Cramping their style: Canada’s two-time world ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir lost to American rivals Meryl Davis and Charlie White for the second consecutive competition at the Four Continents championships on Sunday.
Virtue and Moir had a strong start to their sizzling “Carmen” program, but had to stop about three minutes in when Virtue felt a cramp in her leg. The Canadians were able to resume a couple of minutes later.
“I just had some cramp in my legs to deal with. I’m glad we collected ourselves and kept pushing through the program,” Virtue said. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
Upside down: Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Russia perform during their pairs short program during European Figure Skating Championship in Zagreb, on January 23, 2013. They placed second. (Photo: HRVOJE POLAN/AFP/Getty Images)
The real story of the day was American Gracie Gold, who started the day as the lowest-ranked skater in the Rostelecom Cup, and ended it in first place after a graceful and assured short program on Friday.
She has less than a two-point lead over the next two contenders for medals, Kiira Korpi of Finland and American Agnes Zawadzki.
In the year she won Olympic gold, Scott also won national, continental, European and world figure skating championships. She remains the only Canadian skater to win a singles gold medal at the Winter Olympics.
“Nobody,” says Moir, from Ilderton, Ont., with a snarky grin. “How many people do you think?”
At least a half dozen should stop, smile and say something, I think. They are walking to the Eaton Centre shopping mall. It is sunny and it is lunchtime.
“It should be zero to three,” says Virtue, from London, Ont., trying to figure out the terms. “No, zero to two people.”
It is unclear what the terms are, and it is unfair to Virtue and Moir. After winning the gold medal in ice dancing at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, their faces were everywhere. It felt like they belonged to Canadians. (Photos: Peter J. Thompson/National Post, Reuters)
It was an iconic moment for any Canadian, whether you were a figure skating fan or not. Joannie Rochette’s tearful bronze-medal performance at the 2010 Olympics, just days after her mother died suddenly of a heart attack, is one of the most iconic moments from Vancouver. She talked to the National Post today about her life after the Olympics, and the importance of heart health.
The Canadians were second after the short dance on Saturday, but put up the best score in Sunday’s free dance to take the title in the final major competition before the ISU world championships.
“We were pleased with our skate today and our week overall,” Virtue said in a news release. “We learned to approach our skating better, which is something we haven’t done since the Olympics. It’s skating in unison, getting into that zone and blocking all the distractions.” (Photo: Rick Wilking/Reuters)
Phaneuf off to rough start Cynthia Phaneuf has a new city, a new outlook and a famous new coach, but none of it appears to be paying off for Canada’s top female skater — yet.
The reigning women’s champion delivered a disappointing performance in the women’s short program to open the final weekend of competition at the Canadian figure skating championships. Photo: Mike Cassese/Reuters
In fine form Injuries sidetracked ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir during the 2010-11 figure skating season. Adding to the duo’s disappointment was that fact they had to sit out the Canadian championships. But 2012 will be different. Photo: Aaron Lynett/National Post
She split from the coaches who had guided her since the age of nine, left her training base in Montreal and moved to Toronto, where she began training with new coach Brian Orser, the two-time Olympic silver medallist at the Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club. Photo: Mark Blinch/Reuters
Bruce Arthur: Chan’s actions speak louder than his words The easy line, of course, is that perhaps now Patrick Chan will feel a little more appreciated. After winning the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s athlete of the year Tuesday in a vote of writers and broadcasters — one week after comments that ignited a brief firestorm regarding his patriotism — the 20-year-old figure skater could almost laugh about it.
“I hope the award wasn’t given to me just to make me realize that I should appreciate what I have,” a cheerful Chan said on a conference call. “No matter if I had won the award or not, my idea of Canada would never change.”
As someone who was in the room, I can confidently say that was not a part of the discussion over the award, which has been given out by the Toronto Star since 1936. Chan was the overwhelming favourite among the final group of speed skater Christine Nesbitt, shot putter Dylan Armstrong, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto, Milwaukee Brewers reliever John Axford, and show jumper Eric Lamaze. But it was Chan’s idea of Canada that was under fire last week, when remarks he made to Reuters three months ago surfaced like a whale on the eve of figure skating’s Grand Prix final in Quebec City. (Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Chan’s comments avoid brutal truth of sports in China Joe O’Connor: Patrick Chan is a good kid. Ask anyone that knows him, and knows him well in the insular world of figure skating, and they will tell you — to a person — that the reigning world champion possesses that most admirable of Canadian of qualities. They will tell you that Patrick Chan is “nice.”
But what Patrick Chan told a Reuters reporter back in September — comments that have bubbled to light on the eve of the Grand Prix Final in Quebec this weekend — is that he sometimes feels that Canadians are not nice enough back.
“Sometimes I feel we are not appreciated for how much work we put in,” Mr. Chan said after stepping off a flight from China, the country of his parents’ birth. “If my parents hadn’t emigrated from Canada and, say I had skated for China, things would have been different.”
He would go on to say that, in a perfectly rosy-hued world, he would skate for Canada — and China — a country where, in Mr. Chan’s mind, there is apparently no such thing as human rights abuses and skaters all live sugar plum fairy lives and never have to fret about competing for attention with mean old Canadian hockey players. (Photo: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)