Skater – Speed Skating http://speedskating.org/ Wed, 23 Nov 2022 05:04:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://speedskating.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-150x150.png Skater – Speed Skating http://speedskating.org/ 32 32 Skating to see: Figure skating ready to rock in Brock https://speedskating.org/skating-to-see-figure-skating-ready-to-rock-in-brock/ Wed, 23 Nov 2022 04:09:59 +0000 https://speedskating.org/skating-to-see-figure-skating-ready-to-rock-in-brock/ Reading time: 4 minutes By Jordan Jacklin On a chilly Thursday in downtown Toronto, the Bold figure skating team from Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) set up shop at the Mattamy Athletic Center (MAC) to practice their individual and group programs. After loading their playlist into the arena’s sound system, the skaters practice alone or in […]]]>

Reading time: 4 minutes

By Jordan Jacklin

On a chilly Thursday in downtown Toronto, the Bold figure skating team from Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) set up shop at the Mattamy Athletic Center (MAC) to practice their individual and group programs.

After loading their playlist into the arena’s sound system, the skaters practice alone or in pairs. From performing basic turns to executing axel jumps, a great deal of work goes into creating these programs – work that goes far beyond their time on the ice.

There’s a lot of time spent on the details that go into a performance, including the music they skate to, their outfits, and the staging of the choreography.


“We have a lot of rookies, so it’s been fun getting to know everyone”


Adele’s “Skyfall” can be heard through the MAC speakers as sophomore Graphic Communication Management student Marion Pollard begins a singles routine. But not all songs are lyrical; duet routines are practiced using instrumentals and songs of a more emotional nature.

“Being fully immersed and providing our interpretation of our selected music is essential in our sport,” Pollard said. “It takes into account our competition scores, so making sure we like the song selections is our first step.”

Many of the skaters wore blue dresses with iced out rhinestones on them, which will be used for their next meet. The reasoning behind this is to make sure they feel as comfortable as possible in their uniforms before hundreds of eyes are on them in the next few days.


“It was great to have creative people in the team”


The group is preparing to participate in the Fall Invitational on November 22, where they will travel to Brock University’s Meridian Credit Union Arena to compete against other Ontario universities. There has been no competition at the MAC since February 2020 and the figure skating team will also not have a home event this season.

However, Pollard is excited about what this season has to offer and the increase in events the team will be attending.

“Because of the pandemic, we haven’t had much in the last year,” Pollard said. “This year we have a lot more competitions away from home and we are excited to travel together as a group.”

But this season is different from the others. Last season, the team competed at the Ontario University Athletic Championships (OUA) in Aylmer, Ont., where some skaters competed in the final events of their careers. It was also the team’s only OUA competition last season.

With skaters, including former captain Julia Iaboni, not returning this year, the team environment has changed as younger athletes take on more leadership roles. Pollard is one of those people who leads in everything from cheering on her teammates to helping with off-ice production.

“We have a lot of rookies, so it’s been fun getting to know everyone,” Pollard said. “There is a big difference between varsity skating and traditional competitive skating and we have a lot to do as a group.”

In addition to preparing for two invitational meets and the OUA championships in February, the team is looking to raise awareness and build awareness in the local market.

The group is expected to take part in the Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Phillips Square where team members will perform their programs for downtown visitors.

Tiffany Huang, an early childhood student, is thrilled with what attending this festival has to offer. As most events are usually held solo or in pairs, this is an exciting prospect for the group.

“Events like this are important for team building and they give us a unique scenario,” Huang said. “It’s an opportunity to perform as a whole band.”

Compared to other sports, creativity is strongly solicited in figure skating, from the planning stages to the execution of a program.

It is helpful for some skaters to participate in creative-focused programs, including the sports media program or creative industries.

Anna Carter, a second-year fashion student, is one such skater.

“It was great to have creative people on our team,” Carter said. Their creativity also spills over to other aspects of the team. “They help us with our social media platforms and the editing process for our music selections.”

When it comes to role models in figure skating, especially in the U Sports realm, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir stand out for the majority of skaters. The duo are known for their dynamic performances at the Olympics from 2010 to 2018, winning five medals during that time.

Virtue, a University of Windsor alumnus, studied psychology while competing in high-level ice dance competitions.


“Due to the pandemic, we haven’t had much in the last year”


In a niche sport compared to its counterparts, figure skating offers a variety of aspects that set it apart.

Carter noted that sports like hockey, soccer, volleyball and basketball are team-oriented. But figure skating offers a mix of individual and pair events. Additionally, the entire figure skating program at TMU is team-based.

“At the college level, it’s both individual and team focused,” Carter said. “It allows for a different viewing experience for the audience.”

Although the team won’t be performing at the MAC in the near future, an exciting season is ahead for the Bold Figure Skating Team. With three invitations and performances in local events to come, the sport has officially made a strong comeback at the university.

“We want to perform better with the Bold name and achieve higher competition scores than ever before.”

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An adorable sock rink just returned to Kidspace – NBC Los Angeles https://speedskating.org/an-adorable-sock-rink-just-returned-to-kidspace-nbc-los-angeles/ Fri, 18 Nov 2022 19:18:55 +0000 https://speedskating.org/an-adorable-sock-rink-just-returned-to-kidspace-nbc-los-angeles/ What there is to know “Winter Frolic” at the Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena $14.95 admission (kids 2 and under admitted free); Additional $5 fee for skating in your socks The seasonal event has other cute tasks, including building fake “ice blocks”; visit November 18 to January 8, 2023 for chilly fun If you’re a […]]]>

What there is to know

  • “Winter Frolic” at the Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena
  • $14.95 admission (kids 2 and under admitted free); Additional $5 fee for skating in your socks
  • The seasonal event has other cute tasks, including building fake “ice blocks”; visit November 18 to January 8, 2023 for chilly fun

If you’re a kid drawn to the thrills of a bustling rink, but would like to try your hand, or rather your feet, at rink-style gliding first, the key is to find a place where you can skate in your socks.

But come across a tall building with a sign in front that says “Sock Skating” in neon? It’s such an unlikely sight that almost anyone would be hard pressed to say if they’ve ever come across such an offbeat company.

There is, however, a pop-up rink devoted to sock skating, the kind of seasonal attraction created for families with young children.

credit: Jamie Pham

Where to find it?

At the Kidspace Children’s Museum, where a full “Winter Frolic” just debuted on Friday, November 18.

The chance to strip off and step into this rink, which contains no ice, is tempting for toddlers and parents, but there are other events at the Winter Frolic, including places where engineers budding kids can build with “ice” blocks (no, that’s not really ice) and throw snowballs (no, that’s not really snow).

The snowballs, by the way, are described as “super soft”, which is fine.

Good to know? Much of the Winter Frolic fantasy is included with your admission to Kidspace, but keep in mind that skating socks incurs an additional $5 fee.

Add to the childish charms of the rink? It has a storybook vibe, another element that sets it apart from other frozen destinations.

So you say your little ones like to skate around the house in socks? What would they think of a real place where other people are also taking a ride or two in their fluffiest foot covers?

Could such a remarkable ice rink exist? It can and does, near the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

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Thrasher Magazine – 2022 Exposure Skate Winners https://speedskating.org/thrasher-magazine-2022-exposure-skate-winners/ Wed, 16 Nov 2022 19:03:02 +0000 https://speedskating.org/thrasher-magazine-2022-exposure-skate-winners/ Exposure In 2022, more than 200 skaters, trans and non-binary from around the world traveled to Encinitas to try to win a $60,000 scholarship. Check out the recaps and results below. As always, the Exposure Skate event serves as a benefit to help survivors of domestic violence. You can donate here to help. For those […]]]>
Exposure In 2022, more than 200 skaters, trans and non-binary from around the world traveled to Encinitas to try to win a $60,000 scholarship. Check out the recaps and results below. As always, the Exposure Skate event serves as a benefit to help survivors of domestic violence. You can donate here to help.

For those who want the whole event summed up, this is your ticket

Watch them drop off at Poods for the Woodward Street competition

Woodward Street Open: professional finals
1st: Margielyn Arda Didal – $6,000
2nd: Wenhui Zeng aka ZOE — $3,000
3rd: Ricci Tres — $2,000

Woodward Street: Intermediate
1st: Kylie Frank
2nd: Jessica Perlmutter
3rd: Vilja Lundmark

Woodward Street: Advanced
1st: Secret Lynn
2nd: Aoi Fukuda
3rd: Leyou Zeng

Woodward Street: best ride
Wenhui Zeng (Zoe) — $1,500

Sliding tiles and link lines, catch all the burning bowl here

Open Bowl: Pro
1st: Kihana Ogawa – $6,000
2nd: Yuzuki Mizote — $3,000
3rd: Ruby Lilley – $2,000

Bowl: Advanced
1st: Juno Matsuoka
2nd: Nico Suganami
3rd: Aoi Fukuda

Bowl: Intermediate
1st: Mazel Alegado
2nd: Kate Kuno
3rd: Alicemay Abagian

Bowl: Golden 30 and above
1st: Deise Reis
2nd: Jessie Frietze-Armenta
3rd: Kim Peterson

Bowl: Longest front grind
Cona Suganami—$1,000

Bowl: Longest back grind
Harlow Johnsey—$1,000

Bowl: longest slide
Jordan Santana—$1,000

Catch all the high-flying action of the Pura Vida Vert competition

Pura Vida Green Open: Pro
1st: Ruby Lilley – $6,000
2nd: Bryce Wettstein — $3,000
3rd: Yujuan Li — $2,000

Pura Vida Green: Intermediate
1st: Juno Matsuoka
2nd: Michelle Yoon
3rd: Cona Suganami

Green: highest frontal air
Juno Matsuoka—$1,000

Green: Highest Rear Air
Kihana Ogawa—$1,000

Green: fastest lap
Juno Matsuoka—$1,500

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WADA wants Russian Olympic skater Kamila Valieva to get 4-year suspension https://speedskating.org/wada-wants-russian-olympic-skater-kamila-valieva-to-get-4-year-suspension/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 20:33:57 +0000 https://speedskating.org/wada-wants-russian-olympic-skater-kamila-valieva-to-get-4-year-suspension/ Monday’s announcement by the Court of Arbitration for Sport that the World Anti-Doping Agency is seeking a four-year ban on Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva does not mean the months-long doping saga will soon be over. “Unless the AMA expedites the case, which it certainly could do, it could take a while even though it’s […]]]>
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Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier on the verge of American figure skating https://speedskating.org/alexa-knierim-and-brandon-frazier-on-the-verge-of-american-figure-skating/ Fri, 11 Nov 2022 19:06:00 +0000 https://speedskating.org/alexa-knierim-and-brandon-frazier-on-the-verge-of-american-figure-skating/ American Jordan Stolz became the youngest man to win an individual speed skating World Cup in history, according to Speedskatingstats.com, in a resounding win to open the season. Stolz, 18, won the 1,500m in Stavanger, Norway in 1 minute, 44.891 seconds, a track record. He distanced the second Connor Howe of Canada by 1.76 seconds […]]]>

American Jordan Stolz became the youngest man to win an individual speed skating World Cup in history, according to Speedskatingstats.com, in a resounding win to open the season.

Stolz, 18, won the 1,500m in Stavanger, Norway in 1 minute, 44.891 seconds, a track record. He distanced the second Connor Howe of Canada by 1.76 seconds and said a few minutes later that he was a little flabbergasted.

Stolz broke German Pierre Adeberg1986 as the youngest man to win an individual World Cup race. The only young woman to win was the two-time Olympic 500m champion Lee Sang-Hwa from South Korea, according to Speedskatingstats.com.

“It was crazy,” Stolz told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “I didn’t know how anything was going to happen. I had no expectations before the race.

Stolz’s margin of victory was greater than what separated second-placed Howe from the 16th-placed Dutchman Thomas Krollwho won Olympic gold in the 1000m and silver in the 1500m in February.

Last season, Stolz broke the junior world records in the 500m and 1,000m and became the third-youngest U.S. Olympic men’s speed skater in history. He finished 13th in the 500m and 14th in the 1000m at the Olympics. He did not run the 1500m at the Olympic trials.

The Stavanger World Cup is hosting a men’s 500m on Saturday and a men’s 1000m on Sunday, among other races live on Peacock. Stolz said he will also race the 5000m later on Saturday if he is placed in the top half of the 500m schedule for lower-ranked skaters.

Few skaters go from the 500m, the shortest sprint, to the 5000m, the second longest men’s distance. Stolz was asked how far he plans to go at the world championships in March and he replied with a smile.

“All of them,” he said, although he later clarified he couldn’t do the 10,000m.

It still evokes Eric Heydenwho won all five gold medals at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics – the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m.

“I still think about him,” Stolz, a Wisconsin native like Heiden, told NOS on Friday. “What he did was almost impossible, so I wouldn’t compare him at all.”

Stolz was inspired by speed skating while watching Apolo Ohno in short track at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Stolz’s father then shoveled space to skate on the pond behind the family home north of Milwaukee.

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Hungarian short track speed skating brothers envision a new nation https://speedskating.org/hungarian-short-track-speed-skating-brothers-envision-a-new-nation/ Wed, 09 Nov 2022 18:47:00 +0000 https://speedskating.org/hungarian-short-track-speed-skating-brothers-envision-a-new-nation/ Managing Director of the French men’s basketball team Boris Diaw remains confident that the Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embid will play for Blues although Embiid was recently granted US citizenship. Diaw said Tuesday that Embiid had become a U.S. citizen, a possible step toward U.S. representation in international basketball, as it made it easier […]]]>

Managing Director of the French men’s basketball team Boris Diaw remains confident that the Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embid will play for Blues although Embiid was recently granted US citizenship.

Diaw said Tuesday that Embiid had become a U.S. citizen, a possible step toward U.S. representation in international basketball, as it made it easier for him to reside in the United States, according to French reports.

Embiid’s decision to play for France, the United States or his native Cameroon ahead of the 2024 Paris Games is the current hot topic in Olympic men’s basketball. He has never played in a major international tournament and has not yet publicly committed to any national team.

At the end of September, when Embiid publicly revealed that he had added American citizenship to his French nationality, he said it was far too early to think about his status as an international basketball player.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said then, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon. Since he hasn’t played for the Cameroon national team yet, it might be easier for him to become eligible to play for another country through FIBA.

In July, Embiid obtained French citizenship, a step towards the possibility of representing the host country at the Paris 2024 Games. Before that, Diaw reportedly said that Embiid had started the process to become eligible to play for France.

Then, Embiid revealed his American citizenship while not yet committing to a national team. This revelation did not change Diaw’s public stance.

Embiid finished second in NBA MVP voting last season behind the Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the No. 2 center on the All-NBA team.

Which nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the United States their first Olympic loss since 2004. It was in a group. The Americans then beat the French in the gold medal game 87-82.

This French team had five NBA players against the 12 Americans: Nicholas Batum, Evan Fournier, Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, Franck Ntilikina and Gobert. France have another 18-year-old 7-footer Victor Wembanyamawho is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft next year.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the only American center to have made an All-NBA team in the past five seasons. During that time, Embiid made four All-NBA Second Teams and Gobert made three All-NBA Third Teams.

No Olympic team other than the United States has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on their roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

OlympicTalk is enabled Apple News. Promote us!

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“Nothing is impossible”: a girl with one leg skates effortlessly https://speedskating.org/nothing-is-impossible-a-girl-with-one-leg-skates-effortlessly/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 12:04:40 +0000 https://speedskating.org/nothing-is-impossible-a-girl-with-one-leg-skates-effortlessly/ In the face of difficulties, the will allows us to persevere. Joyful celebrations after achieving goals and overcoming difficulties often win praise from netizens. One such heartwarming clip featuring the Argentine National Adaptive Skating Champion has gone viral and has melted hearts online. The clip shared by Good News Correspondent shows a specially fit daughter, […]]]>

In the face of difficulties, the will allows us to persevere. Joyful celebrations after achieving goals and overcoming difficulties often win praise from netizens. One such heartwarming clip featuring the Argentine National Adaptive Skating Champion has gone viral and has melted hearts online.

The clip shared by Good News Correspondent shows a specially fit daughter, Mily Trejo, who has only one leg, skates effortlessly on a skating rink. As the people gathered there cheered loudly, the young girl was seen raising her arms and concentrating on her performance. After completing the feat, the daughter glides over to her mother and gives her a warm hug with a wide smile on her face.

Watch the video here:

“Nothing is impossible. Mily Trejo is the Argentine National Adaptive Skating Champion. Mom’s hug at the end,” the clip’s caption read. Since being shared on Saturday, the clip has garnered more 12,000 views on Twitter. The girl’s effort inspired many online. One user commented, “You skate beautifully!” Another user wrote, “Omg wonderful amazing kid bravo.” A third user commented, “If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, you’re just not trying hard enough!”

In September this year, a video showing a disabled boy drawing a painting went viral on social media. The boy was seen tweaking a painting using a brush held in his amputated hands.

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Morning Skate: Red Wings vs Capitals – Preview, How to Watch https://speedskating.org/morning-skate-red-wings-vs-capitals-preview-how-to-watch/ Thu, 03 Nov 2022 12:00:00 +0000 https://speedskating.org/morning-skate-red-wings-vs-capitals-preview-how-to-watch/ Time: 7:00 PM EST Square: Little Caesars Arena TV: BSDET, NBCSWA Radio: WXYT-97.1 FM Uppercase BLog: Japers Ice Rink The Red Wings kick off the 25th anniversary celebrations of the 1997 and 1998 Stanley Cup championships tonight against the Washington Capitals. It is rumored that there will be pre-game ceremonies tonight and for Saturday afternoon’s […]]]>

Time: 7:00 PM EST

Square: Little Caesars Arena

TV: BSDET, NBCSWA

Radio: WXYT-97.1 FM

Uppercase BLog: Japers Ice Rink

The Red Wings kick off the 25th anniversary celebrations of the 1997 and 1998 Stanley Cup championships tonight against the Washington Capitals. It is rumored that there will be pre-game ceremonies tonight and for Saturday afternoon’s games against the Islanders.

Detroit could definitely use a boost from these festivities as they try to shake off the hammering they received from the Sabers on Monday night. While at one point he came close to a goal in the 3rd period, Buffalo went all out in the final minutes to blow the Wings up 8-3, while dominating much of the game. It was Detroit’s third resounding loss in four games, a stark contrast to their strong start to the season.

The Wings will be hoping Michael Rasmussen, back from his two-game suspension, will provide a boost to their depth up front as they deal with a string of injuries early in the season. Rasmussen was skating between Zadina and Kubalik in practice yesterday. Lalonde made further changes to the lines in an attempt to shake things up by adding Perron to the top line along with Larkin and Raymond. Copp was centered between Soderblom and Erne, with Veleno skating between Suter and Luff on the fourth row. The defensive pairs, however, remained intact.

By moving Kubalik to Zadina’s line, Lalonde may be hoping it will kick start production for Zadina. With 0 points in 7 games, he is going to miss opportunities when some of the injured forwards start to come back as he could easily be the odd one out given his stat line.

Detroit will need to find form to face the Capitals who have had at least one point in 7 of their last 9 games, despite losing their last two in overtime and shootout respectively. The offseason addition of Dylan Strome has proven fruitful for Washington, with the center tied for the team lead with 9 points apiece for him and Ovechkin. As is always the case against Ovechkin, one of the best ways to keep him from killing you is to stay out of the box and avoid letting him play on the power play.

Darcy Kuemper will likely leave for Washington after having the night against Vegas on Tuesday. Kuemper has taken the lion’s share of the work in net, starting 8 of 11 for the Caps, posting a .922 SV% so far this season. It looks like Ville Husso will get the start for Detroit after Nedeljkovic was left for all 8 goals against Buffalo and was understandably frustrated when the red light kept going out behind him in the final minutes of this game. Although he would of course like some of those goals to be recovered, it might have been just as important to the effort of the team in front of him.

Expect to see Detroit come out with a spirited effort after a lackluster week before that. This will be among Lalonde’s first tries. How fast can he get that club out of a skid to minimize the damage. Every team has setbacks, good courses correct quickly. We’ll see if tonight is the turning point.

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Taiwanese speed skaters win senior 1000m events at World Skate Games https://speedskating.org/taiwanese-speed-skaters-win-senior-1000m-events-at-world-skate-games/ Mon, 31 Oct 2022 12:34:00 +0000 https://speedskating.org/taiwanese-speed-skaters-win-senior-1000m-events-at-world-skate-games/ Taipei, Oct. 31 (CNA) Taiwanese speed skaters braved harsh weather conditions to win gold medals in the senior ladies’ and men’s 1000-meter speed skating events at the 2022 World Skating Games in Buenos Aires, in Argentina, Sunday. The World Skate Games offers skateboarding and roller sports events. Li Meng-chu (李孟竹) skated a solid race, improving […]]]>

Taipei, Oct. 31 (CNA) Taiwanese speed skaters braved harsh weather conditions to win gold medals in the senior ladies’ and men’s 1000-meter speed skating events at the 2022 World Skating Games in Buenos Aires, in Argentina, Sunday.

The World Skate Games offers skateboarding and roller sports events.

Li Meng-chu (李孟竹) skated a solid race, improving her position lap by lap to secure the gold medal in the women’s category in 1 minute and 33.902 seconds, ahead of Venezuela’s Angy Anabela and her compatriot Liu Yi- hsuan (劉懿萱), who recorded times of 1.34.268 and 1.34.290, respectively.

In the men’s category, Chao Tsu-cheng (趙祖政) clinched gold with a time of 1.28.712, beating Italy’s Duccio Marsili, who finished in 1.28.716 to win the silver medal, and the Argentinian Ken Kuwada who clocked 1.28.783 in third.

On Sunday, Taiwan’s junior team also won gold and silver medals in the junior women’s 500m category, with Shih Pei-yu (施沛妤) finishing first with 47.621 seconds, followed by compatriot Lin Xin -yu (林欣妤) with 47.866 seconds in second place.

It was Shih’s second medal after winning bronze in the junior women’s 10,000m heat on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Wang Yu (王嶼) won bronze in the junior boys 500m category with a time of 45.561 seconds.

A very windy, rainy and cold morning resulted in the postponement of all races to the afternoon. However, the Taiwanese athletes still put in remarkable performances, with gusts of wind reaching up to 40 km/h.

On the same day, Taiwan defeated the United States 6-3 to win the gold medal in the men’s junior inline hockey final.

The 2022 World Skate Games in Argentina take place from October 24 to November 13 in Buenos Aires and San Juan.

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Where will Canada’s next figure skating stars come from? https://speedskating.org/where-will-canadas-next-figure-skating-stars-come-from/ Fri, 28 Oct 2022 00:14:27 +0000 https://speedskating.org/where-will-canadas-next-figure-skating-stars-come-from/ When Brian Orser left, there was Kurt Browning. When Browning retired, there was Elvis Stojko. After Stojko left, Patrick Chan emerged. It is the yesteryear of Canadian figure skating, men’s department, successive generations of world champions covering the country with glitter of medals. But, with the exception of potential 17-year-old Stephen Gogolev, the closet looks […]]]>

When Brian Orser left, there was Kurt Browning. When Browning retired, there was Elvis Stojko. After Stojko left, Patrick Chan emerged.

It is the yesteryear of Canadian figure skating, men’s department, successive generations of world champions covering the country with glitter of medals. But, with the exception of potential 17-year-old Stephen Gogolev, the closet looks awfully empty.

Keegan Messing has already said he will retire from competition at the end of this season, which concludes with the world championships in March. And frankly, there’s not much to make eyes pop in other skating disciplines either, with veteran ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier not committed beyond 2022-23, let alone the 2026 Olympics.

Look, they’re great figure skaters and they’ve represented Canada well for many… many — years on the world stage. Their performances over the next few months, combined with the national championships in January, will determine who gets their ticket to the world championships in Saitama, Japan. This could be the last legacy left by Canadian skaters now long enough in the competitive tooth, those who hung on after the 2022 Beijing Games, where the Canadians walked away with zippo medals, laundered for the first time since 1980.

(Although the team event podium chart remains unresolved, nine months later the International Olympic Committee became entangled in cascading legal complexities from Russian doper Kamila Valieva. Those medals are still pending. Canada, who finished fourth in the team event, could still be upstaged to bronze.)

The end of an Olympic year, that slippery stretch after all the competitive intensity of the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet, is usually a time to catch our breath. In the first year of the quadrennial cycle, many top skaters take time off from the season as national federations begin to assess upcoming talent for the upcoming Games.

There are certainly worthy candidates on the national horizon, some capitalizing on their exposure in Beijing, others just starting to emerge from the junior ranks, and quite a few who will be showcased at Skate Canada this weekend in Mississauga, the second leg of the International Union Grand Prix Circuit Skating Championship.

Are they, however, the best contenders for the drawer? Will they ever be?

Figure skating never stops. Last weekend at Skate America, teenage phenom Ilia Malinin wowed when she landed the first quadruple Axel in Grand Prix history after, a month earlier, the first quadruple Axel of any competition at a lower level event in Lake Placid.

Many of us never believed that we would see the day when that leap – four and a half rotations on the edge of a blade – would be executed cleanly. Malinin is 17 and his electrifying performance, which included four more quad jumps, propelled him to gold after the short program.

There is nothing so high on the Canadian horizon. While some blossoming skaters have shown glimmers of ability that could reach Olympic medal level by the Milan Cortina Games in 2026 and the world championships in between, it’s a tough era for skating in a a country justly proud of its powerful history in sport. , but with only two world medals since 2019.

These days, as personified by several Skate Canada attendees from within the Dominion – or, in the case of 30-year-old, dual-citizen Messing, from Anchorage – we’re mostly watching a group of late gasps that have either already indicated impending retirement or given no assurance that they will linger for another four years. Which is a big ask, I know, for skaters who have competed for decades and are eager to make money through on-ice shows or just want to continue their lives away from the rink.

Messing, the reigning national champion, 11th in Beijing, 14th at the 2022 Worlds, will soon sign. Gilles and Poirier are sketchy; she is 30 years old, he will be 31 in a few weeks. Gabrielle Daleman, who won bronze at the national championships last season, has battled an eating disorder, suffered a series of work-related injuries and has spoken openly about her mental health struggles. She is 24 years old. She won bronze at the world championships — in 2017.

God loves them but that’s the past, not the future.

“I really want to approach the year almost like any other year,” Messing said during a pre-Skate Canada conference call. “Every year I really fight for placement, I fight for this, I fight for that. This year, I don’t care a bit. This year is for me. I have a checklist of goals, metaphorically. I just want to show off and skate freely. I want to skate more for the crowd. I want to go back a bit to my roots.

“I introduce myself and I put myself on the table. I don’t really care how I skate, but I want the skating aspect of the programs to be authentic, a way of saying goodbye to the sport.

Messing will perform a new short program for Canadian audiences at the Paramount Fine Foods Center, though the routine, set to Mika’s “Grace Kelly,” was unveiled last month during the ISU Challenger Series in Oberstdorf, Germany, where Messing repeated as a gold medalist.

He kept the long program from last season, with some changes in choreography and show jumping. There will be no attempt at the Lutz quad that Messing worked hard on all summer long, a deletion necessitated by, first, a sprained ankle a fortnight before Nebelhorn, then, his other ankle. hit hard by deep landings in practice and, more recently, an “equipment malfunction”, blowing her boot. So Messing is skating in a new pair, a considerable adjustment for elite skaters, still a bit stiff, making the untested Lutz quad, second most difficult jump, too risky.

“I want to save my body parts because I would like to walk away from the season, literally,” he said.

Messing’s biggest rival on the podium in Mississauga is defending world champion Uno Shoma of Japan. Toronto’s Gogolev is getting back on track after injuries and a growth spurt where the teenager soared to six feet.

Besides Daleman, Madeline Schizas will carry the Canadian flag. It was Schizas of Oakville whose stellar performance as an Olympic rookie propelled Canada to the team final in Beijing. (Canada has only one entry in women’s singles at the world championships.)

Schizas, 19, is in her second season as a senior and admits she got a lagging pitch for this campaign. “When we started the Olympic year, I started organizing programs in May. At the end of the season, the end of the programs, the preparation, then the summer was a little fractured, it was more difficult to get some of this very good training.

“It’s been all over the place… It just takes longer than you think. For me, it was a learning experience. It’s not as easy as you think. It took me a while to pull myself together and get back to training.

The pairs peloton is led by expressive Japanese duo Miura Riku and Kihara Ryuichi, the world silver medalists, whose coaching staff includes Canadian Bruno Marcotte. The Canadian pairs delegation includes Skate America bronze medalists Kelly Ann Laurin and Loucas Ethier and world junior bronze medalists Brooke McIntosh and Benjamin Mimar.

For Gilles and Poirier, the challenge was to rediscover their passion after a season that exhausted them. They were reeling from a heartbreaking seventh place finish in Beijing, followed by a fifth at the world championships, after which they looked quite ready to retire. But they realized they weren’t done with the sport yet.

“We were both excited to skate and compete again,” Poirier said last week, “but neither of us really knew how we wanted to approach the season. What we ended up doing was just showing up to the rink and skating because we didn’t have a game plan. Normally by the time we get to the offseason we’ve already decided on the music, we pretty much know what we’re planning on doing. This time we entered blindly and began to see what we were looking to and what inspired us.

“We’re going to run every program as it is on the day and not try to be 10 steps ahead,” Gilles said. “We just want to enjoy the process this year and not get too competitive, too much on ourselves if things don’t go well.”

But, as Gilles pointed out, this is a team that still expects to be in contention for a medal. “That’s where we’re aiming, otherwise we wouldn’t continue. I feel that we still have things to accomplish.

Rosie DiManno is a Toronto-based columnist who covers sports and current affairs for The Star. Follow her on Twitter: @rdimanno

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