Canada places fourth at ISU World Team Trophy

TOKYO – Canadian skaters delivered strong season ending performances on Saturday to conclude the ISU World Team Team Trophy figure skating competition in fourth place.

Japan won the gold medal with 109 points followed by Russia at 105 and the U.S. at 97. Canada earned 87 points, China was fifth at 80 and France sixth at 62.

There were two events contested on the final day of skating. Canada, the Olympic silver medallists in Sochi, were fifth after day one on Thursday and climbed to fourth after Friday’s action.

In the women’s free skate, world champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia was first with a 160.46 score followed by Mai Mihara of Japan at 146.17 and her compatriot Wakaba Higuchi at 145.30.

Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., the world championship bronze medallist two weeks ago, was fourth at 142.41, which bettered her score from worlds by over a point. Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., was 11th.

In the pairs free skate, Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres of France topped the field with Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia second and Cheng Peng and Yang Jin of China third.

Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., followed in fourth with a personal best 130.09 just three points behind the Chinese.

First place in each event was worth 12 points for the country, second 11 points, third 10 and so on.

Full results: ISU World Team Trophy 2017.

Weaver and Poje win free dance to move Canada into fourth at ISU World Team Trophy

TOKYO – Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., won the free dance on Friday to move Canada from fifth to fourth in the country standings at the ISU World Team Trophy figure skating competition.

Japan gained sole position of top spot with two events remaining with 81 points followed by the U.S., at 78, Russia with 74 and Canada with 67. China is fifth at 59 and France sixth at 46.

In the free dance, Weaver and Poje earned a 113.83 score  with Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. second at 109.96 and Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia third at 104.55.

First place in each event is worth 12 points for the country, second 11 points, third 10 and so on. Canada won the silver in the team event at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

In the men’s free skate, Japan was 1-2 with Yuzuru Hanyu earning 200.49 and Shoma Uno 198.49. Patrick Chan of Toronto was third at 190.74 and Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C. ninth.

The pairs program was won by Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres of France. Cheng Peng and Yang Jin of China were second and Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., third.

Competition ends Saturday with the free skates in women’s and pairs competition.

Full results: ISU World Team Trophy 2017.

Canada fifth after first day at ISU World Team Trophy

TOKYO – Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., produced the second best short dance and Canada stands fifth overall after day one at the ISU World Team Trophy figure skating competition.

Japan and Russia are tied for top spot with 44 points apiece, the U.S. is third at 43, China is fourth at 32 and Canada follows at 31. Canada won the silver medal in the team event at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

In the short dance, Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. were first at 79.05 followed by Weaver and Poje at 76.73 and Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia at 68.94. First place in each event is worth 12 points for the country, second 11 points, third 10 and so on.

Russia picked up big points in the women’s short programs with their skaters placing 1-2. World champion Evgenia Medvedeva earned an 80.85 score and Elena Radionova 72.71. Mai Mihara of Japan followed at 72.10 and Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., the world bronze medallist two weeks ago, ranked fourth at 71.74. Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., ranked 10th.

In the men’s short, Shoma Uno of Japan, Nathan Chen of the U.S. and Boyang Jin of China were 1-2-3. Patrick Chan of Toronto was sixth and Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C. 12th.

Competition continues Friday with the pairs short, the free dance and the men’s free skate.

Full results: ISU World Team Trophy 2017

Team Canada ready to take on the world at the ISU World Team Trophy

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send an eight-member team to the 2017 ISU World Team Trophy, taking place for the fifth time in Tokyo, Japan from April 19-23. The Canadian team will consist of two men, two women and one entry per discipline in pair and ice dance.

The Canadian Team will be led by team captains two-time world ice dance medallists Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, Canadian pair bronze medallists Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro, three-time world champion Patrick Chan, Olympic silver team medallist Kevin Reynolds, world bronze medallist Gabrielle Daleman and Canadian bronze medallist Alaine Chartrand.

The countries ranked one to six on the ISU team standings qualify for the event. Team Canada is ranked number one heading into this event. The other five countries, in order of qualification, are: Russia, USA, Japan, China and France. Skaters compete in their disciplines with short programs/dance and free skates/dance. After the results, they receive placement points, which are then added together and the team with the highest points total will win the title. Teams will compete for a total of $1 million USD in prize money.

Canada has medalled three times at this event, winning silver at the inaugural event in 2009, bronze in 2012 and silver in 2013.

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director, will be the Canadian team leader at this event.  Meghan Buttle of Toronto, Ont., will be the team physiotherapist. Canadian officials at the event are Karen Butcher of Greely, Ont., and Karen Howard, Regina, Sask.

For results and full entries please visit the event page. For photos of Canadian entries, please contact [email protected]

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT 2017 ISU WORLD TEAM TROPHY

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Men Patrick Chan 26 Toronto, Ont. Granite Club Marina Zoueva / Oleg Epstein / Johnny Johns
Men Kevin Reynolds 26 Coquitlam, B.C. Vancouver SC Joanne McLeod
Ladies Gabrielle Daleman 19 Newmarket, Ont. Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club Lee Barkell / Brian Orser
Ladies Alaine Chartrand 21 Prescott, Ont. Nepean Skating Club Michelle Leigh
Pairs Kirsten Moore-Towers / Michael Marinaro 24/25 St. Catharines, Ont. / Sarnia, Ont. Kitchener-Waterloo SC / Point Edward SC Inc. Bruno Marcotte / Richard Gauthier / Sylvie Fullum / Julie Marcotte / Cynthia Lemaire
Ice Dance Kaitlyn Weaver / Andrew Poje 27/30 Toronto, Ont. / Waterloo, Ont. Sault FSC / Kitchener-Waterloo SC Nikolai Morozov

Update: 2017 Autumn Classic International

2017/04/13 – Skate Canada announced today that the dates for the 2017 Autumn Classic International have been moved forward to September 20-23, 2017. All other logistical information surrounding the event will remain the same. 

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada has announced that the Montreal, Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough, will host two key figure skating events in 2017. For the second consecutive year the Sportplexe Pierrefonds will be the venue for the 2017 Autumn Classic International and the 2018 Skate Canada Challenge.

The 2017 Autumn Classic will run from September 27-30, 2017 and the 2018 Skate Canada Challenge from November 29 – December 3, 2017.

“The Montreal, Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough have been fantastic hosts and we are thrilled to be heading back to the Sportplexe Pierrefonds for two events in 2017,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “Patinage Quebec and the community have been outstanding partners; combined with a tremendous volunteer team, terrific hotels and a fabulous venue we are confident that both of these events will be great successes.”

“I am pleased to welcome in my borough the athletes competing in the 2017 Autumn Classic International and the 2018 Skate Canada Challenge. Montreal is fond of sports and a city that is particularly passionate about winter sports. I am convinced that Montrealers will come in large numbers to support the thrilling performances of some of world’s best figure skaters,” said Dimitrios Jim Beis, Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor and member of the Montreal Executive Committee responsible for supply, sports, recreation and communities of diverse origins.

“We’re delighted to be holding these two high-caliber figure skating competitions in our city once again, as it reaffirms Montreal’s leadership as a choice host city for sporting events. Not only do the 2017 Skate Canada Challenge and the Autumn Classic International reflect Montreal sports events strategy, these competitions will provide significant economic benefits for West Island businesses,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourism Montreal. “Our organization looks forward to working closely with local sporting partners to ensure that all participants enjoy a memorable stay and get a taste of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations!”

The 2017 Autumn Classic International will feature senior events in men, women, pair and ice dance, and junior competition in men and women. Typically, the event will host over 50 entries from over 20 countries.

Over 500 of the best skaters from across Canada will participate in the 2018 Skate Canada Challenge. Skaters qualify to compete through their respective sectional championships.  For novice, junior and senior skaters, this is the only opportunity to qualify for the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. The 2018 Skate Canada Challenge will also see the crowning of the 2018 Canadian Pre-Novice Champions in men, women, pair, and ice dance.

Canada’s Nexxice wins bronze medal at ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships

COLORADO SPRINGS – Consistency paid off for Nexxice from Burlington, Ont., as it won the bronze medal on Saturday at the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships.
Paradise from Russia won the gold medal with 208.70 points, Marigold IceUnity from Finland took silver at 208.58 and the Canadians followed at 197.54. Nexxice ranked fourth for both its short and long programs.

The Finnish team RCKT was third after Friday’s short but ranked sixth in the long and wound up fifth overall behind Haydenettes from USA which climbed from fifth to fourth.

The Nexxice team members were: Cassandra Ablack, Madina Asrorova, Nadine Banholzer, Kelly Britten, Sarah Burns, Laura Emery, Ariana Gould-Tasoojy, Celina Hevesi, Emma Kim, Jamie Kosonic, Jenna Mackenzie, Megan MacLellan, Caroline Marr, Courtney McNaughton, Morgan Dykstra Stang, Kiersten Tietz, Alessandra Toso, Victoria Smith, Taylor Walker and Brooklyn Williamson.

‘’It was an emotion packed skate for us,’’ said Tietz. ‘’It was our best skate and we put our hearts into it.’’

Canada’s second entry, Les Supremes, from St-Léonard, Que., also improved gpoing from ninth to eighth overall with the fifth best long program.

Skating for Les Supremes are: Rebecca Allaire, Katherine Beaucage, Alexandra Bernardo, Audrey-Anne Blouin, Joannie Brazeau, Marie-Ève Comtois, Emma Maria Corona, Alessandra Criscuolo, Laura Désilets, Molly Katherine Farber, Sora Hatano, Ditte Rosa Miranda Louhikoski, Dana Malowany, Agathe Sigrid Merlier, Christina Morin, Alessia Malissa Polletta, Geneviève Rougeau, Claudia Sforzin, Sofya Squalli and Hélène Stojanovski.

Full results: ISU World Synchronized Skating Championship 2017

Photo : Jim Coveart

Canada’s Nexxice fourth after short program at ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships

COLORADO SPRINGS – Canadian champions Nexxice from Burlington, Ont.., is in fourth place after Friday’s short program at the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships.

Paradise from Russia leads the 24-team field with 72.62 with Marigold IceUnity from Finland second at 70.88 and their compatriots RCKT third at 69.18. Nexxice, the 2015 world champions, posted a 67.17 score.

The Nexxice team members are: Cassandra Ablack, Madina Asrorova, Nadine Banholzer, Kelly Britten, Sarah Burns, Laura Emery, Ariana Gould-Tasoojy, Celina Hevesi, Emma Kim, Jamie Kosonic, Jenna Mackenzie, Megan MacLellan, Caroline Marr, Courtney McNaughton, Morgan Dykstra Stang, Kiersten Tietz, Alessandra Toso, Victoria Smith, Taylor Walker and Brooklyn Williamson.

‘’We are very happy with our performance today,’’ said team captain Kiersten Tietz. ’We’re ready to comeback in the free program which we are really excited about.’’
Canada’s second entry, Les Supremes, from St-Léonard, Que., are ninth at 53.61.

Skating for Les Supremes are: Rebecca Allaire, Katherine Beaucage, Alexandra Bernardo, Audrey-Anne Blouin, Joannie Brazeau, Marie-Ève Comtois, Emma Maria Corona, Alessandra Criscuolo, Laura Désilets, Molly Katherine Farber, Sora Hatano, Ditte Rosa Miranda Louhikoski, Dana Malowany, Agathe Sigrid Merlier, Christina Morin, Alessia Malissa Polletta, Geneviève Rougeau, Claudia Sforzin, Sofya Squalli and Hélène Stojanovski.

Competition ends Saturday with the free skate.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1617/wcsys2017/

Photo Credit: Jim Coveart

Canadian synchronized skating teams headed to USA for 2017 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships

OTTAWA, ON: Canada will have two teams competing at the 2017 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships this week from April 7-8 in Colorado Springs, CO, USA. Twenty-four teams from across the world will be competing for the title of world champion.

Nexxice, from the Burlington Skating Centre, and Les Suprêmes, from CPA Saint-Léonard, earned their entries to the world championships winning gold and silver respectively at the 2017 Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships earlier this year in Calgary, Alta.

Nexxice senior, the 2015 World Champions, will be the first Canadian entry. Last season, the representatives of the Burlington Skating Centre placed seventh at this event. This season, they placed fourth at the French Cup and won the gold medal at the Trophy D’Ecosse. The 2017 Canadian champions are coached by Shelley Simonton Barnett and Anne Schelter.

Les Suprêmes senior will be the second Canadian entry. Last year, they placed fifth at this event. This season, Les Suprêmes won the bronze medal at the Leon Lurje trophy in Sweden, and won the silver medal at both the 2017 Canadian championships and the 2017 Budapest Cup. The representatives of CPA Saint-Léonard are coached by Marilyn Langlois, assisted by Pascal Denis and Amélie Brochu.

Karen Robertson of Chelsea, Que., will be the Canadian team leader at the event. Dr. Ed Pilat of Winnipeg, Man., and physiotherapist Shirley Kushner, of Westmount, Que., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Cynthia Alepin of Mount Royal, Que., will be the sole Canadian official at the event.

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director, will also be traveling with the team.

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

For photos of Canadian entries, please contact [email protected]

Guest Blog: Paul Dore reflects on father’s legacy one year after his passing

It’s been almost a year since my father passed away. In that time, several people – athletes, coaches and others from the skating community – have told me stories about how much he personally helped them. Many people are familiar with my father’s contributions to skating throughout the course of his career and are aware of his leadership positions. To me, these two elements help define leadership. The ability to not just have a vision for an entire organization, but also to quietly be aware of the people participating in that vision at all levels and help them succeed with their individual goals. He understood that the more individuals succeed, the more room the sport has to grow and benefit all participants.

Last year, Skate Canada established the David Dore Mentorship Fund to provide an opportunity for a leader in the skating community to participate in the 2017 Ice Summit in Ottawa. The recipient will attend  the summit (all expenses paid) and be able to shadow and participate in a one-on-one Q & A session with a Skate Canada leader.

No one becomes a leader overnight, it’s more an accumulation of experiences and being exposed to mentors. When my dad became President of the Canadian Figure Skating Association (before it became Skate Canada) in 1980, he made a speech outlining his vision of how the organization could develop and grow over the next few decades. This vision came from his many years as an athlete, judge and volunteer. Those years built within him a tremendous respect and appreciation for volunteers and the many people that work tirelessly behind-the-scenes, from the club level to sectional organizations to the national level.

My dad’s first mentors in skating were his coaches, who not only taught him technical skills, but instilled a passion for the sport that would last his entire life. As a judge, he continually sought out more experienced officials and had ongoing discussions with them about how he could improve. My dad spoke often about the many people that taught him leadership skills as he made his way from president to Directer General of Skate Canada. As he retired from Skate Canada to become the Vice President of the International Skating Union, it was important to him to pass along all the experiences he learned to others. He was constantly looking for more mentors and more knowledge.

So, what does this fund mean to me personally? In a letter, my dad wrote, “I have seen life as a journey of exploration. On the road you meet many people – some who can help you directly, some from whom you can learn, but in all cases mentors have been my greatest resource.” I’ve now been involved with skating for almost 30 years as an athlete, coach and television broadcaster. In a similar way to my father, the sport has provided mentors that have significantly impacted my life – from my coaches as a skater all the way up to those I worked with in Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Games. This fund is a way to keep alive what he accomplished in the past, but also, it’s a continuation of his legacy to help those that have the same passion for the sport as my father. To aid in supporting the Skate Canada leaders of today and tomorrow.

If you are one of those leaders, find out more information and apply through the links below.

David Dore Mentorship Fund: https://info.sc3staging.skatecanada.ca/hc/en-ca/categories/115000157183-Skate-Canada-Fund

Podcast Interview: http://www.openkwongdore.com/2017/03/13/episode-29-david-dore-mentorship-fund/

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

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