Phan surges to fourth at world juniors

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Joseph Phan of Laval, Que., rocketed from 14th after the short program to fourth overall with a solid free skate in the men’s event Saturday at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

When the ice chips settled, Phan came within less than a point of the podium for Canada’s second heartbreaking fourth place finish this week.

Russia was 1-2 with Alexev Erokhov first at 231.52 and Artur Danielan second at 218.76. Matteo Rizzo of Italy was third at 211.58 and Phan earned 210.91. Alexei Krasnozhon of the U.S., the leader after the short, withdrew from the free skate.

“I was confident I would move up but I wasn’t expecting 10 spots,” said Phan, 16, who ranked third for his free skate. “There were some minor mistakes like some steps outs I usually don’t do. I fought my way through the program and I’m really proud of it.”

Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., gained two spots for 13th.

In women’s competition, Alexandra Trusova led Russia to a 1-2 finish.

Aurora Cotop of Toronto also made a nice gain in the standings rising from 21st to 17th.

“It’s the best I could have done for today,” said Cotop. “There were some elements that I hoped would be better but overall it was a great experience.”

Full results: ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2018

Lajoie and Lagha fourth in close ice dance competition at world juniors

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., placed fourth Friday in ice dancing at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

Lajoie and Lagha were second after Wednesday’s short dance. They delivered the fifth best free dance and missed the podium by a mere 0.66 points.

‘’We did everything we could and we skated well,’’ said Lagha. ‘’The performance caps a strong season for us in which we really improved technically.’’

Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin of Russia won the gold medal with 155.15 points. Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko of the U.S. were second at 147.68 and Arina Ushakova and Maxim Nekrasov of Russia were third at 146.88.

Lajoie and Lagha followed at 146.22. Less than two points separated second from fifth.

‘’The free dance went super well for us,’’ said Lajoie. ‘’We were in the moment and managed the stress. We achieved our goal by being in the mix for a spot on the podium.’’

Olivia McIsaac of Burlington, Ont., and Elliott Graham of Angus, Ont., were 12th.

‘’Regardless of the small mistakes it was a really good experience,’’ said McIsaac.

In women’s competition, Russia is 1-2 after the short program with Alexandra Trusova in first place and Alena Kostornaia second.

Fifteen-year-old Aurora Cotop of Toronto is in 21st place.

‘’This past season has been inconsistent for me,’’ said Cotop. ‘But today I felt I came close to representing the program the way I wanted. For the long I want to get in that zone that I have in training.’’

Competition ends Saturday with the men’s and women’s free skates.

Full results: ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2018

2018 David Dore Mentorship Fund: APPLY

Planning, Flexibility and Responsibility

by Paul Dore

A few months ago, I received a package from Skate Canada Archivist Emery Leger. Inside was a stack of speeches my father David Dore made in the 1980s and 1990s. My father was the Director General of Skate Canada and then Vice-President of the International Skating Union (ISU). He was first known as a great public speaker during his time at Skate Canada, who was able to clearly communicate his direction of the sport in this country. Through strong leadership, my father had a vision of what could be accomplished. There was a common thread throughout these speeches; he continually outlined three elements he felt were essential to being a successful leader: planning, flexibility and responsibility.

In order to achieve success, it was crucial for my father to have a clear path forward. During his time at Skate Canada and the International Skating Union, he was always prepared and always planning – most of the time years in advance. While planning was important, he also stressed the need to be flexible. Times change, and as we all know, the sport of figure skating can evolve rapidly. A plan must be in place, but the ability to adapt, change and adjust that plan was key to success. Finally, a leader must take responsibility for their actions. People involved with the sport did not always agree with my father and he respected and welcomed other’s opinions, but a leader must not be afraid to make unpopular decisions. They might be unpopular in the moment, but together with planning and flexibility, a strong leader must have one eye on what is best in both the long and short term.

I think these elements of leadership were part of the motivation to establish the David Dore Mentorship Fund. Skate Canada is dedicated to recognizing positive leaders who exemplify these same leadership traits at the community, club, section and national level. The Mentorship Fund enables a Skate Canada member, coach, official or administrator to further enhance their leadership skills by attending the Skate Canada Ice Summit for a unique educational and networking experience.

Last year, I had the privilege of being involved in the selection of the first two recipients of the David Dore Mentorship Fund. Megan Foster is from Brandon, Manitoba, is a coach and Regional Sport Development Officer for Sport Manitoba. Amanda Gryniewski is from Mississauga, Ontario and an official with Skate Ontario.

“I was fortunate to shadow Debra Armstrong during the Ice Summit,” Megan said. “It was really neat to see such a strong leader in action during a presentation and within an hour have everyone on the same page and on the same goal.”

As a judge, Amanda enjoyed being mentored by officials with international experience: “During the workshops, I got to present with [International Judge] Sally Rehorick, which was amazing. It was about what officials are doing when they’re not holding a clipboard. Sally gave me the opportunity to speak and I talked about own experiences as a judge and leadership among young people, which I think is very important to our sport.”

On the last day of the 2017 Ice Summit, I was able to meet Megan and Amanda. The excitement over their experiences during their time in Ottawa was palpable. “After spending time with Debra at the Ice Summit,” Megan commented, “it’s almost a little overwhelming to think of how to apply what I’ve learned and what would have the most impact to my community.”

Amanda was already thinking of how to capitalize on her time at the Ice Summit: “I went to one of the workshops taught by a referee and I learned a lot about the rules that I didn’t know even as a skater. I also went to some of the coaching seminars and I got to learn from this different perspective. I hope that when I go back to my club, I can inspire some of the younger kids to get involved with judging as well.”

Megan and Amanda both exemplify planning, flexibility and leadership. After learning about their experiences, perhaps you are a future recipient of the David Dore Mentorship Fund? If this sounds like you, we encourage you to apply today to attend the 2018 Ice Summit in Calgary, Alberta.

Returning to that stack of speeches, my father always reminded himself and those he was speaking to of these principles:

“Let not the dream of every young skater remain only as a dream. Savour the friendships and memories – ours is a sport unique in comradeship and moments of greatness. Allow that our involvement always be motivated by positive intents and cooperative action. Let us have pride in our young athletes and recognize the support of volunteers, parents, coaches and administrators. Last but not least, let us not forget that this sport involves to a great extent the young people of this nation, their mental and physical development and well-being, as well as their aspirations and goals.”

To hear more from Amanda and Megan, watch this video where they go into more details about their experience at the 2017 Ice Summit.

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

2018 David Dore Mentorship Fund:

Walsh and Michaud finish sixth in pairs at world juniors

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Despite a recent injury, Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Trenton, Ont., earned a personal best score and took sixth spot in pairs on Thursday at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

Russia swept the medals with Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin winning gold, Polina Kostiukovich and Dmitrii Ialin the silver and Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galiamov the bronze.

Walsh and Michaud scored 158.96 more than a five-point improvement over their previous best set last season. Walsh sprained her ankle three weeks ago, which cost some valuable training time for the pair.

‘’We had some obstacles to overcome going into this event so we feel great with the skate,’’ said Walsh. ‘’That’s the best we could have done with the circumstances we were facing.’’

The injury put their participation in peril.

‘’It was touch and go,’’ said Michaud. ‘’We’re proud of each other and our team that helped us get here.’’
Lori-Anne Matte and Thierry Ferland of Levis, Que., also had injury issues this season and gained a spot to place ninth.

‘’It was our best free skate this season,’’ said Matte, who suffered a broken elbow earlier this season and will have a screw removed in surgery next week. ‘’We were ready and confident and just duplicated what we’ve been doing in practice.’’

In men’s competition, Joseph Phan of Laval, Que., and Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., are 14th and 15th after the short program. Alexei Krasnozhon of the U.S. leads.

‘’It was quite rough,’’ said Phan, 16. “I had trouble with my skates in my warm-up and I think that affected me in my program. I couldn’t focus and attack like I’m able too.’’

Orzel also wasn’t satisfied with his skate.

‘’I was quite disappointed with how I skated,’’ he said. ‘’I made a lot of silly mistakes which should not be happening at this point in my career.’’

On Friday, Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., go for a medal in the free dance. They were second in Wednesday’s short dance.

The women’s short program is also on Friday. The men’s free skate is Saturday.

Full results: ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2018

Lajoie and Lagha stand second after short dance at world juniors

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., are in second place after Wednesday’s short dance at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

Three of the top-four are Russian couples. Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin lead with 66.44, Lajoie and Lagha follow at 62.39 and Arina Ushakova and Maxim Nekrasov are third at 61.29.

‘’Overall it went very well, we managed our stress levels,’’ said Lajoie, 17. ‘’We have to stay calm and not get too excited about our current placing for the free dance.’’

This is a third world junior appearance for Lajoie and Lagha. They were 13th two years ago and sixth last season.

Olivia McIsaac of Burlington, Ont., and Elliott Graham of Angus, Ont., are 12th.

Russia is 1-2 in pairs after the short program with Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin first at 63.12 and Polina Kostiukovich and Dmitrii Ialin second at 61.77. Yumeng Gao and Zhong Xie of China are third at 59.55.

Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Strathroy, Ont., are fifth at 55.31 and Lori-Anne Matte and Thierry Ferland of Levis, Que., are 10th.

‘’We felt like we had a solid skate out there but left a few point son the table,’’ said Walsh. ‘’We really wanted to show here how much we’ve improved our skating skills.’’

Matte and Ferland were hoping to be higher in the standings.

‘’We made some errors that cost us but overall we’re pleased with the performance,’’ said Matte. ‘’We had really good energy from start to finish.’’

Competition continues Thursday with the free skate in pairs and the men’s short program. The free dance is on Friday.

Full results:

Canadian junior skaters in Bulgaria for the 2018 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada has seven entries, for a total of 11 skaters competing at the 2018 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships, taking place in Sofia, Bulgaria, from March 5-11. Canada will have two entries per discipline in men, pairs and ice dance, one entry in ladies. Competition begins Wednesday, March 7, with the short dance and pairs short program.

Joseph Phan, 16, Laval, Que., is the first of two Canadian entries in men’s. Phan placed fourth in Australia and won silver in Croatia on the ISU Junior Grand Prix this season. He is coached by Yvan Desjardins in Rosemère, Que.

Conrad Orzel, 17, Woodbridge, Ont., will be the second Canadian entry in men. Orzel placed seventh in Austria and won the bronze in Poland on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit this season. He is coached by Eva Najarro and trains in Richmond Hill, Ont.

Aurora Cotop, 15, Toronto, Ont., will represent Canada in ladies. This season, she placed seventh in Australia and ninth in Poland on the ISU Grand Prix. Cotop is coached by Jonathan Mills and Myke Gillman in Thornhill, Ont.

Evelyn Walsh, 16, London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud, 21, Trenton, Ont., are one of two Canadian pairs competing at this event. This season, they won the bronze medal in Latvia and placed fourth in Croatia on the ISU Junior Grand Prix. Walsh and Michaud are coached by Alison Purkiss and Margaret Purdy, and train in London, Ont.

Canadian junior champions Lori-Anne Matte, 18, Lévis, Que., and Thierry Ferland, 20, Lévis, Que., are the second Canadian pairs entry at the event. Matte and Ferland placed eighth in Belarus and 12th in Poland on the ISU Junior Grand Prix this season. They are coached by Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte in St. Leonard, Que.

Canadian junior champions Marjorie Lajoie, 17, Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha, 18, Greenfield Park, Que., are the first of two Canadian ice dance entries. This season on the ISU Grand Prix circuit, Lajoie and Lagha won the silver medal in Australia, gold in Croatia and placed sixth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final. They train in Montreal, Que., with coaches Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer and Pascal Denis.

Canadian junior silver medallists Olivia McIsaac, 16, Burlington, Ont., and Elliott Graham, 19, Angus, Ont., are the second Canadian ice dance entry at the event. McIsaac and Graham placed fourth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Poland this season. McIsaac and Graham are coached by David Islam in Barrie, Ont.

André Bourgeois, Skate Canada NextGen Director, and Khorana Séa-Alphonse, Skate Canada NextGen Coordinator, will be the Canadian team leaders at the event. Dr. Ghislaine Robert of Montreal, Que., and physiotherapist Mireille Landry of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Karen Butcher of Greely, Ont., will be the sole Canadian official at the event.

For results and full entries please visit


Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Men Joseph Phan 16 Laval, Que. CPA Laval Yvan Desjardins
Men Conrad Orzel 17 Woodbridge, Ont. York Region Skating Academy Eva Najarro
Ladies Aurora Cotop 15 Toronto, Ont. Thornhill FSC Jonathan Mills/ Myke Gillman
Pairs Evelyn Walsh / Trennt Michaud 16/21 London, Ont. / Strathroy, Ont. London SC / Prince Edward SC Alison Purkiss / Margaret Purdy
Pairs Lori-Anne Matte / Thierry Ferland 18/20 Lévis, Que. / Lévis, Que., CPA St. Romuald – St. Jean / CPA St. Romuald – St. Jean Richard Gauthier / Bruno Marcotte
Ice Dance Marjorie Lajoie / Zachary Lagha 17/18 Boucherville, Que. / Greenfield Park, Que. CPA De Boucherville/ CPA St. Lambert Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon / Romain Haguenauer / Pascal Denis
Ice Dance Olivia McIsaac / Elliott Graham 16/19 Burlington, Ont. / Angus, Ont. Burlington Skating Centre / Barrie SC David Islam