Tag Archive for: Vanessa James / Eric Radford

Olympians Vanessa James and Eric Radford Retire from Competitive Skating

OTTAWA, ON: Pair world bronze medalists Vanessa James, 34, Scarborough, Ont., and Eric Radford, 37, Balmertown, Ont., have decided to retire from competitive skating. James and Radford announced their partnership in April 2021.

“We are very proud of what Vanessa and Eric have accomplished through this season culminating in a bronze medal at worlds,” said Mike Slipchuk, High Performance Director, Skate Canada. “Skate Canada wishes both Vanessa and Eric the best in their future plans”.

The pair competed in several events this season which included four top five finishes, a silver medal at the 2021 Autumn Classic International, a 12th place finish at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and they capped off their season with a bronze medal at the 2022 ISU World Figure Skating Championships.

“Almost 30 years ago at the age of 8, I started skating. Skating has shaped my life in many ways and given me some of my most amazing memories. I find it funny and unexpected to be writing about ending my competitive career for a second time, but like last time, there are many people who supported, pushed and inspired me along this journey that I am so grateful for,” said Radford.

Radford continued, “Thank you to my parents for their unwavering support over these decades; to my husband Luis and my brother Richard for always giving me the best advice. Thank you to my close friends and teammates that I get to share so many unforgettable memories with. Thank you to Skate Canada, Patinage Québec and the COC for believing in me and supporting my career. Thank you to the fans of the sport for whom it will always remain a pleasure to perform. To all the incredible coaches who shaped me not only as a skater, but as a person, thank you. Thank you to Meagan Duhamel for all we accomplished together and especially to Vanessa and Julie. Thank you to them for giving me one of the best years of my life and believing in me when I needed it the most.”

“I am profoundly grateful for the experiences this sport has provided me and for the memories I will carry with me for the rest of my life,” concluded Radford.

James was inspired by Nelson Mandela’s quote as she reflected on her career: “the greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

“Through ups and downs, joy and disappointment, I have been blessed with many people who have believed in me, encouraged me, and provided me with the skillset both on and off the ice, to make my dreams come true. I am endlessly grateful for each and every coach, mentor, teammate and staff member that has contributed to my journey and success throughout the last 23 years. To my fans, your constant love and support through the years means the world to me,” said James.

She continued, “To Skate Canada, Julie and Eric specifically, thank you for giving me the opportunity and the courage to rise again, and continue my passion and love for skating. To my parents, who have relentlessly and unshakably continued to support me in all of my endeavors, I owe you everything. Representing Canada has been an honor, and a privilege. I truly feel like the stars have aligned and everything has come full circle. As I hang up my competitive figure skates, I feel complete, and my heart is so full!”

Both James and Radford found success internationally before teaming up this past season.

Previously representing France, James was partnered with Morgan Ciprès, together they won a gold medal at the 2019 ISU European Figure Skating Championships® and a bronze medal at the 2018 ISU World Figure Skating Championships®. James and Ciprès also represented France twice on the Olympic stage.

Radford was previously partnered with Meagan Duhamel. The pair had much success over the years having won back-to-back gold medals at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships (2015,2016) and were seven-time Canadian national champions from 2012-2018. The pair won two medals at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, bringing home a gold medal in the team event and a bronze medal in the pair event.

Skate Canada wishes Vanessa and Eric all the best in their future endeavours.

James and Radford Win Bronze Medal at ISU World Figure Skating Championships®

MONTPELLIER, France – Canadians Vanessa James and Eric Radford concluded their first season together with a bronze medal in pairs on Thursday at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships®.

Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier of the U.S. won the gold medal with 221.09 points. Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan were second at 199.55 and James and Radford completed the podium with a season’s best 197.32.

The veteran Canadian skaters were fifth after the short program on Wednesday. They gained a spot when Americans Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy Leduc, second after the short, withdrew. Cain-Gribble was injured when she fell on a jump halfway through the program. The Canadians also passed Georgian couple Karina Safina and Luka Berulava in the standings.

‘’It was amazing to have that skate,’’ said Radford, now living in Montreal. ‘’It was an incredible and unforgettable experience for us even as experienced competitors that we are. The technical aspects were there today but we really got to release and feel that skate from the heart and that’s the best feeling.’’

Both Radford and James joined forces in April 2021 after decorated careers with other partners.

‘’Everything came together just as we needed to,’’ said James, from Toronto. ‘’We didn’t just fight, we didn’t just skate and think about the elements we really performed it and felt comfortable on the ice.’’

Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Trenton, Ont., climbed from eighth to sixth with 176.02.

‘’We had to fight for some elements, it wasn’t easy,’’ said Walsh. ‘’We were really trying to enjoy this performance which is the last one of the year and not feel too tense.’’

In men’s competition, Japanese skaters are 1-2-3 after the short program. Shoma Uno leads with 109.63, Yuma Kagiyama is second at 105.69 and Kazuki Tomono third at 101.12.

Canadian champion Keegan Messing is ninth and Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., is 18th.

Messing, 11th at the Olympics, produced a clean program and is still in contention to equal or better his career best sixth from last year’s worlds.

‘’I hit all my levels today which I didn’t do at the Olympics,’’ said Messing. ‘’I was a little bummed about the technical side of things but honestly, I stayed on my feet and kept space for bigger and better things.’’

Sadovsky opened with a perfect quad Salchow but had to fight to land his other jumping elements.

‘’I wanted to have like a fresh start for this competition,’’ said Sadovsky. ‘’I took a break after the Olympics to recover, rethink some things and I was motivated to finish the season with some confidence.’’

Competition continues Friday with the women’s free skate and the rhythm dance. The men’s free skate is Saturday.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season2122/wc2022/

James and Radford fifth after short program at ISU World Championships

MONTPELLIER, France – Vanessa James and Eric Radford posted Canada’s top result in Wednesday’s short programs to open the 2022 ISU World Figure Skating Championships® ranking fifth in pairs.

American teams are 1-2 with Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier first at 76.88 and Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy Leduc second at 75.85. Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan are third at 71.58.

James and Radford opened with a perfect triple twist which set the tone for a clean program scoring 66.54

‘’We felt free, motivated and liberated,’’ said James, who placed 12th with her first-year at the Olympics. ‘’It was pure enjoyment on the ice for us and it felt so good. We let a few levels go and there were a few bobbles but how we felt on the ice was a rare moment.’’

Their compatriots Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Trenton, Ont., are eighth. Walsh and Michaud were making their third appearance at the worlds. They were 12th in 2019 and 2021.

‘’We made mistakes on a couple of elements which were costly,’’ said Walsh. ‘’There were a lot of good things to the program and the actual skating was better.’’

In women’s competition, Madeline  Schizas of Oakville, Ont., earned 64.20 points in a clean short program to stand in 10th spot. The 19-year-old Olympian opened with a triple Lutz-triple toe-loop combo, followed by a triple loop and later on also landed a double Axel.

Kaori Sakamoto of Japan is first at 80.32, Loena Hendrickx of Belgium second at 75.00 and Mariah Bell of the U.S. third at 72.55.

‘’I’m happy with my skate after an up and down kind of week,’’ said Schizas. ‘’It was a strong performance, and I showed a lot of resilience.’’

Competition continues Thursday with the men’s short program and the pairs free skate.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season2122/wc2022/

James and Radford Win Free Skate But Miss Medal at Golden Spin of Zagreb

ZIBEL, Croatia – Canada’s Vanessa James and Eric Radford won Friday’s free skate in pairs but it wasn’t enough to lift them into the medals at the Golden Spin of Zagreb, an event on the ISU Challenger Series circuit.

The first-year partners took fourth spot overall on the strength of a personal best free skate score of 130.83 for 187.57 total. Unfortunately, the short program on Thursday didn’t go as well as they stood ninth.

‘’We skated with a little bit more to prove in the free skate,’’ said Radford from Balmertown, Ont. ‘’It wasn’t as free and relaxed as at the Grand Prix in France (last month), but this was our cleanest program with the highest score so that’s all we can ask for is taking those steps in the right direction.’’

Audrey Lu and Misha Misha Mitrofanov of the U.S. won the gold with 195.32 followed by Anastasiia Metelkina and Daniil Parkman of Georgia in second at 189.60 and Iuliia Artemeva and Mikhail Nazarychev of Russia third at 189.29.

Kirsten Moore-Towers of St.Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., were eighth despite ranking sixth in the short and seventh in the long just ahead of Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Trenton, Ont., in ninth.

It was the fifth competition for James and Radford this fall. Most recently they were also fourth at their two Grand Prix assignments.

‘’We are definitely proud of this performance after the disappointment of the short program,’’ said James from Scarborough, Ont. ‘’It’s going to give us a lot of confidence.’’

Canada’s Keegan Messing is first after Thursday’s short program in men’s competition with 90.26 with Deniss Vajiljevs of Latvia second 84.46 and Brendan Kerry of Australia third in 84.36.

Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., is eighth and Joseph Phan of Laval, Que., 24th.

The men’s free skate is Saturday. There are no Canadian entries in women or ice dancing.

Full results: http://granuli.hr/gs2021/html/

Gilles and Poirier Stand Second After Rhythm Dance at ISU Grand Prix

GRENOBLE, France – In what is their biggest test so far this season, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier are in second place after the rhythm dance at the 2021 Internationaux de France, the fifth stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

The Toronto ice dancers, victorious at their first two international events this season including Skate Canada International in Vancouver last month, trail 2020 world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France first with 89.08 points.

Gilles and Poirier, the 2021 world championship bronze medallists, earned 81.35 with their skate to Elton John music while Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin of Russia are third at 79.89.

‘’We are on the mission here this year to qualify for the Grand Prix final,’’ said Poirier. ‘’The changes we made after Skate Canada International seemed to work. The scores are not where we want them to be, but we are looking forward to the free skate.’’

Meanwhile first-year partners Vanessa James of Scarborough, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., produced their best short program this season to stand third in pairs with 71.84.

Russia is 1-2 with Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii first at 77.17 and Iuliia Artemeva and Mikhail Nazarychev second at 73.02.

“We made a few changes because we had a problem with how it was laid out,’’ said Radford about the short program. ‘’It’s a little bit more seamless now. The results showed that it was the right choice.”

In the men’s short program, Yuma Kagiyama of Japan dominated the field with 100.64 points. Only 5.29 points separate second from seventh. Deniss Vasiljevs of Latvia is second at 89.76 and Jason Brown of the U.S. third at 89.39.

Canada’s Keegan Messing didn’t land his quad toe or tripe-triple combo cleanly and stands sixth at 85.03, still within striking distance of the podium.

‘’It was a tough go of it, my legs felt a little bit shaky out there,’’ said Messing, at his third international event this season and second Grand Prix. ‘’I fought for every point and focused on continuing the performance. All in all, I can walk away with my head held high and I’ll get them in the long.’’

Russians stand 1-2-3 after the women’s short program. World champion Anna Shcherbakova is first, Alena Kostornaia second and Kseniia Sinitsyna third. There are no Canadian entries.

Competition ends Saturday with all four free skates.


Five Canadians Set to Participate in the Fifth ISU Grand Prix Event

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will have three entries for a total of five skaters competing at the 2021 Internationaux de France in Grenoble, France. Canada will have one entry in men, one entry in pairs and one entry in ice dance. This is the fifth event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and the event takes place from November 19 to 21, 2021.    

Keegan Messing, 29, Girdwood, Alaska, USA will be the lone Canadian entry in men. Messing finished fourth at the 2021 Finlandia trophy and recently placed fifth at the 2021 Skate Canada International. He is coached by Ralph Burghart in Anchorage, Alaska, USA. 

National pairs team, Vanessa James, 34, Scarborough, Ont., and Eric Radford, 36, Balmertown, Ont., will be the only Canadian entry in pairs. They finished fourth at the 2021 Skate Canada International and garnered a silver medal at the 2021 Autumn Classic International. This is their first season competing together internationally. They are coached by Julie Marcotte in Montreal, Que. 

Ice dance team Piper Gilles, 29, Toronto, Ont., and Paul Poirier 30, Unionville, Ont., will be the sole Canadian entry in ice dance. So far in 2021, they have placed first in both the 2021 Skate Canada International and 2021 Autumn Classic International. They are coached by Carol Lane, Juris Razgulajevs and Jon Lane in Scarborough, Ont.   

Dr. Shae Zukiwsky, Senior Director, Performance Excellence and Manon Perron, Skate Canada High Performance Advisor will be the team leaders at the event.  Dr. Lee Schofield of Toronto, Ont., and physiotherapist Mike McMurray of Oak Bluff, Man., will be the medical staff onsite. Cynthia Benson of Quispamsis, N.B., and Nicole LeBlanc-Richard., of Dieppe, N.B., will be the Canadian officials for the event.  




Keegan Messing (29) / Girdwood, Alaska, USA / Ice Palace FSC / Coached by Ralph Burghart 


Vanessa James (34) and Eric Radford (36) / Scarborough, Ont., and Balmertown, Ont. / EPJM and C.P.A. Saint Leonard / Coached by Julie Marcotte 


Piper Gilles (29) and Paul Poirier (30) / Toronto, Ont. / and Unionville, Ont. / Ice Dance Elite, Scarboro FSC / Coached by Carol Lane, Juris Razgulajevs, Jon Lane 

Gilles and Poirier Take the Road to Gold at Skate Canada International

VANCOUVER – The long and winding road led to gold for Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier as they won the ice dance competition on Saturday at Skate Canada International, the second stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit.

Skating to the Beatles classic, the Toronto duo enthralled the crowd at UBC totalling 210.97 points less than four points off their personal best set in a bronze medal performance at the world championships in March. Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy were second at 200.05 and Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz of Spain third at 192.83.

‘’The free dance was a little more shaky than our short program,’’ said Poirier. ‘’We have some nerves to work through, but this is really a big step forward moving through the rest of the Grand Prix season.’’

Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of St-Hubert, Que., were sixth and Haley Sales and Nikolas Wamsteeker of Langley, B.C. 10th.

‘’We didn’t get the score we wanted but that ovation from the crowd at the end that for me was really awesome,’’ said Lajoie.

In pairs, Canadians Vanessa James and Eric Radford came within less than two points from the podium finishing fourth with 187.92 points.

Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China took the gold with 224.05, Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin of Russia were second at 193.08 and Ashley Cain -Gribble and Timothy Leduc of the U.S. climbed from sixth after the short to third with 189.90.

First year partners James and Radford were less than three points off their best score set earlier this month at the Finlandia Trophy.

‘’Aspects of our program grew and improved, aspects of certain elements that we focused on after Finlandia improved but certain other elements need improvement,’’ said Radford.

‘’This is a step up,’’ added James. ‘’A lot of the transition elements are better, but we are still working on getting that clean program.’’

Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., were sixth and Lori-Anne Matte and Thierry Ferland of Levis, Que., were seventh.

In men’s competition, Nathan Chen of the U.S. was the only skater in the top group to deliver a clean program and he won the gold outright landing four quads and totalling 307.18 points. Jason Brown of the U.S. was second at 259.55 and Evgeni Semenenko of Russia moved from fifth to third with 256.01.

Canada’s Keegan Messing struggled in his free skate and dropped from third to fifth overall with 238.34. Conrad Orzel of Woodstock, Ont., couldn’t gain ground with the sixth best free skate and remained ninth and Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., was 12th.

‘’I was pretty disappointed I wasn’t able to give the performance I wanted to today,’’ said Messing, sixth at the world championships this past March. ‘’After my fall I felt a bit shaky but I tried to forget about it. I’m just going to put my best foot forward towards the next competition.’’

Orzel was determined to bounce back after a subpar short.

‘’I was disappointed about my short program, so it was great to come back in the long and do two quad toes in the free skate,’’ said Orzel, 21, in his season debut. ‘’Although there were some mistakes, I was happy with the general performance.’’

Russia swept the medals in women’s competition with Kamila Valieva first, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva second and Alena Kostornaia third.

Madeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont., was eighth, Emily Bausback of Vancouver 11th and Alison Schumacher of Tecumseh, Ont., 12th.

‘’I was really happy with my free program today,’’ said Schizas, 18, 13th at the 2021 worlds. ‘’My coaching team and I made a lot of changes since my last competition to make the second half of the program more successful and that reflected in my performance today.’’

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season2122/gpcan2021/