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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 : 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

Three medals for Canada at ISU Grand Prix Final

NAGOYA, Japan – Canadians won three medals on Saturday at the ISU Grand Prix Final, the last major international figure skating event before the Olympic Winter Games in February.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir took the silver in ice dancing while Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford added a bronze in pairs and Kaetlyn Osmond was also third in women’s competition.

In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir lost for the first time since their return to competition last season.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won the gold with 202.16 points. Virtue and Moir followed at 199.86 and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. were third at 188.00.

‘’We made a couple of uncharacteristic glitches that we don’t even make in training that often,’’ said Moir, from Ilderton, Ont. ‘’We don’t like not winning competitions but in the grand scheme of things it was still a performance we were proud of.’’

The three-time world champions are pleased with their progress towards the Olympics.

‘’We’re on track,’’ said Virtue, from London, Ont. ‘’We’ve had an extremely successful season and we just have to continue taking care of the little details and making the tweaks so our programs are at their best come February.’’

In women’s competition, Osmond made a couple of mistakes in her Black Swan skate including a fall on her triple Salchow to drop from first after the short program to third with 215.16 points.

‘’The mistakes that I made were silly ones and they won’t happen again,’’ said Osmond, from Marystown, N.L. ‘’I made a lot of changes to my program since my last competition and I did those well.’’

It was a 1-2 Russian finish with Alina Zagitova first at 223.30 and Maria Sotskova second at 216.28.

In pairs, it was a comeback medal for Duhamel and Radford who climbed from fifth place after the short program to the medal position earning 210.83. Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany were first at 236.68 and world champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han second at 230.89.

‘’We took a nice step here and continued to build,’’ said Radford. ‘’We want to take another step up at the national championships (in January) get some more levels and hit that big peak at the Olympic Games.’’

In junior ice dancing, Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., were sixth.

‘’It was a nice experience,’’ said Lagha. ‘’It was cool to skate at a big event like that.’’

Full results: Grand Prix Final 2017 Senior and Junior

Virtue and Moir soar to gold at NHK Trophy

OSAKA, Japan – Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the gold medal in ice dancing Sunday at the NHK Trophy figure skating competition – the fourth stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit.

The Canadian couple earned 198.64 points for the gold with Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S. second at 188.35 and Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy third at 186.56.

‘’We really wanted to come out this week and have the speed and power come to us a bit more in both of our programs,’’ said Moir, from Ilderton, Ont. ‘’I feel like we accomplished that.’’

Virtue/Moir delivered a confident, passionate performance to the ‘Moulin Rouge soundtrack, completing spectacular lifts, well-synchronized twizzles and smooth step sequences.

They earned six perfect 10.00s in the components – three of them for music interpretation and timing.

‘’There were a couple of technical errors in both programs and that cost us a couple of points,’’ added Moir. ‘’We’re not super happy about that.’’

The Canadians have been unbeatable since returning to the competitive scene last winter including five straight Grand Prix wins. They’ll return to Japan, in Nagoya, for the Grand Prix Final December 7-10.

The next Grand Prix competition is the Nov. 17-19 Grand Prix of France in Grenoble.

Full results: ISU GP NHK Trophy 2017

Classic Virtue and Moir take lead after short dance at NHK Trophy

OSAKA, Japan – Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir came within two points of their world record score in the short dance on Saturday to grab an early lead at the NHK Trophy figure skating competition- the fourth stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit.

The Canadian couple gave another stirring performance of their routine to classic rock tunes tabulating 80.92 points. That was just off the 82.64 they skated two weeks ago at Skate Canada in Regina.

‘’We made a step forward today in a lot of our elements,’’ said Virtue. ‘’We were pleased with the attack we had and our technical proficiency. It’s always a joy to perform here in Japan and we try to relish it and take advantage of every moment.’’

Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S. are second at 76.31 and Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy third at 75.87. The free dance is on Sunday.

The free skates in the other three events were held on Saturday.

In pairs, Julianne Séguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., continued to show improvement from a difficult season last winter moving from fifth to fourth with 194.37 points. Their clean program included two successful side-by-side triple jumps including one in combo and two triple throws.

World champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China won the gold over two Russian pairs. Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov were second and Kristina Astakhova and Alexei Rogonov third.

In men’s competition, the top-three were Sergei Voronov of Russia first, Adam Rippon of the U.S. second and Alexei Bychenko of Israel third.

Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., remained fifth after a clean Charlie Chaplin themed program. Messing landed two triple Axels including one in a triple combination and was just slightly low on his quad toe landing.

In women’s competition, Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., took 11th. World champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia won the gold.

Full results: ISU GP NHK Trophy 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

National records for Osmond and Virtue/Moir at 2017 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships

OTTAWA – Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., and ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir broke Canadian records in their respective short programs Friday at the 2017 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.

In women’s competition, Osmond landed three triple jumps, including two in her opening combo, and earned a Canadian record 81.01 points. Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., is second after collecting 75.04 and defending champion Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., is third 67.41 points.

‘’The crowd was phenomenal, I’m glad they enjoyed it as much as I did,’’ said Osmond. ‘’I was able to get a clean program and enjoy every moment of it. The short program is one that’s been given me confidence all season long.’’

In ice dancing, 2010 Olympic champions Tessa Scott of London, Ont., and Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont., topped the field after the short dance with a Canadian record 84.36. Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., are second at 78.92 just ahead of Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto in third at 78.15.

“Every competition is different and this is a special part of our journey because we decided to come back (to competition),” said Moir, who returned to competition this season with his partner after a two-year absence. “This is on our shoulders. We have a different perspective, but the pressure seems to be higher. But we kind of welcome that.”

In the pairs short, two-time world champions Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., tabulated 80.72. Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto are second at 72.19 and Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., are third at 70.69.

‘’This is a moment to savour for us,’’ said Duhamel. ‘’We came here to nail that short program and we did that. I was hoping to come here and find some balance with the program and I did.’’

In the men’s short program, eight-time Canadian champion Patrick Chan of Toronto is first at 91.50, Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., second at 81.76 and Elladj Baldé of Pierrefonds, Que., third at 77.45.

All four free skates are on Saturday.

Full results: 2017 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships Results

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