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Canadian figure skating team headed to PyeongChang for 2018 Olympic Winter Games

OTTAWA, ON: Canada will send the largest figure skating team to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. The team comprised of 11 entries, for a total of 17 skaters, includes two entries in men and three entries per discipline in ladies, pairs and ice dance. Competition begins on Friday, February 9, with the team event, and runs through to Friday, February 23, with all events taking place at the Gangneung Ice Arena.

The Canadian team will be lead by Opening Ceremony flag bearers and figure skating team co-captains Tessa Virtue, 28, London, Ont., and Scott Moir, 30, Ilderton, Ont. The three-time world champions will be competing at their third Olympic Winter Games, having previously won gold in 2010 and two silver medals (ice dance and team event) in 2014. This season, they won gold at both Skate Canada International and the NHK Trophy, and silver at the ISU Grand Prix Final. The eight-time Canadian champions are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer in Montreal, Que.

Three-time world champion Patrick Chan, 27, Toronto, Ont., is the first of two Canadian men entries. Chan will also be competing at his third Olympic Winter Games, having placed fifth in 2010 and won two silver medals in 2014 (men’s singles and team event). This season he placed fourth at Skate Canada International and won his record 10th Canadian title. Chan is coached by Oleg Epstein and Ravi Walia.

Canadian silver medallist Keegan Messing, 26, Sherwood Park, Alta./Brampton, Ont., is the second Canadian men’s entry. This season, he placed eighth at Skate Canada International and fifth at the NHK Trophy. Messing is coached by Ralph Burghart in Anchorage, AK, USA.

World bronze medallist and 2018 Canadian champion Gabrielle Daleman, 20, Newmarket, Ont., is one of three Canadian entries in ladies. Daleman placed 17th in Sochi as the youngest Canadian athlete at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. This season, Daleman placed sixth at both the Cup of China and Skate America. The two-time Canadian champion is coached by Lee Barkell and Brian Orser in Toronto, Ont.

World silver medallist Kaetlyn Osmond, 22, Marystown, Nfld./Edmonton, Alta., will also represent Canada in the ladies’ category. Osmond placed 13th at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in ladies singles and won the silver medal in the team event. This season, she won gold at Skate Canada International, bronze at the Internationaux de France, and bronze at the ISU Grand Prix Final. The three-time Canadian champion is coached by Ravi Walia in Edmonton, Alta.

Canadian bronze medallist Larkyn Austman, 19, Coquitlam, B.C., will be the third Canadian entry in ladies. This will be her first Olympic Games. This season, Austman placed 12th at Skate Canada International. She is coached by Zdenek Pazdirek and Liz Putnam in Coquitlam, B.C.

Two-time world champions Meagan Duhamel, 32, Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford, 32, Balmertown, Ont., will be the first of three Canadian entries pairs. Duhamel and Radford placed seventh in the pairs event and won the silver medal in the team event at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. This season, they won gold at Skate Canada International, bronze at Skate America and bronze at the ISU Grand Prix Final. The seven-time consecutive Canadian champions are coached by Bruno Marcotte in Montreal, Que.

Canadian silver medallists Julianne Séguin, 21, Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau, 24, Trois-Pistoles, Que., will be the second Canadian pairs entry. This will be their first Olympic Games. This season, they placed fifth at the Rostelecom Cup and fourth at the NHK Trophy. Séguin and Bilodeau are coached by Josée Picard in Chambly, Que.

Canadian bronze medallists Kirsten Moore-Towers, 25, St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 26, Sarnia, Ont., are the third Canadian entry in pairs. Moore-Towers will make her second appearance at the Games after wining a silver medal in the team event in 2014 with her previous partner. This will be Marinaro’s first Olympics. This season, Moore-Towers and Marinaro won the bronze medal at the Cup of China and placed sixth at Skate America. They are coached by Bruno Marcotte, Richard Gauthier and Sylvie Fullum in Montreal, Que.

Canadian silver medallists Piper Gilles, 26, Toronto, Ont., and Paul Poirier, 26, Unionville, Ont., will represent Canada in ice dance. Poirier will compete for the second time at an Olympic Games, he placed 14th in 2010 with his previous partner. This season, they placed fourth at both the Rostelecom Cup and Skate America. They are coached by Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs in Scarborough, Ont.

Two-time world medallists Kaitlyn Weaver, 28, Toronto, Ont., and Andrew Poje, 30, Waterloo, Ont., will also represent Canada in ice dance. Weaver and Poje placed seventh at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. This season, they won silver at Skate Canada International and placed fourth at the Internationaux de France. The two-time Canadian champions are coached by Nikolai Morozov and train in Hackensack, NJ, USA.

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director, and Manon Perron of Boucherville, Que., will be the Canadian team leaders. Dr. Erika Persson of Edmonton, Alta., and physiotherapists Agnes Makowski of Toronto, Ont., and Meghan Buttle of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Officials from Canada at the event include Leanna Caron of Timmins, Ont., Janice Hunter of West Vancouver, B.C., Nicole Leblanc-Richard of Dieppe, N.B., and Jeff Lukasik of Calgary, Alta.

Emma Bowie, Skate Canada Communications Manager, will be the media attaché at the event. For onsite media requests, she can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 010-5166-4154.

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

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT 2018 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Men Patrick Chan 27 Toronto, Ont. Granite Club Oleg Epstein / Ravi Walia
Men Keegan Messing 26 Sherwood Park, Alta. & Brampton, Ont. Sherwood Park FSC Ralph Burghart
Ladies Gabrielle Daleman 20 Newmarket, Ont. Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club Lee Barkell / Brian Orser
Ladies Kaetlyn Osmond 22 Marystown, Nfld. & Edmonton, Alta. Ice Palace FSC Ravi Walia
Ladies Larkyn Austman 19 Coquitlam, B.C. Coquitlam SC Zdenek Pazdirek / Liz Putnam
Pairs Meagan Duhamel / Eric Radford 32/32 Lively, Ont. / Balmertown, Ont. CPA Saint-Léonard / CPA Saint-Léonard Bruno Marcotte
Pairs Julianne Séguin / Charlie Bilodeau 21/24 Longueuil, Que ./ Trois-Pistoles, Que. CPA Longueuil / CPA Chambly Josée Picard
Pairs Kirsten Moore-Towers / Michael Marinaro 25/26 St. Catharines, Ont. / Sarnia, Ont. Kitchener-Waterloo SC / Point Edward SC Inc. Bruno Marcotte / Richard Gauthier/ Sylvie Fullum
Ice Dance Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir 28/30 London, Ont. / Ilderton, Ont. Montreal International Skating School / Montreal International Skating School Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon / Romain Haguenauer
Ice Dance Piper Gilles / Paul Poirier 26/26 Toronto, Ont. / Unionville, Ont. Scarboro FSC / Scarboro FSC Carol Lane / Juris Razgulajevs
Ice Dance Kaitlyn Weaver / Andrew Poje 28/30 Toronto, Ont. / Waterloo, Ont. Sault FSC / Kitchener-Waterloo SC Nikolai Morozov

Olympic Spotlight : Kaetlyn Osmond

The reigning world silver medallist came up just short in her bid for a fourth national crown at the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, winning silver to earn a berth on the Olympic team.

Kaetlyn Osmond, who hails from Marystown, Nfld. and now trains and lives in Edmonton, Alb., exhibits a combination of strength and power in her programs. She will be making her second appearance at the Olympics, four years after helping Canada to a silver medal in the inaugural team event at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

At the 2017 world championships, Osmond and fellow Canadian Gabrielle Daleman won silver and bronze, respectively, marking the first time two Canadian women found themselves on the same world championships podium.

Five years after winning gold in her ISU Grand Prix debut at Skate Canada International in 2012, Osmond once again won SCI in 2017 before going on to capture bronze at the ISU Grand Prix Final in December, becoming the first Canadian women’s skater to win a medal at the event since Joannie Rochette during the 2004-05 season.  In 2017, she also placed third at the ISU Grand Prix stop in France.

Osmond still has strong ties to her native Marystown, Nfld., where she holds a key to the town and has an arena named after her.

Olympic Spotlight : Duhamel/Radford


Fresh off their seventh consecutive national title at the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Vancouver, Duhamel and Radford have cemented their legacy as one of the best pair teams in Canadian figure skating history.

With signature elements and a history of raising the bar in pairs skating, Duhamel and Radford have also won a pair of world titles (2015, 2016). The back-to-back world crowns were the first from a Canadian pair team since Barbara Wagner and Robert Paul won four straight from 1957 through 1960.

Earlier this season, Duhamel and Radford won gold at Skate Canada International and followed that up with bronze at Skate America.

They were also part of Canada’s silver medal winning squad in the first team event at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

Olympic Spotlight : Gabrielle Daleman

Fierce and energetic,  Gabrielle Daleman, from Newmarket, Ont., claimed her second Canadian women’s title at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships on the same day she celebrated her 20th birthday.

The 2017 world bronze medallist, known for her breathtaking flexibility and powerful jumps, will be making her second appearance at the Olympic Winter Games.

The youngest member of the entire Canadian team in Sochi four years ago, Daleman has never placed lower than second at the national championships. Daleman, the 2012 Canadian junior champions, says the Olympic moment forever etched in her mind was watching Joannie Rochette compete at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver following the sudden passing of her mother, and heads to PyeongChang looking to follow in her mentor’s footsteps by capturing an Olympic medal.

Olympic Spotlight : Patrick Chan

With two Olympic silver medals from the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games in his trophy case, the three-time world champion looks to cap off a brilliant career in PyeongChang.

Chan capped off an emotional free program at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships earlier this month, bringing the crowd to its feet as he clinched his record tenth Canadian senior men’s title, breaking Montgomery Wilson’s mark that had stood since 1939.

Chan has been nothing short of dominant throughout most of his career. After capturing silver at the world championships in 2009 and 2010, the Toronto native would claim world titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He became the first skater to win three straight men’s world championships since Alexei Yagudin did it from 1998 to 2000, and the first Canadian to win three straight since Kurt Browning (1989-91).

In 2010-11, the season he won his first world title, Chan set world records and also claimed the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canadian Athlete of the Year and the Lionel Conacher Award as Canadian Male Athlete of the Year.

Following his performance at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Chan took a year off before returning to competition.

In PyeongChang, he is hoping that comeback comes full circle with another Olympic medal.

Olympic Spotlight : Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir

Just hours after notching their eighth national ice dance title at the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Vancouver, three-time world champions Virtue and Moir were announced as the Canadian team flag bearers for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

“This is, undoubtedly, the pinnacle of our career,” said Virtue of the honour.

“The honour of carrying the Canadian flag into the opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang brings with it a sense of duty, privilege and, above all, great pride.”

“In accepting this unparalleled honour, we commit to embodying the values and the standards that make Canada such a special place,” added Moir. “And we vow to embrace the Olympic spirit in its purest form. Team Canada is ready, and we cannot wait to be in PyeongChang with the Maple Leaf on our back, and in our hearts.”

Following a two-year break, Virtue and Moir returned to the ice last year, capping an undefeated season with their third world championship. Eight years after winning gold in their home country at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Virtue and Moir, who won silver medals in ice dance and the inaugural team event at the 2014 Sochi Games, head to PyeongChang looking to stand atop the Olympic podium for a second time.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir named Team Canada’s PyeongChang 2018 Flag Bearers

Three-time Olympic medalists to lead Team Canada into Opening Ceremony

OTTAWA (January 16, 2018) – On Tuesday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) announced that Olympic Champions, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, will lead Team Canada into the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The announcement was made in Ottawa on Parliament Hill with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

As flag bearers, Virtue and Moir will lead a team of approximately 230 Canadian athletes when they parade in the Opening Ceremony on February 9, 2018. They will both be following in the footsteps of Sochi 2014 flag bearer, Hayley Wickenheiser.

Virtue and Moir had international success from early in their careers. After winning the world junior title in 2006, they went on to win silver in just their second senior world championships in 2008, followed by bronze at the 2009 World Championships. Their career highlights came at Vancouver 2010 when they became not only the first North Americans to win Olympic ice dance gold, but also the youngest at the ages of 20 and 22.

The 2016-17 season was one of Virtue and Moir’s best, as they went undefeated, winning their first-ever title at the ISU Grand Prix Final and collecting their third career world title, following their previous victories in 2010 and 2012. That success came after they took a two-year hiatus following their Olympic silver medals in the team and ice dance events at Sochi 2014.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir become the first-ever pair in Canadian Olympic history to lead a team into an Opening Ceremony.

The Flag Bearer Selection Committee is comprised of an athlete representative, selected by the COC Athletes’ Commission, Jeff Christie; PyeongChang 2018 Chef de Mission, Isabelle Charest; COC President, Tricia Smith; COC Executive Director of Sport, (who is a non-voting member), Eric Myles; and three-time Olympian Brittany Schussler, a representative of the Team Selection Committee.

QUOTES:

“The privilege of carrying the flag comes with great responsibility that we do not take lightly. We commit to embodying the values and standards that make Canada such a special place, and vow to embrace the Olympic spirit in its purest form.”

– Tessa Virtue, Olympic Champion and PyeongChang 2018 Flag Bearer

“Being named flag bearers for Canada is the highest honour of our careers, and we couldn’t be more grateful to the COC for their belief in us. We will be marching into the Opening Ceremony with a strong, confident and inspired team of Canadian athletes – a group that will fearlessly represent our great nation on the world’s biggest stage.”

– Scott Moir, Olympic Champion and PyeongChang 2018 Flag Bearer

“Tessa and Scott are champions who have always represented Canada with such strength and grace. They have become two of our country’s greatest ambassadors to the Olympic Movement. They are admired by their teammates, respected by their opponents and adored by their fans, congratulations Tessa and Scott, you make us all extremely proud.”

– Tricia Smith, President, Canadian Olympic Committee

“Congratulations to Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir who were named Canada’s flag-bearers for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang today. In this role, which is considered one of the greatest honours for athletes, they will lead Team Canada as they enter the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9. Canadians will be watching as they proudly wave the flag to mark the beginning of an unforgettable journey for our athletes.”

– The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Photo: Canadian Olympic Committee

Canadian figure skating team named for PyeongChang 2018

VANCOUVER (January 14, 2018) — The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Skate Canada officially announced the 17 athletes and 12 coaches nominated to represent Team Canada in figure skating at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

Skaters qualified for the team based on their performances during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons as well as their results at the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.

The skaters nominated are:

Name Event Hometown
Patrick Chan Men’s singles Toronto, ON
Keegan Messing Men’s singles Sherwood Park, AB / Brampton, ON
Gabrielle Daleman Women’s singles Newmarket, ON
Kaetlyn Osmond Women’s singles Sherwood Park, AB / Marystown, NL
Larkyn Austman Women’s singles Coquitlam, BC
Meagan Duhamel Pairs Lively, ON
Eric Radford Pairs Balmertown, ON
Julianne Séguin Pairs Longueuil, QC
Charlie Bilodeau Pairs Trois-Pistoles, QC
Kirsten Moore-Towers Pairs St. Catharines, ON
Michael Marinaro Pairs Sarnia, ON
Tessa Virtue Ice dance London, ON
Scott Moir Ice dance Ilderton, ON
Piper Gilles Ice dance Toronto, ON
Paul Poirier Ice dance Unionville, ON
Kaitlyn Weaver Ice dance Toronto, ON
Andrew Poje Ice dance Waterloo, ON

The coaches nominated are:

Name Position Hometown
Lee Barkell Coach Kirkland Lake, ON
Ralph Burghart Coach Vienna, Austria
Marie-France Dubreuil Coach Sainte-Catherine, QC
Oleg Epstein Coach Chicago, Illinois, USA
Richard Gauthier Coach Mont Tremblant, QC
Patrice Lauzon Coach Boisbriand, QC
Bruno Marcotte Coach Beloeil, QC
Nikolai Morozov Coach Edgewater, New Jersey, USA
Zdenek Pazdirek Coach Coquitlam, BC
Josée Picard Coach Hull, QC
Juris Razgulajevs Coach Riga, Latvia
Ravi Walia Coach Vancouver, BC

Figure skating is one of Canada’s most successful sports at the Olympic Winter Games. Since 1924, Canada has won 25 Olympic medals, including four golds.

The team heading to PyeongChang has been hugely successful in recent years. Vancouver 2010 gold medallists Virtue and Moir returned from a two-year hiatus last season to win their third world title. While they were away, Weaver and Poje won two world medals. Osmond and Daleman became the first Canadian women to share a world championship podium in 2017, winning silver and bronze. Duhamel and Radford captured back-to-back world titles in 2015 and 2016. Three-time world champion Chan is coming off winning his record-setting 10th national title.

With 17 skaters, Canada has qualified the largest figure skating team of any country for PyeongChang 2018. Figure skating will take place February 9-23 (Days 0-14) at the Gangneung Ice Arena.

QUOTES:

 “I’m impressed by the depth of this team. There are so many strong contenders and we have tremendous hope for them heading into the Games. Congratulations to all athletes nominated. Best of luck to them as they enter the final stage of their preparation.”

– Isabelle Charest, PyeongChang 2018 Team Canada Chef de Mission

“Tessa and I are honoured to be representing Canada at our third Olympic Games. It is especially a privilege to be named to the team with this group of skaters. We have grown up together and its going to be a special moment to take the ice with them and go for gold. We are looking forward to embracing the Olympic spirit and proudly cheering on our teammates in PyeongChang.”

– Scott Moir, PyeongChang 2018 nominated athlete

“I am thrilled to be named to the Olympic team for the second time. It is always a source of pride to wear the red-and-white and to do it on the biggest sporting stage in the world will be truly an honour. Our entire team has worked hard to be the best and I know Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast will be cheering on our journey as we take on the world.”

– Gabrielle Daleman, PyeongChang 2018 nominated athlete

“Figure Skating is one of the most watched Olympic events, and for good reason. These new team members are looking to earn their spot in PyeongChang amongst previous champions. As they dance, spin and jump, the Canadian fans back home will be supporting them in their quest for the podium. Let’s go Canada!”

– The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the COC’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Federations in late January 2018.