Dear members and registrants,
Recognizing the need to have open dialogues about race, to listen to the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), and to keep our community engaged. Join us tonight, Tuesday, January 19, 2021, for Skate Canada’s first Talking About Race in Skating Panel at 7pm ET. This virtual panel will be available for all community members to watch and will be recorded for later viewing.
The virtual panel will feature BIPOC voices in skating discussing why talking about race will strengthen our community. The virtual panel will feature:
Uzoma Asagwara (they/their) – Asagwara will act as the moderator for the panel. They are a former basketball player with the University of Winnipeg and the Canadian National Basketball team. They are currently an elected MLA in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba and a leading activist and voice for social justice.
Elladj Baldé (he/him) – Baldé was a member of the Canadian figure skating team from 2007 to 2018 and was the 2008 Canadian Junior Champion. He retired as a competitor in 2018. Baldé is founder of Skate Global, and co-founder and President of the Figure Skating Diversity & Inclusion Alliance (FSDIA).
Patrick Chan (he/him) – Chan is the most decorated male figure skater in Canadian history with three Olympic medals, three world championship crowns, and 10 Canadian titles. He retired from the competitive sphere in 2018 and currently provides coaching and choreography services in the Vancouver area.
Vanessa James (she/her) – James is a French-Canadian pair skater. She has represented France at two Olympic Winter Games, most recently placing 5th in 2018. James is a Global Ambassador for the Figure Skating Diversity & Inclusion Alliance (FSDIA).
Andrea Satar (she/her) – Satar is an active member of the synchronized skating community for the last 20 years. From 2005-2007, she competed with Black Ice, one of Canada’s most decorated synchronized skating teams. She currently works in the finance industry and is also a Skate Canada coach and section volunteer.
Megan Wing (she/her) – Wing is an Olympic ice dancer and was prominent on the Canadian ice dance scene for more than a decade, finishing on the Canadian podium for ten consecutive years from 1997 to 2006. In 2006, she retired from competitive skating, and remains active in the sport as one of Canada’s top ice dance coaches.
During the premiere of the panel, the YouTube Q&A chat function will be available for viewers to join the conversation and representatives from Skate Canada’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group will be available to respond to written questions and comments.
We look forward to the conversation tonight at 7pm ET. Click here to watch on YouTube!
A pair of reigning national champions struck gold Sunday as the curtain closed on the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge virtual competition.
Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont. captured the gold medal in the senior men’s competition, while Piper Gilles (Toronto, Ont.) and Paul Poirier (Unionville, Ont.) capped off the competition by taking top honours in ice dance.
Skate Canada Challenge, held over the past two weekends, was intended to be the qualifying event for the 2021 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships next month in Vancouver, but the national championships were cancelled last week.
The event, which featured a unique format, was the first national figure skating competition to be held in Canada since last year’s nationals in Mississauga, Ont.
In the junior ice dance competition, Natalie D’Alessandro and Bruce Waddell, both from Toronto, Ont., won gold.
Leading Team Canada teammate and close friend Nam Nguyen by just over five points after the short program, Sadovsky, who won his initial national crown last year, landed his first of two quads to start his emotionally charged free program to Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. The 21-year-old never looked back, scoring 167.58 for a 262.01 total. Nguyen, from Ajax, Ont., was second at 256.43.
Corey Circelli of Toronto, the 2020 Canadian junior men’s champion, won bronze with a 235.50 total.
“It was disappointing every time an event was cancelled, although it was always the right decision,” said Sadovsky. “I train day in and day out with a destination in mind. There’s always an end goal. Having a season without any events, you lose sight of that target.”
“We can only play with the cards we are dealt. We just do the best that we can. It’s been a tough year, but I am grateful we were able to compete this week.”
A year after his triumph at the national championships, Sadovsky is still basking in the glow of his first Canadian title.
“It was a really, really special moment and something I will never forget,” he added. “It was life-changing.”
Performing their free dance to Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, Gilles and Poirier skated a spellbinding performance that earned them 135.37 points and a 223.33 total.
Laurence Fournier Beaudry (Montreal, Que.) and Nikolaj Sørensen (Montreal, Que.), returning to competition for the first time since Sørensen suffered a knee injury in late 2019, were second at 206.91, followed by Marjorie Lajoie (Boucherville, Que.) and Zachary Lagha (Saint-Hubert, Que.), with 200.42.
Gilles and Poirier spent Sunday watching the event’s live stream from their own homes.
“It was a very strange event for us,” admitted Poirier.
“Piper and I were texting while it was happening, which is something we normally wouldn’t do when we’re competing,” he added with a laugh.
“When you’re watching a video, you have zero control over what happens. It was really nerve-wracking watching the competition unfold and watching ourselves skating.”
“I’m so used to having Paul around, and not having him around made it even more strange,” Gilles admitted. “I don’t know if my texts were very clear. My hands were shaking. It was all nerves and adrenaline.”
In the junior free dance, D’Alessandro and Waddell, leaders after the rhythm dance, performed a sparkling free dance that earned them 101.79 points and a 169.87 combined score. Miku Makita of Anmore, B.C. and Tyler Gunara of Burnaby, B.C. took silver at 166.17 followed by Nadiia Bashynska and Peter Beaumont (162.23), both from Markham, Ont.
Waddell watched himself skate twice Sunday – once with D’Alessandro, and also in the senior men’s competition, where he finished 12th.
“It was definitely a new experience,” he said. “I was just nice and comfy watching at home.”
“I was definitely nervous, more nervous than I thought,” added D’Alessandro.
With most of the figure skating season wiped out by the pandemic, Gilles and Poirier are looking ahead to next year – and may have a little something special in store for fans.
“It’s just a culmination of our programs for the people that we’ve been doing for the past couple of years,” said Gilles. “It’s where we should be.”
“We have something very special in the works that’s almost ready,” added Poirier.
To view final results, visit the Skate Canada Challenge event page.
Gilles and Poirier, D’Alessandro and Waddell lead after rhythm dance events
Madeline Schizas managed to send a text message halfway through her free program Saturday during the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge.
Well, sort of.
Sitting in fourth spot after the short program, the 17-year-old from Oakville, Ont. was simply dazzling in her free program, scoring 117.94 for a 175.65 total to claim senior women’s gold in the virtual competition.
Alison Schumacher of Tecumseh, Ont., the 2020 Canadian silver medallist, finished in second spot at 168.12, while two-time Canadian champion Gabrielle Daleman won bronze medal with 165.66.
Overnight leader Kaiya Ruiter, the reigning Canadian junior champion who was making her senior debut, finished fourth.
The unique virtual competition is certainly a novelty for athletes, officials, coaches, and the entire Skate Canada family. Competitors performed their programs in recent weeks, more often than not at their respective training locations, and submitted them to be judged in real time during the event, which has been held over the past two weekends.
On Saturday, watching herself skate a near-flawless free program, Schizas, the 2020 Canadian bronze medallist, texted Skate Canada live streaming host Ted Barton to let him know how odd it was to see herself skate a competition performance “live.”
“All of a sudden, I was skating, and I decided to text into the broadcast,” said the charismatic 17-year-old, who is coached by Nancy Lemaire and Derek Schmidt out of the Milton Skating Club. “It was so weird, watching myself, texting the commentator and seeing my marks, all in the span of about five minutes. I don’t think that sequence of events will ever happen again.”
It was been a whirlwind 14 months for Schizas. She won the senior women’s gold medal at the 2020 Skate Canada Challenge, held in November 2019, before her bronze medal performance at the 2020 Canadian championships.
And now, she is the Challenge champion once again. More importantly, she has improved her score by nearly 20 points in that span.
Despite the cancellation of several events around the world, including 2021 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships which were to be held next month, Schizas, when she has been allowed to skate, has put her training time to good use.
She has added a triple Lutz and triple Lutz-triple toe combination to her arsenal and is looking ahead to the future when things return to normal.
“I am excited for the future, for sure,” she said. “It’s been a suspenseful six weeks, waiting for my scores for this event. But I’ve shown I can be competitive with the top skaters in the country, which has given me a big confidence boost for next season.”
In the senior ice dance competition, reigning Canadian champions Piper Gilles (Toronto, Ont.) and Paul Poirier (Unionville, Ont.) scored 87.96 to lead after the rhythm dance.
Laurence Fournier Beaudry (Montreal, Que.) and Nikolaj Sørensen (Montreal, Que.), who missed most of the 2019-20 season after Sørensen suffered a knee injury, sit right behind Gilles at Poirier at 86.55.
Marjorie Lajoie (Boucherville, Que.) and Zachary Lagha (Saint-Hubert, Que.), the 2020 Canadian silver medallists, are third with 81.58.
Gilles and Poirier, a year after claiming their first national crown at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Mississauga, Ont., skated their programs on back-to-back days two weeks before Christmas.
On Saturday, five weeks later, the judges gave them their marks.
“You’re nervous, because you can’t really control anything,” admitted Gilles. “You’re so used to being in control when you compete. We prepared for it the best we could. I think we did a decent job and we were happy we could do it under any circumstance.”
Like everyone else, Gilles and Poirier were in their own homes Saturday, watching live streaming of the competition.
“It was definitely strange to be a spectator today and watch our competition in real time,” added Poirier. “In the end, skating a program is skating a program no matter the outside circumstances. It’s not quite the same as a normal competition performance, but it’s the only way we can compete right now. We are really grateful for the opportunity to do a competition and sort of have a purpose to our training.”
Natalie D’Alessandro (Toronto, Ont.) and Bruce Waddell (Toronto, Ont.) lead after the junior rhythm dance with 68.08.
Miku Makita (Anmore, B.C.) and Tyler Gunara (Burnaby, B.C.) are in second spot at 66.25, followed by Nadiia Bashynska (Markham, Ont.) and Peter Beaumont (Markham, Ont.), the 2020 Canadian junior silver medallists, at 65.32.
The 2021 Skate Canada Challenge wraps up Sunday, with the senior men’s free program followed by the junior free dance and senior free dance.
For full results, visit the Skate Canada Challenge event page
Roman Sadovsky never thought he would have to wait a month and a half for his marks after a program.
Then again, this is no ordinary year.
Competing for the first time this season, the defending Canadian senior men’s champion set the early pace Friday as the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge virtual competition resumed, scoring 94.43 in his short program to jump into top spot in the senior men’s competition.
Two-time Canadian champion Nam Nguyen of Ajax, Ont. is in second with 89.34, while Conrad Orzel of Toronto, Ont. sits third at 87.22.
Corey Circell, the 2020 Canadian junior men’s champion, scored 81.11 to hold down fourth position.
The global pandemic forced Skate Canada to host Skate Canada Challenge virtually for the first time. The event was originally a qualifying competition for the 2021 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, but that event was cancelled earlier this week.
Sadovsky skated his program in early December and waited until Friday to get his marks.
“What was I expecting? I have no idea,” laughed Sadovsky.
“I knew what I did in the program, but obviously it was a month and a half ago and it became a blur. I remember being pleased with the program, but you forget the little details so as I watched it, it was a bit of a reminder.
“I’m pretty happy with the skate, considering the circumstances.”
In the senior women’s short program, Kaiya Ruiter made quite a first impression.
Making her debut at the senior level, the 14-year-old, who was born in Ottawa, Ont. and resides in Calgary, Alb, scored 62.91 to lead after the senior women’s short program.
Alison Schumacher, the 2020 Canadian silver medallist, is in second with 60.52 followed by two-time Canadian champion Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont. at 57.80.
The three medallists from the 2020 Canadian championships are inside the top five heading into the free program. Along with Schumacher, bronze medallist Madeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont. is fourth (57.71) and reigning Canadian champion Emily Bausback of Vancouver, B.C. is fifth. (55.73).
Competition resumes Saturday with the junior and senior rhythm dance followed by the senior women free program.
Skate Canada has committed to addressing systemic racism and to creating a diverse and inclusive environment for all to embrace the joy of skating. This commitment requires educating ourselves and listening to the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC).
Through education, we learn to be uncomfortable and vulnerable, and learn to see how privilege is established and sustained within organizations and society. Educating ourselves on systemic and institutional racism enables us to understand racism is more than individual acts of discrimination. This education is a necessary basis for action, and it informs our commitment to positive ongoing transformation of sport and society.
Skate Canada is pleased to launch our Education Plan for Anti-Racism and EDI. This is a collective, active, and sustained educational plan that seeks to establish shared engagement with anti-racism and EDI resources at all levels across Skate Canada. The Skate Canada Board of Directors, senior management and national office employees, as well as the section leadership teams have dedicated time for their education and have begun the process . We invite all Skate Canada members and registrants to join in this shared educational journey.
The Education Plan for Anti-Racism and EDI is composed of three phases, with accompanying resource modules:
- Phase 1 – Learning about Race and Anti-Racism (Modules 1 to 3)
Release date: January 19, 2021 following the broadcast of the Talking About Race Panel
- Phase 2 – Race, Sport, and Agendas for Change (Modules 4 and 5)
Release date: March/April 2021
- Phase 3 – Fostering Positive Change in the Skate Canada Community
Release date: Summer/Fall 2021 (Module 6)
- Part of Phase 3 will include sessions at the 2021 Ice Summit in May 2021 that will focus on EDI education. Details to come!
Each module will be posted to the Skate Canada website, in scheduled intervals to promote coordinated education, from Skate Canada’s grassroots to leadership.
Accessible education for our community is a necessary component in Skate Canada’s commitment to anti-racism. We encourage all Skate Canada members and registrants to engage in dialogue and conversation with each other, as each of us embarks on our individual and collective education journeys. We look forward to the skating community joining us in our commitment to anti-racism and the promotion of equity, diversity, and inclusion through this educational plan.
OTTAWA, ON: With growing concern for the health and safety of all participants involved in the 2021 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships and the 2021 Skate Canada Cup given the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic across Canada, Skate Canada has made the difficult decision to cancel these events. The championships were to occur from February 8-14, 2021 in Vancouver, B.C., at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre while the 2021 Skate Canada Cup was planned to be a virtual event in replacement of the pre-novice and novice competitions at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge.
“We are deeply saddened for all athletes, coaches, and supporting individuals who are impacted by this decision and appreciate the incredible efforts to overcome ever-evolving training and access challenges to best prepare athletes for these events,” said Leanna Caron, President, Skate Canada.
The severe level of disruption to training of athletes caused by the pandemic and the evolving and unpredictable restrictions associated with travel and hosting events contributed to the decision. Despite diligence by all involved in securing opportunities for athletes to train, practice and compete this season, the risks associated with hosting the event were deemed too high.
“As we move into a new year, we continue to closely monitor and follow the guidance from the provincial and federal health authorities. Due to the continuous shift in requirements across the country, the inability of our athletes to train due to the closure of ice rinks and the number of participants that would be required to travel, it became clear that it would not be possible to host these events,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “The health and safety of our community is our priority and we thank you all for taking the necessary precautions and doing what you can to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
Skate Canada would like to especially thank our title sponsor, Canadian Tire, for its continuous support and dedication to this event and our sport over the years. Additionally, we are appreciative for the effort and support provided by all our partners, including the local organizing committee – Skate Canada British Columbia-Yukon and event volunteers from across the country who have been part of preparations over the past several months for these events.
“We thank our athletes for continuing to inspire us and look forward to a brighter and prosperous 2021-2022 season,” said Armstrong.
A pair of junior champions were crowned Sunday as the opening weekend of the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge virtual competition came to a close.
In the opening event of the day, Sara-Maude Dupuis of Montréal, Que. laid down a near-flawless free program to win junior women’s gold.
Sitting in seventh spot after the short program, Dupuis scored 94.44 for a 143.32 total to get to the top of the virtual podium.
Melody Zhu of Vancouver, B.C. secured the silver medal with 140.53, while Lia Pereira of Milton, Ont. earned 136.85 to take bronze.
Dupuis finished 10th at the novice level at the 2020 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.
The junior men’s event capped off competition Sunday night, with Rio Morita of Vaughan, Ont. winning gold. Just like Saturday’s short program, Morita had the top score in the free program with 123.36 for a two-day total of 186.95, finishing in front of Matthew Newnham of Edmonton, Alb. (179.65). Wesley Chiu of Vancouver, B.C. vaulted from fifth to third with 179.30.
Skate Canada Challenge is being held over two weekends and features the top junior and senior skaters from across Canada. Next weekend, three senior events – men’s, women’s and ice dance – will be contested, along with the junior ice dance competition.
The event is being live streamed to a worldwide audience, with viewers from more than 20 countries tuning in over the first three days.
For results and event information, please visit the Skate Canada Challenge event page.
For Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro, the result was quite familiar.
The journey to get there was anything but.
The two-time Canadian pair champions captured the senior pair gold medal Saturday at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge event, a virtual competition featuring the top junior and senior figure skaters in the country.
The competition, a qualifying event for next month’s Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Vancouver, is being held over two weekends. The junior men and junior women free programs will close out the first weekend Sunday, with the senior men, women, and ice dance events, as well as the junior ice dance competition, being staged next Friday through Sunday.
Performing their free program to The Blower’s Daughter by Damien Rice, Moore-Towers, from St. Catharines, Ont., and Marinaro, from Sarnia, Ont. scored 135.18 in their free program for a two-day total of 206.22. Lori-Ann Matte (Levis, Que.) and Thierry Ferland (Levis, Que.) finished at 172.42 followed by Deanna Stellato (Chicago, Ill.) and Maxime Deschamps (Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que.) at 170.65.
Due the ongoing pandemic, Skate Canada Challenge, the first national figure skating event held in Canada since the 2020 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships a year ago, is far from a typical competition. With an innovative format designed to host an event while keeping athletes and officials safe, skaters declared their performances from their respective sectional championships or section-organized challenge skate.
Skating at their home rinks weeks prior to the competition, competitors performed their programs as they would at a normal competition. Once the music started, there were no second chances. The videos were submitted to Skate Canada and judged in real time during the event.
Moore-Towers and Marinaro skated their two programs more than a month ago at their Skate Oakville training base. Like everyone else, they watched the event’s live stream Saturday to see how they fared.
They are used to feeling the competition nerves prior to an event.
Waiting a month for scores took a little getting used to.
“Good job today, Kirst,” Marinaro said with a laugh, shortly after they received their marks watching from the comfort of their homes.
“It was difficult to remember how the skates went,” added Moore-Towers. “Obviously, we were there doing them, in person, four weeks ago or so but typically we have somewhat of closure when the performance finishes. We sit in the kiss and cry, we reflect, we evaluate how everything went, and have a chance to kind of see what we had done. Without that opportunity in the virtual filming, it was difficult to remember how everything went. Some of the things today and yesterday were as surprising for us as they were for everyone watching.
“Not unlike everyone else, it’s been tough for us, for sure,” added Moore-Towers. “It’s been a little turbulent to say the least. We are missing the fans so much, and the audience interaction, and we hope we can have that again soon.”
Shortly after returning to the ice following the first lockdown last summer, Moore-Towers suffered a back injury that kept her out of training for a couple of months.
Once they were back on the ice, Marinaro wasn’t sure how the reigning Canadian champions would adapt to the virtual nature of the event.
“We weren’t sure exactly how it was going to feel out there, but how it was run and all of the organization put behind it, it felt like a real event,” said Marinaro. “It was really tough to watch four weeks later, because I think we’ve improved quite a bit and made a lot of changes to the programs. We’re expecting to be about 20 points better than we showed you today.”
In the junior pair event, Audrey Carle (Georgetown, Ont.) and Gabriel Farand (Beloeil, Que.) won gold with a 130.45 total, while Kelly Ann Laurin (Saint-Jérôme, Que.) and Loucas Éthier (Deux-Montagnes, Que.) won silver at 128.57.
Meghan Fredette (Shawinigan, Que.) and William St-Louis (Trois-Rivières, Que.) finished in third spot with 128.33.
“It was definitely different,” admitted Carle. “Usually, you finish skating and get your scores, but it was really different waiting to get the scores.”
“It felt like writing an exam,” added Farand. “After the short, we didn’t know what position we were in and before the long we didn’t have the pressure of skating last.”
Rio Morita of Vaughan, Ont. leads after the junior men’s short program after scoring 63.59, ahead of Shohei Law of Vancouver, B.C. (61.62) and Matthew Newnham of Edmonton, Alb. (60.55).
The junior women free program gets underway at 11:30 am ET Sunday, followed by the junior men’s free program at 6:00 pm.
It was a long wait between performances, but Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro picked up right where they left off Friday during the opening day of the 2021 Skate Canada virtual competition.
Competing at a national event for the first time in almost a year, the two-time Canadian pair champions set the early pace at the competition showcasing the top junior and senior skaters from across Canada.
Ontario’s Moore-Towers and Marinaro performed their short program to Gimme All Your Love by Alabama Shakes, scored 71.04 and lead Deanna Stellato and Maxime Deschamps of Quebec by nearly 10 points (61.19).
Quebec’s Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland, the fifth-place finishers at last year’s national championships, are in third spot at 59.03.
Skate Canada Challenge is being held virtually and marks the first national figure skating event held in Canada since last January’s Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Mississauga, Ont. The event is being staged over two weekends, with the senior pair, junior pair, junior men’s and junior women’s competition being held this weekend. The junior ice dance, senior ice dance, senior men’s and senior women’s events are scheduled for next weekend.
Prior to the start of the competition, skaters declared their performances from either their respective sectional championships or a section-organized challenge skate. Videos of these performances were submitted to Skate Canada to be judged in real time during the event.
Skate Canada Challenge serves as a qualifying competition for next month’s Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, scheduled to be held in Vancouver, B.C.
Audrey Carle and Gabriel Farand of Ontario lead the junior pair event with a 50.54 total, followed by Quebec’s Kelly Ann Laurin and Loucas Éthier at 49.24. Meghan Fredette and William St-Louis of Quebec hold down third spot at 45.49.
The junior women’s short program wrapped up the opening day of competition, with Ontario’s Fiona Bombardier in top spot after scoring 53.03. Leah Lee of the BC/YK section (51.01) and Ontario’s Michelle Lee (50.48) round out the top three.
Competition resumes Saturday at 12:00 noon ET with the Junior Pair free program, followed by the Senior Pair free program and Junior Men short program.
To watch live streaming and view updated results from the event, please visit the Skate Canada Challenge event page.
Ottawa, ON: Skate Canada announced today that Regina, Saskatchewan, will host the 2022 Skate Canada Challenge. The event will take place at Evraz Place from December 1 – 5, 2021.
The 2021 Skate Canada Challenge was held virtually due to the global pandemic, but Skate Canada looks forward to hosting the 2022 Skate Canada Challenge event in person in Regina.
Over 500 of the finest skaters from across Canada will participate at the 2022 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 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. This event will also see the crowning of the 2022 Pre-Novice National Champions in men, women, pairs and ice dance.
“Skate Canada is honoured to announce that the 2022 Skate Canada Challenge is headed to Regina. This is our biggest qualifying event of the season, with skaters vying to make it to the 2022 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “We look forward to working with Regina to create a terrific and safe event for all those involved.”
“I am thrilled to welcome the 2022 Skate Canada Challenge to our City. The City of Regina will graciously welcome talented athletes, coaches, families and friends, to our incredible host City,” said Sandra Masters, Mayor of Regina. “Our facilities, event organizers and volunteers, will create a memorable experience for everyone. Events such as these showcase high performance athletes who may go on to compete at a national/international level and our incredible hospitality that we are known for. We look forward to providing an exceptional welcoming experience for everyone.”
More information on the 2022 Skate Canada Challenge to come later this year.
OTTAWA, ON: The nation’s premier junior and senior figure skaters return to the competitive circle for the first time in months later this week at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge.
Due to the pandemic, the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge event will be held as a virtual competition that will determine berths for the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in February.
The event will be staged over two weekends, with the senior pair, junior pair, junior men and junior women competition kicking off the event January 8-10. From January 15-17, the junior ice dance, senior ice dance, senior men and senior events will be staged.
“These times are unprecedented, but we also understand the importance of giving our athletes the opportunity to get into a competitive environment so they are as prepared as they can be when things return to normal,” said Skate Canada CEO Debra Armstrong.
“For more than a century, skaters have pursued their dreams of competing at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, and we are once again giving these athletes the opportunity to qualify for this prestigious event at Skate Canada Challenge.”
As could be expected, Skate Canada Challenge will have a different look.
Prior to the start of the competition, skaters declared their performances from either their respective sectional championships or a section-organized challenge skate. Just like a live competition, once the music started, there were no second chances. Videos of these performances were submitted to Skate Canada to be judged in real time during the event.
Once the event is completed, the top two flights in each discipline will qualify for the 2021 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, to be held February 8-14 at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre in Vancouver, B.C. Twelve competitors in men’s and women’s, 10 teams in ice dance and 8 teams in pair, at both the junior and senior level, will advance to the Canadian Championships.
Most of the Canadian national team, including reigning national champions Roman Sadovsky, 20, Vaughn, Ont., (men), Emily Bausback, 18, Vancouver, B.C., (women), Piper Gilles, 29, Toronto, Ont., and Paul Poirier, 29, Unionville, Ont., (ice dance) and Kirsten Moore-Towers, 28, St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 28, Sarnia, Ont., (pair) will compete.
Like the competition, the live streaming broadcast of Skate Canada Challenge will be unique and innovative.
Not only will the entire competition be live streamed on SkateCanada.ca, but the broadcast will feature unique, engaging content including features and interviews with current and former athletes, coaches and Skate Canada leaders.
“While we are unable to host our events in the traditional sense at this time, we want to interact with our fans and bring the event to them, in the comfort of their own homes,” added Armstrong.
For more information, please visit the Skate Canada Challenge event page.