Canadians show improvement in free skates at Cup of China

BEIJING – Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto took seventh spot in pairs on Saturday to conclude the Cup of China, the third stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia finished ahead of three Chinese pairs for the gold medal. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China were second and their compatriots Xiaoyu and Yang Jin third.

Ilyushechkina and Moscovitch were competing at their first Grand Prix together since joining forces in 2014.

‘’It wasn’t the skates we were hoping for,’’ said Moscovitch. ‘’But it is just the beginning of the season and there is still a lot of work to be done. Today we upped our speed and our twist in the short was definitely a step up. We just need to get more mileage in.’’

Vanessa Grenier of Johnville, Que., and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., posted a personal best score in the short program, free program and overall score at 159.34 for eighth place.

‘’It was a very good competition for us,’’ said Deschamps. ‘’We really improved our artistic score which has been something we’ve really worked on this season. It was nice to comeback after Skate Canada last week because we didn’t perform at our best there.’’

In men’s competition, Javier Fernandez of Spain took the gold while Chinese skaters Boyang Jin and Han Yan were second and third.  Elladj Baldé of Pierrefonds, Que., took 11th spot.  A flu bug has affected Baldé’s training since he won the gold medal in September at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany.

‘’It was a difficult evening but better than the short,’’ said Baldé. ‘’But I couldn’t get any rhythm in my training since my victory. I was happy to come back here but you could see today in the second half of my free skate, the fatigue starting to set it.’’

The fourth stop on the circuit is this Friday and Saturday in Bordeaux, France.

Full results:

Canada will need to play catch-up at Cup of China

BEIJING – It was a tough start for Canada’s three entries in Friday’s short programs at the Cup of China figure skating competition, the third stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit.

In pairs, China grabbed three of the top-four spots with Wenjing Sui and Cong Han first at 74.40.  Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia follow at 72.45 while Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin of China are third at 70.06.

Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto, in their first Grand Prix since hooking up in 2014,  are seventh while Vanessa Grenier of Johnville, Que., and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., eighth.

In men’s competition, Javier Fernandez of Spain tops the field at 93.19 followed by Boyang Jin of China at 90.05 and Sergei Voronov of Russia in third at 80.99.

Elladj Baldé of Pierrefonds, Que., is 12th.

Canada has no entries in ice dancing and women’s singles.

All four free skates are on Saturday.

Full results:

Canadian skaters in China for ISU Grand Prix Beijing

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will have three entries, for a total of five skaters, competing at the third stop on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, the Cup of China. The event takes place from November 6-8, 2015 at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, China. Canada will have one entry in men’s and two entries in pair.

Elladj Baldé, 24, Pierrefonds, Que., will be the Canadian entry in the men’s category. This will be his first time competing at this event. Earlier this season, the representative of CPA Anjou Kinsmen won his first international gold medal at the Nebelhorn Trophy. Last season, he placed fifth at the Nebelhorn Trophy, sixth at the NHK Trophy and sixth at the Canadian championships. Baldé trains in Montreal, Que., with coaches Bruno Marcotte and Manon Perron.

Lubov Ilyushechkina, 24, Moscow, Russia, and Dylan Moscovitch, 31, Toronto, Ont., are the first of two Canadian pair entries. This will be their first Grand Prix assignment since teaming up in 2014. Earlier this season, the representatives of the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club placed fourth at the Ondrej Nepela Trophy. Last season, they won gold at the Warsaw Cup, silver at the 2015 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, placed sixth at the Four Continents Championships, and 13th at the World Championships. Ilyusheshkina and Moscovitch are coached by Lee Barkell, Bryce Davison and Tracy Wilson.

Vanessa Grenier, 23, Johnville, Que., and Maxime Deschamps, 23, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., will also represent Canada in pair. Grenier and Deschamps will be competing at this event for the first time. This season, they placed fourth at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic and seventh at Skate Canada International. Last season, the representatives of CPA Sherbrooke and CPAR Vaudreuil placed fifth at the Nebelhorn Trophy, fifth at the Skate Canada Autumn Classic International, sixth at Skate America, and fifth at the 2015 Canadian Championships. They are coached by Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte at CPA Saint-Léonard.

Petra Burka of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian team leader at the event and Siobhan Karam of Ottawa, Ont., will be the Canadian team physiotherapist. Sally Rehorick of Vancouver, B.C., will be the sole Canadian official at the event.

For results and full entries please visit


Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Mens Elladj Baldé 24 Pierrefonds, Que. CPA Anjou Kinsmen Bruno Marcotte / Manon Perron
Pair Lubov Ilyushechkina /Dylan Moscovitch 24/31 Moscow, Russia / Toronto, Ont. Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club / Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club Lee Barkell / Bryce Davison / Tracy Wilson
Pair Vanessa Grenier / Maxime Deschamps 23/23 Johnville, Que. / Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que. CPA Sherbrooke / CPAR Vaudreuil Richard Gauthier / Bruno Marcotte

2015 Skate Canada Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada is pleased to induct six new members into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame.  This year Skate Canada celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Hall. The Hall of Fame was developed in 1990 to pay tribute to athletes, builders and professionals who have made a significant impact on Canadian figure skating.

The slate of 2015 will include ice dancers Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, 2009 Synchronized Skating Team NEXXICE, and pair skaters Louise Bertram and Stewart Reburn in the athlete category. In the builder group, synchronized skating pioneer Cathy Dalton will be inducted. In the professional discipline, coach Richard Gauthier and choreographer Sarah Kawahara will be honoured.

Skate Canada is committed to celebrating the achievements of the skating community through the Hall of Fame, and through alumni programs which engage past skaters, officials, coaches and volunteers. Since the Hall’s inception, Skate Canada has inducted 104 members: 49 athletes, 32 builders and 23 professionals.

Marie-France Dubreuil, 41, and Patrice Lauzon, 39, both of Montreal, were a force on the international ice dance scene for nearly a decade; they enter the Hall in the athlete category. One of Canada’s most loved dance teams, they paired up in 1995. They went on to win the Canadian Championships five times (2000, 2004-2007) and won world silver medals in 2006 and 2007. They competed at the Olympic Winter Games in 2002 and 2006. Dubreuil and Lauzon retired in 2008 and began a successful coaching career in Montreal.

NEXXICE’s 2009 Synchronized Skating Team, from the Burlington Skating Centre will be the first synchronized skating team to enter the Skate Canada Hall of Fame; the entire 20 person team will enter in the athlete category. The 2009 NEXXICE team was the first ever Canadian team to win gold at the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships, in Zagreb, Croatia. The team was comprised of: Jennifer Beauchamp (captain), Carla Coveart, Amy Cebulak, Tiffany Elliot, Ashley Greenhalgh, Morgan Harper, Cara Horan, Julia Horan, Taylor Kemp, Kristen Loritz, Nichole Manahan, Taryn Milne, Cara Moir, Sheri Moir, Michele Moore, Emily Penrose, Allison Proudfoot, Madeleine Wendland, Danyel Wright-Dykstra, and Lauren Zbucki.

Louise Bertram and Stewart Reburn, both of Toronto, were the 1935 Canadian Pair Champions and will enter the Hall in the athlete category. Both are deceased; Bertram passed away in 1996 at age 88 and Reburn in 1976 at age 63. They were the first pair team to really skate to the music instead of using it as mere background. Their new and charming style captured audiences in both the figure skating and entertainment worlds. They competed at the 1936 Olympic Winter Games, finishing sixth, before retiring from the sport.

Cathy Dalton, 56, Whitby, Ont., will enter the Skate Canada Hall of Fame as a builder. Dalton has been a pioneer in the development of synchronized skating in Canada and around the world. Since 1996, she has been an appointed coach on the International Skating Union’s Coaches Commission/Synchronized Skating Technical Committee and in that capacity has had a major influence on the development of the international judging system for that discipline: creating rules, standards, and educational materials. Her world-wide seminars for international judges, skaters and coaches have resulted in the sharing of her extensive knowledge about synchronized skating to the international community. In Canada, she founded and coached Canada’s first internationally successful synchronized skating team, black ice. They went on to win Canada’s first world medal, silver at the 2000 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships, in addition to winning eight Canadian championships.

Richard Gauthier, 53, St. Etienne-de-Bolton, Que., has over 40 years of coaching experience and is a NCCP Level 4 coach; he will enter the Skate Canada Hall of Fame as a professional. One of Canada’s most successful pair coaches, Gauthier’s career has pushed pair skating in Canada and around the world. He is responsible for the pairing up of Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, who went on to win the Olympic gold medal in 2002. Most recently he coached Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford to gold at the 2015 ISU World Figure Skating Championships. Gauthier continues to coach several world ranked pair teams in Montreal.

Sarah Kawahara, 61, Montreal, Que., introduced an innovative and artistic style of choreography for competitive skating as well as show skating, which has led her to be world renowned in her field; she enters the Skate Canada Hall of Fame as a professional. During her successful career she created memorable programs and choreographed ice shows for world class skaters, including Toller Cranston, Elvis Stojko, Scott Hamilton, Michelle Kwan, Kristi Yamaguchi, Dorothy Hamill, Peggy Fleming, John Curry and many others. She would go on to win two Prime Time Emmy Awards, both for best chorography, the first in 1997 for Scott Hamilton, Upside Down and the second in 2002 for the Opening Ceremonies at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

Skate Canada is proud to celebrate the achievements of the skating community through the inductions of exceptional members in the Skate Canada Hall of Fame. The exact date and locations of the various inductions will be announced at a later date.

Triple gold for Canada at Skate Canada International

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – Patrick Chan of Toronto, pairs skaters Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., as well as ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., all won gold on Saturday at Skate Canada International.

In men’s competition, Chan landed a quad toe and triple Axel en route to the gold with 271.14 points in his return to competition after sitting out last season.  Yuzuru Hanyu and Daisuke Murakami of Japan were second and third at 259.54 and 252.25

‘’It was a high stress and challenging competition for me,’’ said Chan. ‘’I didn’t feel good in the warm –up and I was scared about going on. But I talked it through with my coach Kathy Johnso.  I went out there and skated because I enjoy it and hopefully I can be consistent throughout the season.’’

Nam Nguyen of Toronto was fifth and Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., 11th.

In pairs, world champions Duhamel and Radford collected their second victory this season with 216.16 points. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia followed at 191.19 and Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., were third at 174.85.

“We were pretty nervous going out there today,” Radford said. “I don’t know if we can really put a finger on why. . .we were both feeling the same thing, a little out of our bodies, not as centred as we normally are.’’

Moore-Towers and Marinaro overcame a mistake on a lift.

‘’It was a big mistake but we didn’t let it snowball,’’ said Moore-Towers. ‘’A lot of the stuff we were working we really accomplished tonight. It was a huge step up from our previous competition.’’

Vanessa Grenier and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil, Que., were seventh.

In ice dancing, Weaver and Poje prevailed at 173.69 with Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. second at 168.36 and Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia third at 161.11.

‘’We are definitely proud with how our free dance went today,’’ said Poje. ‘’We put pressure on ourselves to make sure we made improvements in both the short dance and free dance. We showed we are ready for the season and ready to push our limits.’’

Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam of Barrie, Ont., were sixth and Elisabeth Paradis of Loretteville, Que., and François-Xavier Ouellette of Laval, Que., eighth.

In women’s competition, Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., was fifth, Veronik Mallet of Sept-Iles, Que., 10th and Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L. 11th.

Ashely Wagner of the U.S. took the gold.

Full results: 2015 Skate Canada International