Six Canadian skaters en route to Cup of China

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send four entries, for a total of six skaters to the fourth stop of the 2019 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series. Cup of China takes place from November 8-10, 2019 in Chongqing, China. Canada will have two entries in men, one entry in pair and one entry in ice dance.

Keegan Messing, 27, Sherwood Park, Alta. / Brantford, Ont., will be the first Canadian entry in men. This will be Messing’s first time competing at Cup of China. Earlier this season, he finished second at Autumn Classic International and fourth at Skate America. He is coached by Ralph Burghart in Anchorage, AK, U.S.

Conrad Orzel, 19, Toronto, Ont., will be the second Canadian entry in men. This season, Conrad finished sixth at Autumn Classic International. He is coached by Tracy Wilson and Brian Orser in Toronto, Ont.

Newly formed pair team Lubov Ilyushechkina, 27, Toronto, Ont., and Charlie Bilodeau, 26, Trois-Pistoles, Que., will be the lone pair team representing Canada. The duo won bronze at Finlandia Trophy and finished fifth at Skate Canada International. They are coached by Richard Gauthier in Saint-Léonard, Que.

Laurence Fournier Beaudry, 27, Montreal, Que., and Nikolaj Sørensen, 30, Montreal, Que., will be the only Canadian entry in ice dance. Earlier this season, the two won gold at ISU Challenger series event Nebelhorn Trophy and bronze at Skate America. They are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer in Montreal, Que.

Gabrielle Daleman, 21, Newmarket, Ont., was originally assigned to this event but has withdrawn. Daleman is suffering post-concussion symptoms and will be unable to travel and compete at Cup of China.

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director and Cynthia Ullmark of Canmore, Alta., will be the team leaders at the event. Dr. Laura Cruz of Toronto, Ont. and physiotherapist Sylvia Ciurysek of Berwyn, Alta., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Cynthia Benson of Quispamsis, N.B., and Andre-Marc Allain of Ottawa, Ont., will be the Canadian officials attending the event.

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Men Keegan Messing 27 Sherwood Park, Alta. / Brantford, Ont. Ice Palace FSC Ralph Burghart
Men Conrad Orzel 19 Toronto, Ont. Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club Tracy Wilson / Brian Orser
Pair Lubov Ilyushechkina / Charlie Bilodeau 27 / 26 Toronto, Ont. / Trois-Pistoles, Que. CPA Saint-Léonard / CPA Chambly Richard Gauthier
Ice Dance Laurence Fournier Beaudry / Nikolaj Sørensen 27 / 30 Montreal, Que. / Montreal, Que. Town of Mount Royal FSC / Town of Mount Royal FSC Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon / Romain Haguenauer

Patrick Chan and Joannie Rochette named Athlete Ambassadors for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2020

OTTAWA, ON: Not that the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2020 needed any more star appeal, but figure skating’s flagship event just got it anyway.

As Montreal, Quebec gets set to welcome the world to the Centre Bell from March 16-22, 2020, a pair of Canadian legends with 16 national titles between them will once again step onto the sport’s grandest stage. Only this time, they’ll be watching from the wings.

Skate Canada today introduced three-time world champion Patrick Chan, who also holds a record ten Canadian titles, and Montreal’s own Joannie Rochette, the 2010 Olympic Winter Games bronze medallist and six-time Canadian champion, as official Athlete Ambassadors for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2020.

As the world championships return to Canada for the first time since 2013, Chan and Rochette, as co-Athlete Ambassadors, will handle speaking engagements and media interviews, conduct appearances on behalf of competing athletes and spend time with the fans who meant so much to them over their careers.

“I am thrilled that the 2020 ISU World Championships are being held in Montreal and very excited to be an ambassador for the event,” says Chan.

“One of my fondest memories in figure skating was when I competed at the 2013 ISU World Championships in London, Ontario. Having the support of a home crowd energized me to be the best I could be and ultimately achieve a gold medal.”

Rochette is ecstatic that the world championships are coming to her hometown for the first time since 1932.

“It means so much to me to be named Athlete Ambassador for the world championships in Montreal,” says Rochette. “Montrealers are known to be welcoming and open to the world and am honoured to represent Skate Canada and all the athletes participating at this incredible event. I wish all the skaters a great week of skating in Montreal and hope they get a chance to see the beautiful city.”

This will mark the second time that Chan and Rochette have served as Athlete Ambassadors as Skate Canada continues to honour the athletes that have contributed so much to its rich and storied history. Most recently, Chan was Athlete Ambassador at the 2018-19 ISU Grand Prix Final and Rochette at 2018 Skate Canada International. Other Athlete Ambassadors at recent Skate Canada events include Kevin Reynolds, Elvis Stojko, Kurt Browning, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, Jeffery Buttle and Shae-Lynn Bourne.

“We are honoured to have Patrick and Joannie as our athlete ambassadors for the world championships. Skate Canada is thrilled to bring the world championships to Montreal and are proud to have alumni like Patrick and Joannie who are incredible role models for not just athletes but for all Canadians,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “Over their careers they have both taken part and won medals at every major skating event and know firsthand the pressures of competition and we know they will help make an unforgettable event for all participants.”

Chan and Rochette need no introduction to figure skating aficionados, in Canada or around the world.

In eight trips to the world championships, Chan stepped onto the podium on five occasions, including three consecutive world titles from 2011 to 2013. In addition to his record ten Canadian championships, he is three-time Olympic medallist, including a gold medal as a member of the winning Canadian squad in the team event at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.

Shortly after those Olympics, Chan announced his retirement from competitive skating and regularly performs in skating shows across Canada. He currently resides in Vancouver and continues to give back to the sport that gave him so much, teaching seminars in the Vancouver area.

Chan’s affection for Vancouver is understandable, considering he won his first national title in the city in 2008 before capturing his final Canadian crown in the city.

“It’s great that the next generation of Canadian figure skaters get that same chance to compete on home soil against the world’s best, and I look forward to welcoming the world to Canada,” Chan adds.

Rochette left her footprint on the heart of a nation at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, with her emotional bronze-medal performance, which led to her being named Female Athlete of the Year by Canadian Press.

In addition to her six Canadian championships, Rochette represented Canada seven times at the world championships, winning silver in 2009. During six career appearances at Skate Canada International, she medalled five times including gold in 2006, 2008 and 2009. In 2017, Skate Canada announced Rochette will be inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame.

These days, Rochette keeps a busy schedule as she continues to attend medical school at McGill University, but the opportunity to have a rink side view of a home world championships was too much to pass up.

“There is nothing quite like representing your country on the international stage. I am sure it will bring back a lot of memories for Patrick and I,” adds Rochette.

Along with an entire country.

The ISU World Figure Skating Championships ® 2020 will offer six different levels of day ticket packages located in the 100 and 200 levels at Centre Bell. To view a venue map please click here.

The Bell Centre ticket system offers two ways to purchase tickets: “best available” or “choose a section” in which the system will offer the best available seat in the specified section (if available). Each day ticket includes access to the daily competition and daily early practice (excluding Sunday’s closed Gala practice).

*All prices are in Canadian dollars.

Fans may add a Super Fan Bag to their ticket order. Super Fan Bags include a souvenir program, commemorative championship pin, premium branded blanket and stylish tote for $110 ($100 ticket + $10 venue fee). Super Fan bags are available for pre-order until November 1, 2019.

Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 1-877-668-8269 or in person at the Centre Bell Box Office.

The ISU World Figure Skating Championships is an annual event that moves around the globe, attracting more than 300 million television viewers worldwide showcasing the 200 best athletes from 50 countries in four disciplines: men, women, pair and ice dance. An event of this magnitude could not take place without the contribution of the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the City of Montreal and Montreal Tourism.

The 2020 world championships will mark Canada’s 11th time hosting, a second for Montreal. Montreal last hosted the championships in 1932, the very first time Canada hosted the event. Canada last hosted the event in London, Ontario, in 2013.

Three Canadian Synchronized Skating teams headed to U.S. for California Cup

OTTAWA, ON: Three Canadian synchronized skating teams are headed to the 2019 California Cup in Irvine, California, U.S.A., from November 6-9, 2019. The event is an annual International Skating Union (ISU) sanctioned synchronized skating competition and Canada will be represented by Les Suprêmes senior, Nova senior and NEXXICE junior.

Canadian Synchronized Skating champions, Nova senior, Club de Patinage Synchronise Nova, will be the first of two Canadian entries in senior. Last season, they finished seventh at the 2019 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships. The team is coached by Marie France Sirois.

Les Suprêmes senior, CPA Saint-Leonard, will be the second Canadian entry in senior. Last season, the team finished third at the 2019 Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships. They are coached by Marilyn Langlois, Pascal Denis and Amelie Brochu.

NEXXICE junior, Burlington Skating Centre, will be the lone Canadian entry in junior. At the 2019 ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships, the team finished eighth. They are coached by Trish Perdue-Mills.

Mary Ellen McDonald, Senior Director, Operations, and Laura Baker of Ottawa, Ont., will be the team leaders at the event. Diane Kamagianis of Mission, B.C., will be the Canadian judge attending the event.

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Ruest and Wolfe earn Canada’s best result at ISU Grand Prix

GRENOBLE, France – Camille Ruest and Drew Wolfe earned Canada’s best result on Saturday at the ISU Grand Prix with a sixth place finish in pairs and a personal best score.

Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov led Russia to a 1-2 finish with Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier of the U.S. third.

Ruest, from Rimouski, Que., and Wolfe, from Calgary, equaled their result from Skate America two weeks ago with a sixth place but bettered their overall score to 166.15, a two pint improvement on their previous best set in a fifth place finish at last year’s Grand Prix in France.

“There were some technical mistakes we had to deal but overall we’re happy with both programs,” said Wolfe. “We showed some great quality lifts, improvements in our twist and bettered our component scores.”

In men’s competition the top-three remained the same with two-time world champion Nathan Chen of the U.S. first with 297.16 points. Alexander Samarin of Russia took the silver at 265.10 and Kevin Aymoz of France was third at 254.64.

Nicolas Nadeau of Boisbriand, Que., opened with triple Axel triple toe combo on route to the sixth best free skate to climb from ninth to seventh overall.

“I was really frustrated with my short program, so I’m happy I was able to redeem myself with the long,” said Nadeau, seventh at Skate Canada International last week. “I did full on plan A in my free. I got all my spins levels, I didn’t let go of any points, did all my stuff and I’m really happy with how it turned out.”

Nadeau was also pleased with the progress of his quad toe.

“It’s not very stable right now, it’s my Hail Mary jump,” he said. “It was on two feet today, but I was still up and my butt didn’t touch the ice.”

World champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won the ice dance competition with 222.24. Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. were second at 204.84 and Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy were third at 203.34.

Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver remained seventh at 175.80.

“We gave two performances we were proud of,” said Soucisse. “It wasn’t the scores we wanted but we really have something to build on.”

The fourth stop on the circuit is next Friday and Saturday in China.

Full results: ISU GP Internationaux de France de Patinage 2019

Canadians in seventh at Grand Prix in France

GRENOBLE, France – Canadians are seventh in pairs and ice dancing after Friday’s short programs at the Internationaux de France, the third stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

In ice dancing, world champions, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France are in first place after the rhythm dance with 88.69 points followed by Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. at 80.69. Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy are third at 79.65.

Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver are in seventh place.

“It was a good performance, pretty much how it was in training,” Firus told @GoldenSkate “We skated with good energy and the crowd was great. The room for improvement is huge.”

Russians are 1-2 in pairs after the short program led by Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin in first. Camille Ruest of Rimouski, Que., and Andrew Wolfe of Calgary sit in seventh place.

In men’s competition, two-time world champion Nathan Chen of the U.S. compiled 102.48 points for top spot after the short. Alexander Samarin of Russia is second at 98.48 and Kevin Aymoz of France third at 82.50.

Nicolas Nadeau of Blainville, Que., is ninth.

Canada has no entries in the women’s event.

Competition ends Saturday with the free skates.

Full results: ISU GP Internationaux de France de Patinage 2019