World and Olympic champion Eric Radford vying for spot on ISU Athletes’ Commission

OTTAWA, ON – Eric Radford may have retired from competitive figure skating last year, but the two-time world champion and three-time Olympic medallist wants to remain an integral part of the sport he is so passionate about.

Radford, who is also a seven-time Canadian pair champion, will bid for a spot on the International Skating Union’s Athletes’ Commission when secret-ballot voting takes place at the 2019 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan from March 18-24.

The Commission is made up of five athletes – one each from singles/pair, ice dance, synchronized skating, short track and long track speedskating disciplines.

“I’m excited and honoured to be running for the ISU athlete representative position as the sport of figure skating is close to my heart and the Olympic ice is fresh in my memory,” says Radford, who enjoyed paramount success in pair skating but also skated singles early in his career.

“Our sport is in a constant state of evolution and my goal is to ensure the athlete’s voices will be heard as new directions are taken. I dedicated so many years to achieving the highest possible level in this amazing sport and I’d be honoured if given the opportunity to apply my focus to this position.”

Radford and partner Meagan Duhamel formed one of the most successful teams in Canadian pair skating history. In addition to back-to-back world titles in 2015 and 2016, Duhamel and Radford won seven consecutive Canadian pair championships between 2012 and 2018. They were also two-time Four Continents champions (2015, 2013) and the 2014-15 ISU Grand Prix Final champions. At the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games in 2018, Duhamel and Radford put the finishing touches on an outstanding career by helping Canada to a gold medal in the team event and adding bronze in the pairs event.

“We are honoured to endorse Eric’s bid for a seat on the ISU’s Athletes’ Commission,” says Debra Armstrong, Skate Canada’s Chief Executive Officer. “During his career, Eric was a national, world and Olympic champion, and is an outstanding ambassador for figure skating, both in Canada and around the world. We have no doubt Eric will excel in this role if he is elected and will do an outstanding job promoting our athletes and our sport.”

“Having competed internationally in both singles and pairs I know I have the insight and experience to give the athletes a strong voice within the ISU,” adds Radford. “I believe I have the experience to add so much to the sport, and I would be honoured to be a voice for these outstanding athletes. I look forward to getting to the table right away if I am elected.”

Canadians stand first after rhythm dance at ISU World Juniors

ZAGREB, Croatia – Canada’s Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha are in first place after Thursday’s rhythm dance at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

Lajoie and Lagha, fourth last year, earned 70.14 points for their tango to place ahead of three Russian couples. Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva and Nikita Nazarov are second at 68.69 and Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko are third at 67.56.

“It was very stressful,” said Lagha, from Greenfield Park, Que. “The short program is always the hardest. We gave a good showing of what we’ve been working on.”

Lajoie, from Boucherville, Que., kept focused on the performance.

“I wanted to feel like it was just another competition,” she said. “I didn’t want to think about the name ‘world juniors’ and just concentrate on my skating.”

Alicia Fabbri of Terrebonne, Que., and Paul Ayer of Brossard, Que., are 11th.

“We’re very proud to be here after eight months of hard work,” said Fabbri. “We stayed in character today and kept connected through the whole program.”

The free skate in pairs was held later with Russia going 1-2-3 with Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov winning the gold.

Brooke McIntosh of Etobicoke, Ont., and Brandon Toste of Mississauga, Ont., were 10th and Gabrielle Levesque of Bridgewater, N.S., and Pier- Alexandre Hudon of St-Roc-des-Aulunaies Que., 15th.

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

Full results:

Canadians in logjam in men’s medals hunt at ISU World Junior Championships

ZAGREB, Croatia – Less than six points separate the top-10, which includes Canadians Joseph Phan and Stephen Gogolev, after the men’s short program which kicked-off the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships on Wednesday.

The Americans are 1-2 with Camden Pulkinen first at 82.41 and Tomoki Hiwatashi second at 81.50. Daniel Grassl of Italy is third at 81.19.

Phan of Laval, Que., looking to improve on last year’s fourth place, is sixth at 77.89 and Gogolev, the junior Grand Prix Final champion, is 10th at 77.00. There are 37 entries and the top-24 advanced to Friday’s free skate.

In his short, the 17-year-old Phan touched down with his hand on his triple Axel and also landed his triple flip and triple Lutz-tripe toe combo.

Gogolev, 14, from Toronto cleanly landed the same three jumps as Phan.

“It was a bit shaky in the beginning but I thought it was good,” said Gogolev. “I tried to approach it as a normal competition. I think I need to settle down a bit more for the free so I can be calmer.”

In pairs, Russian teams are 1-2-3 after the short led by Polina Kostiukovich and Dmitrii Ialin in first.

Brooke McIntosh of Etobicoke, Ont., and Brandon Toste of Mississauga, Ont., are 10th and Gabrielle Levesque of Bridgewater, N.S., and Pier-Alexandre Hudon of St-Roc-des-Aulunaies Que., are 15th.

Competition continues Thursday with the rhythm dance and the pairs free skate.

Full results:


Written by Paul Dore

Skating is in my blood. Exactly thirty years ago, I laced up my first pair of skates. On that day, I fell and hit my head, resulting in a goose egg-sized bump above my left eye (wearing helmets was not yet enforced the way it is nowadays). I didn’t really feel the pain because all I was thinking about was the next time I could get out on the ice.

One fortunate element to our Canadian winters is the wide access to outdoor rinks. I live in Toronto and almost every city park has one. To this day, I still trek to my local rink, brave the cold, and step on to the ice. Getting exercise is a great by-product, but I’m also there for other reasons.

The rink is where I seek council from my father.

Many times, when I had to make a big decision, I’d call my dad. We’d bat things around, brainstorm my different options, and always come away with a plan. Those of you who knew my dad, knew he loved to plan things out. We wouldn’t always agree, but we respected each other’s decisions. No matter what, we’d support each other.

My dad has been gone for three years now. For a while, I felt lost. I deeply missed these conversations, and at times, it was difficult to figure out a way forward. Then one day, I realized that I could talk to him. We all hold our loved ones in our hearts and have places we can go that reminds us of them. For me, it’s the skating rink.

Being involved with figure skating is much more than a sport, it’s a community. A family. When my dad first stepped on the ice as a child to help rehabilitate his body while recovering from polio, it started a journey for him that lasted his entire life. As a competitor, a judge, volunteer, administrator, and International Skating Union delegate, it’s safe to say my dad was involved with every aspect of the sport. He recognized that skating is a community of people participating in something larger than themselves.

During his tenure as President of Skate Canada (then the Canadian Figure Skating Association), it was always important to him to visit each section, and as many clubs as he could fit into his schedule. He understood the value of connecting all clubs and skaters across the country to the head office. Likewise, when he extended his influence internationally, developing the sport outside of the traditional powerhouse countries was an important goal for him.

He believed in the power of sport and I think this came from a personal place. He recognized and valued how skating had enriched his life. In many ways, his true legacy was in developing opportunities for others to have similar experiences.

This is a big reason why I am so proud to be a part of Skate Canada’s David Dore Mentorship Fund. I believe that it is a continuation of his work. The purpose of the fund is to provide an opportunity for a Skate Canada coach, official, volunteer, or administrator at the club, section or national level to develop leadership skills. The recipient attends the Ice Summit and is matched up with mentors.

Recently, I had someone outside the skating community ask what I thought skating had taught me. I had to think about it because it’s not a short answer. I learned how to be responsible for myself, how to manage myself and my time, what it means to commit to something larger than myself, how to set goals – the list goes on. These items were all very nice and true. However, I think the biggest lesson came from my dad. It wasn’t necessarily something he told me. It was evident in how he lived his life. Search for that thing – whatever it is – that you are supposed to do. Something that provides passion and purpose. For those fortunate enough to find that discovery, dedicate the whole self to it – your focus, your talents, your emotions. With the Mentorship Fund, we hope to inspire individuals to fuel their passion and find their place in the skating community.

But still, at different times in our lives, we all need council, guidance, and mentorship. When I need it, I go to the skating rink. I’ll think to myself, “Alright, here’s the situation…” I can hear his voice as my blades cut across the ice. I can see him leaning over the boards watching. I can feel him in my heart.

To learn more about the David Dore Mentorship Fund, watch this video of past recipients expressing their experience at the 2017 Ice Summit.  If you are one of those leaders, further information and the application can be found at the below link. APPLY TODAY!

Lubov Ilyushechkina and Charlie Bilodeau to compete in pairs together

OTTAWA, ON: Lubov Ilyushechkina, 27, Toronto, Ont., and Charlie Bilodeau, 25, Trois-Pistoles, Que., have formed a new skating partnership and will compete for Canada in the pairs discipline. Both skaters have previously been on the Canadian national team and have competed internationally with different partners.

“I’m looking forward to our partnership with a lot of enthusiasm, inspiration and excitement. I’m thankful for being given this opportunity to realize my stored potential. Figure skating and performing fulfills my life with joy, satisfaction, personal growth, and ambition. Combining our personalities and experiences will help us grow into a powerful and competitive pair team with its own unique style and image. Charlie and I are now connected through figure skating, it’s a fresh start and a new chapter in our lives,” said Ilyushechkina.

“Teaming up with Lubov allows me to finally return to competition which makes me excited. I truly believe in our potential and our chemistry on the ice. Our partnership is exactly what I needed to motivate me to pursue my dreams and to keep working hard until the 2022 Olympics Games in Beijing. It’s a new start that fuels my ambitions,” explained Bilodeau.
Ilyushechkina has relocated to Montreal where she and Bilodeau will train with coaches Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte.

Ilyushechkina and Bilodeau both did not compete this season. Ilyushechkina recently finished a contract with Cirque du Soleil as an on-ice performer. Her previous skating partner was Dylan Moscovitch, whom retired in April 2018. Bilodeau was previously partnered with Julianne Séguin, with whom he finished in ninth place at the 2018 Olympic Games. The couple ended their partnership in the summer of 2018.

Please note that Ilyushechkina and Bilodeau will take the next few weeks to practice together and will be available for the media on Monday, April 1st. Footage of them training on-ice as well as individual interviews will then be possible. More information (and confirmation) will be sent to media in due time.

For more information about the new pair, please contact:

Camille Asselin
[email protected]
514 507-6299

Marie-Anik L’Allier
[email protected]

Canadian junior skaters in Croatia for the 2019 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada has seven entries, for a total of 11 skaters competing at the 2019 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships, taking place in Zagreb, Croatia, from March 4-10, 2019. Canada will have two entries per discipline in men, pair and ice dance, one entry in women. Competition begins Wednesday, March 6 with the men’s and pair’s short programs.

Stephen Gogolev, 14, Toronto, Ont., will be one of two Canadian entries in the men’s category. Gogolev won gold at the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final and won the silver medal at the 2019 national championships in the senior category. He is coached by Lee Barkell in Toronto, Ont.

Joseph Phan, 17, Laval, Que., will also compete in the men’s category. Phan finished fourth at the 2019 national championships in the senior category. Last season, Joseph placed 4th at the 2018 World Junior Championships. He is coached by Brian Orser and Ghislain Briand in Toronto, Ont.

Alison Schumacher, 16, Tecumseh, Ont., will be representing Canada in the women’s discipline. This season, she placed 7th at the 2019 national championships in the senior category. She is coached by Lee Barkell in Toronto, Ont.

Brooke McIntosh, 13, Etobicoke, Ont., and Brandon Toste, 16, Mississauga, Ont., will be the first of two Canadian entries in pairs. The two won a silver medal at the 2019 national championships in the junior category. They are coached by Andrew Evans in Mississaugua, Ont..

Gabrielle Levesque, 16, Bridgewater, N.S., and Pier-Alexandre-Hudon, 20, Saint-Roc-Des-Aulnaires, Que., will be the second pair representing Canada. The team took home the bronze medal at the 2019 national championships in the junior category. They are coached by Charleen Cameron in St. Margaret’s Bay, NS.

Canadian junior champions Marjorie Lajoie, 18, Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha, 19, St-Hubert, Que., are one of two Canadian ice dance teams competing at this event. The two won gold at JGP Canada, silver at JGP Austria to qualify for the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final where they placed fourth. They are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer in Montreal, Que.

Canadian junior silver medalists Alicia Fabbri, 16, Terrbonne, Que., and Paul Ayer, 20, Brossard, Que., will be the second ice dance team representing Canada. The two are coached by Julien Lalonde in Longeuil, Que.

André Bourgeois, Skate Canada NextGen Director, and Manon Perron of Boucherville, Que., will be the Canadian team leaders at the event. Dr. Ed Pilat of Winnipeg, Man., and physiotherapist Josiane Roberge, of Sillery, Que., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Reaghan Fawcette-Fortin of Aurora, Ont., and Karen Butcher of Greely, Ont., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

For results and full entries, please visit The event will be live streamed by CBC with some of the event being shown on television, please check your local listings for dates and times.


Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Men Stephen Gogolev 14 Toronto, Ont. Toronto Cricket, Skating & Curling Club Lee Barkell
Men Joseph Phan 17 Laval, Que. CPA Laval Brian Orser, Ghislain Briand
Women Alison Schumacher 16 Tecumseh, Ont. Toronto Cricket, Skating & Curling Club Lee Barkell
Pairs Brooke McIntosh / Brandon Toste 13/16 Etobicoke, Ont. / Mississauga, Ont. Canadian Ice Academy Andrew Evans
Pairs Gabrielle Levesque / Pier-Alexandre-Hudon 16/20 Bridgewater, NS / Saint-Roc-Des-Aulunaies, Que. St. Margaret’s Bay SC Charleen Cameron
Ice Dance Marjorie Lajoie / Zachary Lagha 18/19 Boucherville, Que. / St-Hubert, Que. Montreal International Skating School Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer
Ice Dance Alicia Fabbri / Paul Ayer 16/20 Terrebonne, Que. / Brossard, Que. CPA Terrebonne / Calalta Calgary Julien Lalonde

Packed house for thrilling final day of figure skating at Canada Winter Games

RED DEER, Alberta – So long, Red Deer.

With a standing-room only crowd on hand for most of the day as the figure skating competition came to a close at the Canada Winter Games Thursday, one thing seems certain: the future of Canadian skating is in good hands.

It was the daily double for Team Alberta in singles figure skating, with Matthew Newnham taking novice men’s gold and Kaiya Ruiter finishing atop the novice women’s podium.

Trailing Team B.C.’s Wesley Chiu by more than nine points after the short program, Newnham rebounded with a spectacular free, scoring 91.54 points for a 130.23 total. Chiu finished second at 123.05 followed by Ontario’s Rio Morita.

“The short wasn’t that good, so I’m really happy I was able to bounce back,” said Newnham. “I am thrilled. Alberta has been supporting me through this whole experience, and I’m happy I could win a gold medal for us at home.”

Canadian novice women’s champion Ruiter capped off a dominating performance by earning 76.05 in her free program to total 125.91 for the competition.  Gabriella Guo of Ontario finished in the silver medal position and Mélaurie Boivin of Quebec claimed bronze.

“Every time I go out there, I just want to do the best I can,” said Ruiter. “I can’t describe the feeling I have right now. To have so many people cheering for me, it’s unbelievable. I just want to thank everyone – my coaches, my family, my friends, everyone who supports me. I couldn’t do it without them.”

Canadian novice ice dance silver medallists Kiera Kam and Mathew Carter of Team B.C. captured gold with a near-flawless free dance that earned them a 66.67 score and an overall score of 95.51, narrowly beating Ontario’ Sydney Embro and Eric Millar at 94.19. Isabel McQuilkin and Jacob Portz of Alberta took home bronze.

“I can’t really believe it right now, I’m stunned,” said Kam. “I think this will boost our confidence for moving up to junior (next year). We’ve really improved this year, and we’re very happy with what we did here.”

“I didn’t expect to come to the Canada Games, so to come here and finish first, I’m very excited,” added Carter. “This should give us a lot of confidence for next year.”

In novice pairs, Quebec’s Jamie Fournier and Gabriel Farand, who won gold at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in January, moved one step higher on the podium to win gold with 110.25. Caidence Derenisky amd Raine Eberl of Saskatchewan earned silver, while the bronze went to Mackenzie Ripley and Owen Brawley from Ontario.

“Usually we skate for each other, but we skated for our province here,” said Farand. “It means a lot to get a win for Team Quebec.”

“I’m really proud of what we did because we were a bit down after Canadians,” added Fournier. “I think this will be a great learning experience for us moving forward.”

“I think our mindset was to do what we’ve been doing all season,” said Eberl, who teamed with Dereninsky to take novice pair silver. “To compete on this stage, at the national level, it’s an eye-opening experience.”

“The crowd was super loud, and I was a little nervous,” admitted Derenisky. “It’s been such a great time here and we are really happy with the result.”

The Special Olympics Women’s Level III medals were also handed out Thursday, with gold going to Laurence Blondeau of Quebec, Jessica Cranton on Nova Scotia winning silver and New Brunswick’s Molly Kane securing bronze.

“On the ice, I feel unstoppable”: Special Olympians stealing hearts in Red Deer

For final competition results, visit the Canada Winter Games figure skating page.