and now they’ll return to Canada with bronze medals draped around their necks.

Gilles and Poirier performed a spellbinding free dance to Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, scoring a personal best 130.98 score for a 214.35 total, also a personal best, to claim their first world championships medal.

Starting the day less than two points off the podium, Gilles and Poirier’s riveting skate lifted them into third spot, less than half a point behind silver medallists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S. (214.71). Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov (FSR) won gold with 221.17.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with what we did today,” said Gilles. “Having a crazy season, like everyone else…but I’m so proud that we pushed through. We didn’t let the uncertainty of everything get in the way. We just love to perform and skate, and I think that came out on the ice today.”

“I’m sort of at a loss for words,” added Poirier. “It’s been a very long time for us, this is our eighth world championships together, and being able to accomplish this just feels like a nice relief.”

“I’m sure once we’ve had time to process it as well, and be home with the rest of our team, as well as our family and friends, I think it will feel that much more real. What we’ve been able to accomplish today is the product of so many people’s effort, and we want to be able to celebrate that with them.”

Making their first international start since the fall of 2019, Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sørensen of Montreal, Que. scored 119.01 in their free dance to place eighth with a 196.88 total.

Marjorie Lajoie (Boucherville, Que.) and Zachary Lagha (Saint-Hubert, Que.), the 2019 world junior champions, had an impressive senior world championships debut, finishing 14th at 180.71.

In the men’s competition, Keegan Messing racked up 176.75 points in his free program to finish sixth with a 270.26 total, a new personal best. The showing was Messing’s best in three appearances at the world championships and guaranteed Canada two men’s spots for next year’s Olympic Winter Games.

Messing was the lone member of the Canadian team with an international competition this season, dedicating his bronze medal at Skate America to his Canadian teammates in October.

As his free program ended Saturday, he pointed to his teammates in the stands, pumped his fist in the air several times and placed his hand over his heart. As he waited in the kiss and cry for his marks, Messing looked into the camera and spoke to his best friend and teammate, Nam Nguyen, back in Canada.

“We did it together. We did it. Love you, buddy,” he said.

“I feel absolutely incredible,” added Messing minutes later. “To be able to go out there and to put that kind of program out. I said before coming here that Nam and I were going to do this together, and together we did it. He was there with me, backstage, on the ice, and gave me the strength to push through this program. I couldn’t have done it without him.”

Nathan Chen of the United States, in third spot after the short program, scored 222.03 in a flawless free program that featured five quads to win his third straight men’s world title with 320.88.

For Fournier Beaudry and Sørensen, it was a triumphant return to the international stage. Not only did the pandemic wipe out this past season, but they missed the entire 2020 campaign as Sørensen recovered from knee surgery.

“We just wanted to dance and give some hope to everybody,” said Fournier Beaudry. “We’re so proud to be here representing Canada.”

“We’re just really grateful and so happy to be part of this amazing team,” added Sørensen.

Team Canada left Sweden with a medal and three other top-eight showings. Earlier in the week, Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro placed sixth in the pair event.

Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud were 12th in pair, while 2020 Canadian women’s bronze medallist Madeline Schizas placed 13th in her world championships debut. Emily Bausback, the 2020 Canadian women’s champion, missed qualifying for the women’s free program by less than two points.

To see final results, please visit the ISU website.

Gilles, Poirier ready to seize the moment in Stockholm


Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier feel this is their time.

The reigning Canadian ice dance champions head into this week’s ISU World Figure Skating Championships ready to make a run at the podium, 17 months after celebrating their first ISU Grand Prix title at the 2019 Skate Canada International in Kelowna, B.C.

A few months later, after seven podium finishes in eight years at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, Gilles and Poirier left nationals with gold medals draped around their necks for the first time.

Now, after a challenging 14-month hiatus from the international scene caused by the pandemic – including the cancellation of the 2020 world championships in Montreal – Gilles and Poirier can’t wait to press play and resume the next chapter of their story.

“I think right now, we kind of feel we’ve earned that spot to be the number one (Canadian) team,” Gilles told reporters shortly before leaving for Stockholm. “To be honest, it doesn’t feel much different. It does help knowing we’re going in as national champions. I think we’re more proud and more confident having that title.

“At this point, Paul and I know what we need to do. I think we just need to expect the unexpected and do our job.”

“We’re so excited after almost 14 months of not competing to finally get back out there,” added Poirier. “We’ve been very clear throughout all of last season and this season that our goal is to be on the world podium. We’ve done all the training required to do that.”

Gilles and Poirier, one of three Canadian ice dance teams at these world championships, have assumed a leadership role for the national team. With several Team Canada skaters making their worlds debut, including women’s competitors Madeline Schizas and Emily Bausback, the pair tandem of Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud as well as fellow ice dancers Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha, Gilles and Poirier are excited to help guide their younger teammates through this first world championships experience.

“It’s an absolute honour to be even considered the leaders,” said Gilles. “I feel like even at events the past couple of years, we started to feel like we are moving into that leadership role a little bit. You know your journey and how you’ve got to this point, and it’s really cool to see the young ones come in and begin their journey and figure out their way.”

Gilles and Poirier know the importance of mentors. They came up during an unforgettable era in Canadian ice dancing, led by the legendary tandem of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and three-time Canadian champions Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje.

The reigning Canadian champions have taken the torch and are grateful for the paths their predecessors blazed for them.

“I think it’s hard to know how exactly your career trajectory would have been different should some or other people not have been there, but I think in the end, I don’t think we would change the way that we approach our skating, the way that we approach our selection of our music, the way that we present ourselves, the artistic choices that we make,” said Poirier. “I think those are so quintessentially us.”

“We had some great role models,” added Gilles. “We’ve learned a lot from those guys (Virtue and Moir, Weaver and Andrew Poje). They’ve really been leaders for so long, it’s been nice to watch them and figure out how they’ve dealt with it and managed. Every athlete has their own journey. They were a part of ours.

“Now it’s our time.”

The 2021 ISU World Figure Skating Championships get underway Wednesday, March 24. For start orders and results, please visit the ISU website.

 

 

 

 

Athlete Spotlight: Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier

Piper Gilles

Q: What is the best advice that you were given?
Piper: Don’t change the person

Q: Who is your biggest motivation?
Piper: My Mom

Q: Who is your celebrity crush?
Piper: Chris Hemsworth

Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Piper: People who leave the tooth paste cap off

Q: What fictional character would you like to meet in real life?
Piper: Regina George

Paul Poirier

Q: What’s your go to song to get pumped up for training or a competition?
Paul: I don’t have a special pump-up song, but for our first two seasons I would send a link to the “Blitzkrieg Bop” to Piper before every competition.

Q: What is your favourite place in the world and why?
Paul: Libraries!

Q: What’s your favourite emoji?
Paul: 🤡

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Paul: When people expect everything to be done for them by others.

Q: What song would be the theme song for your life?
Paul: You Learn, by Alanis Morissette. Also the Annie’s Edges music that I’ve done stroking too way too many times.

Gilles and Poirier team up with European street musicians for “program for the people”

by Jennifer Baker

This competition season, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, two veteran Olympic competitive figure skaters, will be bringing something special to the ice with a free skate program in September. Calling it “a program for the people,” the free skate is a creation envisioned straight from their hearts.

To achieve that end, Gilles and Poirier have paired up with two European street musicians, Dom Sky and Jack Rose of the band Govardo, to provide music for their event.

The skating duo discovered Govardo after their coach clicked on a Facebook link of their acoustic cover of “Vincent,” a folk song about Vincent van Gogh originally written by Don McLean in the 1970’s.

“It was instantaneous”, said Piper.

Poirier recalled listening to the cover for the first time, saying, “We were on board right away. It was just a matter of getting in touch with Dom and Jack and seeing if they could adjust the piece to see if they could make it work with the rules of skating.”

So, they found the band’s contact information online, sent an email, had a few Skype sessions and created a dialogue of back-and-forth artistry. “Once we got the first version from them, we knew it was something really special and something we could work with.” said Poirier.

Expanding upon the rendition played in their Facebook video, Govardo went into the studio and began recording. This time, Sky and Rose blended their musicianship with the mechanics of figure skating, reconstructed their original interpretation of “Vincent” to fit the time limit required for competition and composing an instrumental section to provide different levels of intensity that would allow for a deeper exploration of the characters Gilles and Poirier were portraying on ice.

“It’s really special to have figure skaters take on and expand your storytelling,” said Sky. “It made our year.”

Govardo worked with seven versions of the song before coming up with what Gilles and Poirier plan on skating to in September.  “It was a collaborative process,” said Sky. “At one point, Piper and Paul’s coach sang a percussive idea into the phone, and then that turned into the drum beat we used on the track.”

“Vincent [van Gogh] was a revolutionary and pushed boundaries,” said Rose. “It was a nice nod to him and an inspiration for us to go deeper into our own art and push through our own boundaries in this collaboration. He was so misunderstood when he was alive, but now he is considered genius.”

The power of your art is that it outlives you. And when you feel like you’re alone, screaming out into an endless void of darkness, you will always find someone else hiding out in that same dark right along with you, listening.  That darkness is the canvas of a starry night.

Next month, this free-skate piece will tell that story.

While Gilles and Poirier will be dedicating their skating and artistry to their fans and the people, Govardo will continue touring Europe by following the sun—literally.  Check out both of their social media outlets for more information about each duo and upcoming events:

http://www.govardo.com/

https://skatecanada.ca/piper-gilles-paul-poirier/

NASA says humans are made of stardust—so that means you are, too. Now, go light up the sky.

Jennifer Baker is a writer, actor, and musician living in Los Angeles, California. She is always on the hunt for new and interesting stories to cover. Follow her journey by visiting jennifer-baker.com

Virtue, Moir golden once again in unforgettable Olympic swan song

Three Canadian teams finish inside top eight

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – For four minutes Monday night, back home in Canada, a nation was holding its breath.

And then, just like that, it was over. But not before Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir likely bid farewell to competitive skating in an emotional swan song that seemed to have its script ripped from the pages of a storybook.

Twenty-four hours after a stirring world record short dance – and just minutes after rivals and training partners Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France broke their own free dance world record – Canada’s ice dance sweethearts laid down one of the defining performances of their illustrious career to claim gold in PyeongChang.

Heading into the free dance leading Papadakis and Cizeron by 1.74 points, Virtue and Moir performed a mesmerizing program, scoring 122.40 for a world record combined score of 206.07. Papadakis and Cizeron took silver with 205.28, while siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. earned bronze with 192.59.

All three Canadian teams finished in the top eight. Two-time world medallists Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje were seventh, one spot in front of reigning Canadian silver medallists Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier.

The gold brings Virtue and Moir’s Olympic medal haul to five – three gold and two silver – making them the most decorated Olympic figure skaters ever.

“That was a fantastic performance, we gave it all we had out there,” said Moir. “We skated with our hearts.   We knew we were happy with our performance. We didn’t know if we won, that’s for sure.”

Taking to the ice as the final competitors of the day, Virtue and Moir admitted they had no idea of the world record number the French team, skating two teams in front of them, had put up.

“It wouldn’t have mattered,” admitted Virtue. “We needed to have our moment with the program we love so much.”

Following Olympic gold in 2010 and silver four years later in Sochi, Virtue and Moir – who have skated together, at every level, for two decades – took two years off before deciding to make one more run at the Olympics.  They returned in the fall of 2016, taking off on an undefeated season that ended with their third world title a year ago.  The only event they did not win over the past two seasons was a second-place finish to Papadakis and Cizeron at the Grand Prix Final in December.

After helping Canada win gold in the team event a week ago, Virtue and Moir stepped on competitive ice for what was likely the final time.

“It was an overwhelming feeling,” admitted Virtue of the emotion of the moment.  “That moment has replayed in my mind over and over again. You just never know what will go through your head. I couldn’t help but think about the 20 years we’ve spent working for this moment, and the incredible team of people behind us.”

The other Canadian teams were also pleased with their Olympic results.

“We created a moment for ourselves,” said Gilles. “I think both of us were really nervous going into the free knowing we did a really nice short dance yesterday. We took our time and embraced this Olympic energy, because it’s infectious.”

“Our goal was to bring our hearts and souls to this event, and we did that,” said Weaver. “We’re leaving here happy and look on to our next challenge.”

As their media scrum ended, Virtue and Moir were asked if they had any idea of the groundswell of support forming for them back home in Canada in recent days.

“In Ilderton, everybody knows my name, for sure,” laughed Moir.

“We really are in this insular little bubble, and it’s a very safe and protected place, so I’m not sure we have the scope of that,” added Virtue, referring to their surroundings at these Games.

“But at the same I really do feel that sense of support, and it lifted us here. Here I felt that unconditional love, and that helped us immensely. We do feel like this is for Canada, and we’re so excited to share this with everyone.”

The women’s event will wrap up figure skating competition in PyeongChang, with the short program slated to get underway Tuesday night at 8:00 pm ET. Gabrielle Daleman, Kaetlyn Osmond and Larkyn Austman will represent Canada in the event.

Photo Credit: David Jackson, COC

PyeongChang 2018 Figure Skating Schedule & Results

Olympic Spotlight : Piper Gilles / Paul Poirier

Known for their exquisite artistry and crowd-pleasing choreography, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier finished second at the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships to punch their ticket to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

Their silver medal at the national championship was the sixth time they have reached the Canadians podium since coming together in 2011. On the ISU Grand Prix circuit this season, Gilles and Poirier placed fourth at both the Rostelecom Cup and Skate America.

Their Olympic berth comes four years after a heartbreaking setback on the road to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.  In the spring of 2013, Poirier suffered a fracture dislocation in his right ankle and underwent surgery. Gilles and Poirier were able to compete at the 2014 Canadian championships, but missed an Olympic berth by just one spot.

In 2014-15, Gilles and Poirier would win two silver medals on the ISU Grand Prix circuit before managing a career-best sixth place showing at the World Championships.

Gilles and Poirier have finished inside the top eight at the world championships for four consecutive years.

Gilles and Poirier climb to fourth at Skate America

LAKE PLACID – Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto climbed from fifth after the short dance to fourth overall on Sunday to conclude Skate America, the seventh stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. took the ice dance gold with 194.25 points with Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy second at 181.63 and Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia third at 176.53.

Gilles and Poirier followed at 166.54.

‘’We didn’t let a disappointing short program get us down today,’’ said Gilles about the free dance. ‘’We feel a lot more comfortable in the free dance. We were especially pleased to keep the flow going and the energy up during the slow piece in the middle of the program.’’

Poirier said the couple made changes to the free skate following their fourth place at the Grand Prix stop in Russia.

‘’We opened up the transitions making them less cumbersome so we can move and skate more freely.

Japan was 1-2 in women’s competition. Satoko Miyahara took the gold, Kaori Sakamoto the silver and Bradie Tennell of the U.S. was third.

Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., third after the short program, struggled in her free skate and placed sixth overall.

‘’Technically it didn’t go my way today,’’ said Daleman. ‘’That’s the way this sport goes and that’s the name of the game. I know what I need to work on and it is just a lot of repetition.’’

Canada ended the competition with one bronze medal earned by Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford in pairs on Saturday.

Full results: ISU GP 2017 Bridgestone Skate America

Gilles and Poirier place fourth at season-opening Grand Prix

MOSCOW – Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto placed fourth in ice dancing on Saturday to conclude the Rostelecom Cup – the first stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. won the gold medal with 189.24 points. Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia were second at 184.74 and their compatriots Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin third at 179.35.

Gilles and Poirier followed at 172.29.

“We did what we needed to do here,” said Gilles. “It’s a good start for us.”

“This is the start of a marathon,” added Poirier, about this Olympic season. “We want to make sure we are peaking at the right time.”

Russians swept the podium in pairs led by Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov with the gold. Julianne Séguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., remained fifth.

“We left a lot of points of the table,” said Séguin. “Still it’s a good start. We had a solid short program and our long just needs some tweaking and more performance mileage.”

The pair made mistakes on both side-by-side jumps.

“There was some nervousness,” said Bilodeau. “We had some issues in training this week and that can affect your confidence.”

In men’s competition, Nathan Chen of the U.S. reeled off four quads en route to the gold medal with 293.79.  He upset Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan in second at 290.77 while Mikhail Kolyada of Russia was third at 271.06.

Nam Nguyen of Toronto produced the sixth best free skate but remained seventh overall at 238.45. Skating to An American in Paris, he opened with a perfect quad-toe but fell on his following quad-Salchow. The rest of the skate was clean including two triple Axels (one in combination).

“I’m disappointed,’’ said Nguyen. “I was hoping to put in a really good performance. I need to go back and work out the kinks and come back feeling 100 percent confident.”

The next stop on the circuit is Skate Canada International this Friday and Saturday (October 27-28) in Regina.

Full results: ISU GP Rostelecom Cup 2017

Canadians keep medals in sight at ISU Grand Prix

MOSCOW – Canada’s three entries at the season opening ISU Grand Prix event – the Rostelecom Cup – will need strong free skates to get on the podium following Friday’s short program performances.

In ice dancing, Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. are first after the short dance with 77.30. Two Russian couples followed with Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev second at 76.33 and Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin third at 71.32.

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto are in the medal hunt standing fourth with 69.67.

“This first half of the season we want to improve our performance levels,” said Poirier. “And I feel that is getting better despite some glitches today.”

“We definitely got some fire in our belly for the free skate,” added Gilles. “Lots can change.”

Russians are 1-2 in pairs. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov are first at 76.88, Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov second at 71.39. Valentina Marchei and Ondrej Hotarek of Italy stand third at 68.48.

Julianne Séguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., skated a clean program for fifth at 67.06, less than two points from third.

In men’s competition, Nathan Chen of the U.S. landed two quads and leads after the short program with 100.54. Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan is second at 94.85 and Dmitri Aliev of Russia third at 88.77.

Nam Nguyen of Toronto stands seventh but at 80.74 he is still in striking distance of the podium. He opened with a successful quad-triple combination and also landed his triple Axel. However he fell on his quad-toe attempt.

“I didn’t have a very good warm-up so I’m happy with how I recovered from that,” said Nguyen, 19, ranked third in Canada. “Obviously the performance could have been better but I’m excited about my free skate which has been going well in practice.”

The free skates are on Saturday.

Full results: ISU GP Rostelecom Cup 2017

Historic silver and bronze for Osmond and Daleman / World record for Virtue and Moir

HELSINKI –Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., and Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., took the silver and bronze medal in women’s competition on Friday at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships.

It is the first time in world championship history two Canadians reach the podium in the women’s event. It is also Canada’s first medal in women’s competition at worlds since Joannie Rochette won silver in 2009.

With those performances Canada is guaranteed three spots in the women’s event at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and 2018 ISU World Championships.

“To have Kaetlyn on the podium with me and have three spots for the Olympics is just an unbelievable feeling,’’ said the 19-year-old Daleman, competing at her fourth straight worlds. She was ninth last year. ‘’And I’ve wanted to be like Joannie since I was a little girl. I’m just star struck.’’

Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia successfully defended her world crown with a world record 233.41 points. Osmond followed at 218.13 and Daleman was third at 213.52, both personal bests. No other skaters reached the 200-point plateau.

Daleman and Osmond were the last two skaters of the competition. They were also second and third after the short on Wednesday.

‘’That’s the way that I’ve wanted to compete my long program all season long,’’ said Osmond, 21. ‘’I did everything I possibly could at the best of my ability. I trusted myself and trusted my training and it paid off.’’

It was Osmond’s first worlds since 2014. She missed the 2014-15 season due to a broken leg.

‘’After that injury I never thought I would be skating again, let alone get on a worlds podium’’ she said. ‘’I had to relearn everything, there was a lot of doubt last season and finally this year those doubts have washed away.’’

Both Canadians executed seven jump sequences including three combination jumps.

‘’I honestly have no words to describe how I am feeling,’’ said Daleman. ‘’I just went out there feeling more comfortable, staying calm and doing my job. As soon as I got into my starting position I said to myself to take it and skate with my heart.’’

In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir broke their own world record with 82.43 points to lead after the short dance. Defending world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France are second at 76.89 and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S. are third at 76.53.

Virtue and Moir are enjoying remarkable success in their first season since winning the silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. They have won all five events they’ve entered including the ISU Grand Prix Final in December producing many record performances along the way.

“That was a great skate,’’ said Moir, from Ilderton, Ont. ‘’We worked hard, we prepared, but we felt the pressure today. We knew we had to bring our best, and that’s why we came back.”

“Technically we really try to raise the level of our skating and we needed to because the level of competition is so stiff and so strong,’’ added Virtue, from London, Ont. ‘’It’s nice to be at a world championships and get your best score. We knew we couldn’t have possibly prepared more for this moment.’’

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., are in sixth place with 74.84 points while Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto are in ninth with 72.83.

‘’We’ve been really up and down with some of the elements in our short dance this year,’’ said Poje. ‘’We felt today we took a step in the right direction, we were comfortable and we had a performance we were proud of.’’

‘’We are really excited to delve into the free dance tomorrow and share it with this incredible crowd,’’ added Weaver. ‘’There are some small changes into the transitions and it has some new unique elements.’’

Gilles and Poirier have also struggled with their short program this season.

‘’We’ve been trying a bit too hard, trying to prove ourselves,’’ said Poirier. ‘’So we fall short because of mistakes. Today wasn’t the skate of our lives but we came out and entertained the people and delivered a clean skate.’’

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

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1617/wc2017/index.htm

Virtue and Moir on top of the world

HELSINKI – Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are back on top in ice dancing. The two-time Olympic medallists won the gold medal Saturday to conclude the ISU World Figure Skating Championships and complete a perfect comeback season.

The contest was close with Virtue and Moir holding on to first despite a slip by Moir as they totalled 198.62 points. It is their third world title.

Defending champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won the free dance to finish at 196.04 while Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. were third at 185.18.

‘’We accomplished a lot of great things in this program technically that allowed us to stay on top against a really, really good French team,’’ said Moir from Ilderton, Ont. ‘’We knew we were going to be in a fight for the world title.’’

The victory caps a great comeback season for the 2010 Olympic champions. They sat out their first two seasons after the Olympic silver in Sochi. In 2016-17, they went undefeated in seven competitions producing several record scores including a world mark in Friday’s short dance.

‘’We wanted to win worlds,’’ said Moir. ‘’We trained well, we felt we prepared ideally for this whole season.’’

Two-time world championship medallists Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., emerged a half-point from the podium finishing fourth at 184.81 after standing sixth after the short dance.

’We wanted to bring the happiness back into our skating and express who we are,’’ said Poje. ‘’We went through some ups and downs this season and had to rediscover ourselves.  We are very proud where we are and we know we can build so much more.’’

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto moved from ninth to eighth overall.

‘’We really allowed ourselves to settle into that performance,’’ said Poirier. ‘’We didn’t force anything or rush anything. We allowed ourselves to do the work and just get lost in the moment.’’

In men’s competition, Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan re-claimed the world crown roaring from fifth place to the gold medal position with a world record free skate for 321.59 points. His compatriot Shoma Uno was second at 319.31 and Boyang Jin of China third at 303.58.

Patrick Chan of Toronto skated to music by teammate and pairs skater Eric Radford and earned 295.16 for fifth place. He landed his three quad jumps but put a hand down on his quad Salchow and stumbled after completing his second quad toe.

‘’The approach I had for this competition was the right one,’’ said Chan, a three-time world champion. ‘’My goal was to rotate all three quads today which I had never done before. It’s great to know that I have the confidence now to do it.’’

Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., made an impressive move in the standings from 12th to ninth overall with the eighth best free skate. His first four jumps were all quads including the first two in combination.

‘’It was exhilaration,’’ said Reynolds. ‘’At the most important competition of the season I had a job to do and left here with possibly the two best performances of my career. It was a thrill; everything I worked for in training went exactly right.’’

Canada ends the competition with three medals. On Friday, Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L. and Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., took silver and bronze in women’s competition. It was the first time Canada produced two medallists in the event at worlds.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1617/wc2017/index.htm

Canadian records for Gilles/Poirier and Daleman at Skate Canada Challenge

PIERREFONDS, Que. – Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., as well as ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto broke Canadian records in golden performances Sunday at the Skate Canada Challenge.

In ice dancing, Gilles and Poirier tabulated a national mark 196.58 points. Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of Barrie, Ont., were second at 167.78 and Haley Sales of Burnaby, B.C., and Nicolas Wamsteeker of Langley, B.C., third at 147.72.

“We made a lot of improvements,” said Gilles. “We wanted to build our confidence going into nationals and it was mission accomplished. The Canadian record in just icing on the cake.”

The couple feel they have chance to make a big step this year.

“We have so much confidence,” said Poirier. “We are just really proud of the material we’ve been able to put together and we’ve prepared ourselves well for success this season. We’ve learned so much from the previous seasons that it’s just allowed us to present our best selves. The programs will just grow even more.”

In women’s competition, Daleman tabulated 208.85 for a national record with Sarah Tamura of Vancouver second at 166.45 and Alicia Pineault of Varennes, Que., third at 147.72.

“There’s still so much that be can be improved going into nationals and that’s a great feeling,” said Daleman. “I focused on this being the final stage before the Canadian championships to determine what’s good and what needs to be improved on.”

The competition 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