The much-anticipated return of Patrick Chan was the story in Canadian skating as the 2014-15 ISU Grand Prix season kicked off in October.
After a year off, three-time world champion Patrick Chan made his return to the competitive ranks at Skate Canada International, with a near-flawless free program to hold off reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu for gold in Lethbridge, Alberta. World champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford took the pair title, and Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje were golden in ice dance.
Ashley Wagner of the United States won the SCI ladies title.
The ISU Junior Grand Prix kicked off the 2015-16 skating season in August. Roman Sadovsky won the JGP Bratislava, and in September would add bronze at the JGP stop in Poland. Mackenzie Bent and Dmitre Razgulajevs snared silver in their international debut at the JGP Colorado Springs. Reigning Canadian junior men’s champion Nicolas Nadeau added a silver medal at the JGP Croatia.
At the senior level, Canada came away with two bronze medals at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, with the ice dance team of Élisabeth Paradis and François Xavier-Ouellette and the pair tandem of Kirsten Moore Towers and Michael Marinaro both placing third.
Canada enjoyed another medal haul at the Nebelhorn Trophy, with Elladj Baldé (men) and Kaetlyn Osmond (ladies) winning gold and Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam taking ice dance silver. Canada was golden in ice dance in back-to-back events, with Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier winning the Ondrej Nepela Trophy and Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje taking top honours at the Finlandia Trophy.
Skate Canada played host to Autumn Classic International in Barrie, Ont., as Duhamel and Radford took the pair title, as expected. In ice dance, Nicole Orford and Asher Hill won gold while fellow Canadians Andreanne Poulin and Marc-Andre Servant claimed silver.
Nam Nguyen, the 2015 Canadian men’s champion, placed second to Yuzuru Hanyu. Elizabet Tursynbayeva of Kazakhstan won the ladies title, with Canadian Roxanne Rheault finishing fifth.
The ISU Grand Prix kicked off in October at Skate America, with Julianne Séguin and Charlie Bilodeau (pair) and Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier (ice dance) winning bronze.
As mentioned earlier, three gold medals by the host nation highlighted Skate Canada International in Lethbridge, Alberta in late October. Kirsten Moore Towers and Michael Marinaro added bronze in pair.
In November, Skate Canada announced its 2015 Hall of Fame inductees and several Skate Canada coaches were honoured with Petro Canada Coaching Awards later in the month.
Closing out 2015, Mississauga, Ont. was named host city for the 2016 Skate Canada International. Skaters from across the country competed at Skate Canada Challenge staged in Edmonton, Alb.
At the ISU Grand Prix Final, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje repeated as ice dance champions, while world pair champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford saw their two year undefeated run come to an end with a silver-medal performance in Barcelona.
With synchronized skating making its debut at the Grand Prix Final, defending world champion NEXXICE from Burlington, Ont. took bronze.The 2015-16 season continues with the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, January 18 to 24 in Halifax, NS.