Figure skating | Sportsman | thesuburban.com
Olympic qualification status
At the 2021 ISU World Championships in March, the results of Canadian figure skaters ensured that the country would have three ice dance pairs, two pairs, a man and a woman in Beijing 2022. Canada was also eligible for a second. men’s place and successfully asserted it in the last qualifying event, the Nebelhorn Trophy, at the end of September. Who will fill these positions will be determined after the Canadian Championships in January. Canada will also be part of the Beijing 2022 team event as it qualified as one of 10 nations competing in the event.
After not participating in a live competition since February 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier had an unforgettable performance at the 2021 World Championships. They won bronze for the only Canadian medal in the competition and stepped onto the world podium for the first time in their careers.
Other highlights from the world championships included Keegan Messing’s sixth place finish in the men’s event and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro in the pairs event. The last time Moore-Towers and Marinaro competed in Grand Prix events in fall 2019, they won two silver medals and advanced to their first Grand Prix final.
It was the 2020 Canadian champion Roman Sadovsky who delivered under pressure to the Nebelhorn Trophy to secure the place for the country. National doubles Nam Nguyen is also looking to meet the challenge for his first Olympic team.
On the women’s side, Madeline Schizas made a strong world championship debut in her first major senior international event, placing in the top 10 after the short program before finishing 13th overall.
There was big news out of season when Eric Radford and Vanessa James announced they were coming out of retirement to form a new pair partnership. Radford won team gold and pair bronze with Meagan Duhamel at PyeongChang 2018 after being a two-time world champion. James won a world bronze medal in 2018 and a European title in 2019 while representing France with his former partner. We should certainly not forget in the conversation about Canada’s two Olympic places as a couple, Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud, who finished 12th at the 2021 world championships.
Danish-born ice dancer Nikolaj Sørensen, who finished eighth for Canada at the 2021 Worlds with partner Laurence Fournier Beaudry, received his Canadian citizenship, making the duo eligible for Olympic competition. Canada continues to have great depth in ice dancing, which also includes Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha who were world junior champions in 2019 and made their senior world championship debut in 2021.
The Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, January 6-13 in Ottawa, will be the final event considered for Olympic team selection