2020-21 Canadian Women News & Updates

WanderlustTO

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I think Schizas did well, there was a lot of pressure considering she had almost no senior experience and was chasing ice this year.

Btw love your avatar, I do miss Josee Chouinard. Reminds me of this recent article on her, with a lovely photo of her skating outdoors, and another photo with her daughter, Fiona Bombardier skating in the background.
I know I'm dating myself a ton - but when I was in middle school, Josee was, like, my personal hero. She's always been my favourite skater...well her and Kristi Yamaguchi...but I could only have one photo in my avatar so I went with the Canadian <3
 

Sylvia

So happy the JGP season is back!
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66,872
Alicia Pineault took over the Excellence Sportive Monteregie's Instagram yesterday (April 19) and showed "work in progress" clips of her landing 3Lo, 3T and 3S (can still be watched for another 11 hours): https://www.instagram.com/aliciapineault
ETA that she confirmed in one of her IG stories yesterday that 2 of the hardest moments of her career so far was the surgery she had (didn't specify what kind) in December 2020 and the cancellation of Montreal Worlds.

Maddie Schizas will take over Skate Ontario's IG account on Tuesday, April 20: https://www.instagram.com/skateontario/
 
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WanderlustTO

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Going back to an earlier comment I made - a big cringe i had watching the top performances at the world's this year is how Canadian ladies can ever attempt to compete with that. The immediate answer is they can't. The next question is - what can the current technical level of female skaters in this country reasonably expect at the world level given the competition.

It's not a pretty picture - and at a time where figure skating isn't exactly in a 'boom' position in this country, I'm worried about a demoralizing impact over the next 5+ years.
 

honey

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1,341
Alicia Pineault took over the Excellence Sportive Monteregie's Instagram yesterday (April 19) and showed "work in progress" clips of her landing 3Lo, 3T and 3S (can still be watched for another 11 hours): https://www.instagram.com/aliciapineault

Maddie Schizas will take over Skate Ontario's IG account on Tuesday, April 20: https://www.instagram.com/skateontario/
A couple weeks ago Pineault has posted a story of her doing a triple sal, with the caption “first triple post surgery” (or something to that effect). Anyone know what surgery she had? She’s been pretty quiet since she bowed out for the season.
 

Sylvia

So happy the JGP season is back!
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66,872
Here's what was published via ISU's Quick Quotes after Schizas' FS:

(On her World Championships debut experience) I've learned a lot this week about competing at an (ISU) Championships, which is obviously something I've never done. I think I had really high expectations, especially after the (9th place) short program, knowing that I wanted to be in the top 10 to help Canada keep a 2nd spot for the Olympic Games. I was really prepared for this event and I think that's what enabled me to skate as well as I did. I've learned a lot about how hard it is to keep going through the week and how to manage the pacing of such a long event.
(On her training goals in the summer) I'm hoping to add a triple Axel to my repertoire for next season. I want to add to my short program because I think that's where I can add the most points to my base value.
(On her college plans) I've been accepted to everywhere I've applied and so I'm just deciding where I'd like to attend and my plan is to start to part-time in the fall of 2021.
Maddie Schizas will take over Skate Ontario's IG account on Tuesday, April 20
So far Schizas has shown a practice clip of jumping the 3A on the pole harness, said Asher Hill is choreographing her new SP today, and replied that she plans to study music cognition (she's a pianist) starting at McMaster University this fall.
ETA a 20-second SP practice clip from Schizas (no audio): https://www.instagram.com/p/CN6Cq36HDSQ/
A serious work in progress. Got tons of questions about my new programs today - here’s a sneak peek of my short. That’s just about it for me for today - thanks everybody for following along!
 
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honey

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AngieNikodinovLove

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Madeline has posted a clip (with sound this time), of her new short program. Sounds like My Sweet and Tender Beast with lyrics. I have to admit I wish they wouldn’t have chosen to use lyrics for this.

That is so interesting, while re-watching the ladies long program about four or five days ago I was thinking of that exact song and thinking to myself how I have not heard it in some while. I don’t mind listening to this next season. I can’t wait

Dark eyes is another song I would not mind hearing again

Well, I guess what I’m trying to say is bring on Sasha Cohen

LOL 👠💝💄
 

Dr.TylerPhD

New Member
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8
Going back to an earlier comment I made - a big cringe i had watching the top performances at the world's this year is how Canadian ladies can ever attempt to compete with that. The immediate answer is they can't. The next question is - what can the current technical level of female skaters in this country reasonably expect at the world level given the competition.

It's not a pretty picture - and at a time where figure skating isn't exactly in a 'boom' position in this country, I'm worried about a demoralizing impact over the next 5+ years.

I just keep telling myself that we've been down this road before and surprises to seem to kinda keep coming out of nowhere.
In fear of dating myself, this has kinda been a broken record. I remember when people said it was all over after Elvis Stojko left, and there would never be a lady on the world champion podium, let alone one be world champion. Not to say we don't appear to be going through a transition period - with once again the only medal coming from Ice Dance - but we have been down this road before and the sun somehow finds a way to keep rising again.
 

SpiffySpiders

Member
Messages
5
Going back to an earlier comment I made - a big cringe i had watching the top performances at the world's this year is how Canadian ladies can ever attempt to compete with that. The immediate answer is they can't. The next question is - what can the current technical level of female skaters in this country reasonably expect at the world level given the competition.

It's not a pretty picture - and at a time where figure skating isn't exactly in a 'boom' position in this country, I'm worried about a demoralizing impact over the next 5+ years.

I just keep telling myself that we've been down this road before and surprises to seem to kinda keep coming out of nowhere.
In fear of dating myself, this has kinda been a broken record. I remember when people said it was all over after Elvis Stojko left, and there would never be a lady on the world champion podium, let alone one be world champion. Not to say we don't appear to be going through a transition period - with once again the only medal coming from Ice Dance - but we have been down this road before and the sun somehow finds a way to keep rising again.

I am worried, and not just about the women. Two things are at play that raise my concerns. The first is skating's place in Canada's current popular sports hierarchy. Perhaps others in different provinces are experiencing a different situation, but no one I know here is looking at the sport in a serious way for themselves or their kids. Skating lessons are being treated like childhood swimming lessons; something that offers exercise and teaches a good skill to have but is only a side activity, not the main focus. Other sports have taken over for girls who want to be on ice; they're speed skating and playing hockey. A local woman even won two medals at this year's short track speed skating worlds.

Secondly, I really fear Canada isn't adjusting training and expectations to match the new normal. Our girls especially don't seem to be training the harder content early and often the way other nations are. Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm not seeing the clips of triple axel and quad attempts on the regular. I can't stop thinking there's a potential danger of this becoming a mostly recreational sport, rather than one that draws fierce competitors who want to push their athletic boundaries, here.
 

Dr.TylerPhD

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They've been preferring hockey to skating, for well, forever. Not exactly something new, and it's always been mostly recreational for the vast vast majority of people who go into skating. So many skaters originally were doing it alongside hockey or some other activity and then discovered they were actually really good at figure skating, so they began competing there. There really has never been the type of system like they have in Russia. In short, it's always been a large recreational sport and it just so happens some people discover they are very good at it or have connections that push them into the sport. There is now a next-gen team, and that's actually something recent. In the not too distant past, they didn't really look much at all at junior skaters, yet somehow champions emerged. I can't be the only one who remembers how ladies skating in the mid-90s was viewed in Canada. In many ways, things are actually improved.

As for pushing themselves, they are actually doing content that would have won world championships just 10 years ago. The whole phenomenon of ladies doing triple axels and quads is a pretty recent Eteri phenomenon, and honestly, whether the Eteri method is one to be copied and enforced can be debated in an entirely separate thread. I'll just say that the amount of mental issues now being reported by so many female skaters is a little too high for my liking.

But more than anything, I'll just reinforce that doom and gloom has been a never ending constant in the world of Canadian Figure Skating, to the point that when younger, I gave up watching figure skating because I thought there wouldn't be any new champions. How could anyone replace Sale and Pelletier, or Bourne and Kraatz, or Elvis and Kurt - Joannie Rochette is gone, I guess that's the end of any Canadian lady ever being on the podium. And then - oh surprise, a new male Champion, oh surprise, a gold olympic medal in ice dancing, twice, or surprise, a Canadian woman just became world champion, or surprise, a world champion pairs champion. Now that great generation, which no one was predicting in the 90s or early 2000s, basically ended in 2018. So, here we are again - oh no, it's over, they've left, no one will emerge, it's OVER.

Instead, enjoy the ride and be prepared to be pleasantly surprised. 2022 will be inferior to 2018, and ********* is a contributing factor, but get back to me in 2026 or 2030. You might even see times like these as a blessing because it often triggers some radical change that leads to a new emergence of champions.
 

Seerek

Well-Known Member
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5,451
Other sports have taken over for girls who want to be on ice; they're speed skating and playing hockey. A local woman even won two medals at this year's short track speed skating worlds.

It's interesting that you bring up Courtney Sarault as your example, as she has athletic pedigree on her side (father was in the NHL)....plus she said this in her ISU bio...

Reason for choosing this sport"I grew up in an athletic family. My dad is an ex-professional ice hockey player so I was always skating. I tried figure skating but I didn't love it. Then I did speed skating and fell in love."
 

Sylvia

So happy the JGP season is back!
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66,872
Madeline has posted a clip (with sound this time), of her new short program. Sounds like My Sweet and Tender Beast with lyrics.
Thanks for posting. Yes, Schizas' version is "Dulcea Si Tandra Mea Fiara" performed by Catalina Caraus, a Moldovian/Romanian singer (I've posted this info in the 2021-22 Programs & Choreographers thread that's pinned to the top of GSD).
 
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kwanfan1818

RIP D-10
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Her coach is Joey Russell. He won the bronze medal at 2011 Canadians.

https://youtu.be/JSugM1f04NA
Thank you for posting that! Russell was one of my favorites. His SP to put him in podium contention is also lovely:

There weren't that many official competitions this year, but they updated the season best list already and Schumacher's total from WTT puts her in 21st out of 52 skaters on the list. Who knows how the ISU will determined grand prix spots for next season, but that ranking would normally guarantee her a spot, so well done for her.
I wish there were two spots, because I really like both of them (ETA: Schumacher and Schizas).
 
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SpiffySpiders

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5
As for pushing themselves, they are actually doing content that would have won world championships just 10 years ago. The whole phenomenon of ladies doing triple axels and quads is a pretty recent Eteri phenomenon, and honestly, whether the Eteri method is one to be copied and enforced can be debated in an entirely separate thread. I'll just say that the amount of mental issues now being reported by so many female skaters is a little too high for my liking.
And this is what my concern is. Ten years ago is a long time. Sports constantly evolve. Skills become more demanding. Also, it's not only Eteri trained girls attempting new jumps. There are several others with triple axels and more practicing these, and quads, with hopes of including such elements in their future programs. I'm tired of people blaming Eteri for everything they find questionable but, as you say, that's for another thread.

Mental health issues, including eating disorders, have been part of many sports, including figure skating, for a very long time, and not just among females. I struggled with bulimia for over a decade and likely wouldn't have without sport. Tougher jump content isn't what brought mental strain to women's figure skating. Just think about how much emphasis is placed on having lovely, long, slim limbs and trim bodies. Think about pairs and dance where girls are lifted and the pressure put on them, and that they put on themselves, to stay small so as not to strain their partners. Consider the sort of competitive, perfectionist attitude a technical pursuit like skating requires, couple that with the stress of being in a judged sport, and it's clear that mental health is apt to be an issue for many.
 

Dr.TylerPhD

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Well, more recently than 10 years ago, just three years ago, a Canadian lady was world champion. I think they were hoping, and still hoping, that Daleman would be keeping up her previous placements. That has more to do with her missing jumps as opposed to a lack of quads and triple axels. Remember, she was outscoring people while doing a triple toe-triple toe. I think many never expected Madeline to make top 10 in the short at worlds, yet she did. I think the real benchmark right now is doing a triple-triple combination, and some are showing an ability to that. Indeed, once you go past Russia and Japan, Canadian ladies aren't that far off the rest of the world really. Even the US is rumbling and complaining about how they aren't holding up to Japan and Russia in ladies skating. In Russia, it has a lot to do with Eteri, in Japan, female skating has just been a long streak of success lately, kinda like China in pairs, but then don't look so closely at the other disciplines. It will be interesting to see if Japan or Canada gets the bronze at the team event skating in China.

Ultimately, I think there's general dissapointment that Daleman hasn't continue the torch as many hoped, although there's always hope of a recovery, and perhaps they thought they would get another four years out of Osmond. It hasn't worked out, and it's switched the focus to other girls who we weren't really expecting to be considering just three years ago. Madeline certainly shows some promise, but how to compete with Russia currently is probably something many countries, including Japan, are now wondering as they are practically turning the ladies competition into something like gymnastics where they compete for four years and then disappear. I think this a major reason many people are probably more excited about Tuk than the actual world champion. It's like "oh thank heavens, an actual woman will continued success rather than a girl who wins for 2-4 years and then disappears"

All that being said, we are all suddenly looking at Madeline in a way we weren't just three months ago! Of course, at 18, she is old by Russian standards, and that's where you may be correct if the field of ladies skating itself is changing to being all about teenagers. It would be the only discipline like that considering you have most men in their 20s, while pairs and dance will now even continue into their 30s!

I'm also going to say that if you ignore the inconsistency and issues Daleman has been having, and if you just consider Daleman at 2019 worlds vs. Madeline at 2021 worlds, it's difficult to say that Madeline was all that superior and perhaps Daleman was actually overall better. Daleman was 11th after the short, but there are was less than three points separating 5th to 11th! I wouldn't be completely surprised if Daleman actually goes to the Olympics in 2022. She was showing recovery, and a better trained season with competition could put her back into top form, certainly top 10, perhaps even top 5. Behind the Russian girls probably, but able to compete with the rest. All this to say, we should write Daleman off too quickly. Remember Joannie Rochette had some difficult seasons before rebounding.

I will say one thing, however, as a current negative: we need a better stable than Joanne McCloud for the emergence of female skaters! I'm never very excited when I see a Canadian medalist being coached by her. Hopefully Ravi can produce more champions. Joanne's skaters seem to do well enough to reach the national podium, and then just never excel beyond that to the point where they are competing more strongly on the world stage. Case in point, Madeline vs. the current national champion.
 
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overedge

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Almost 20 years ago, when Mira Leung was the only Canadian lady consistently landing underrotated triples, people were complaining that Canadian ladies weren't being pushed fast enough to learn the more advanced jumps. And yet here we are, with a lot more female skaters in Canada landing triples than there were then, and not just in seniors.

Things have improved. And yes, the rest of the world maybe has improved faster, but not every country is on the top every year.
 
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Dr.TylerPhD

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Almost 20 years ago, when Mira Leung was the only Canadian lady consistently landing underrotated triples, people were complaining that Canadian ladies weren't being pushed fast enough to learn the more advanced jumps. And yet here we are, with a lot more female skaters in Canada landing triples than there were then, and not just in seniors.

Things have improved. And yes, the rest of the world maybe has improved faster, but not every country is on the top every year.

Boy yes, exactly. Remember it well. It reflects what I've been saying: we've been complaining about this for a while, and during that time, they had begun to write off Rochette, and the idea that two females could be on the world's podium, or even one become world champion, would have gotten you laughed right out of the room and considered insane!

I also think I was too harsh to Daleman in my earlier comment.

If you ignore the inconsistency and issues Daleman has been having, and if you just consider Daleman at 2019 worlds vs. Madeline at 2021 worlds, it's difficult to say that Madeline was all that superior and perhaps Daleman was actually overall better. Daleman was 11th after the short, but there are was less than three points separating 5th to 11th! I wouldn't be completely surprised if Daleman actually goes to the Olympics in 2022. She was showing recovery, and a better trained season with competition could put her back into top form, certainly top 10, perhaps even top 5. Behind the Russian girls probably, but able to compete with the rest. All this to say, we shouldn't write Daleman off too quickly. Remember Joannie Rochette had some difficult seasons before rebounding.
 

manhn

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Mira competed the same time as Joannie so she was never seen as the saviour of skating. She placed 12th ate the Olympics in 2006, which is a better result than any Canadian at this year’s Worlds. Her presence generated a lot of discussion but she was not the face of Canadian Ladies at the time.
 

Dr.TylerPhD

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Mira competed the same time as Joannie so she was never seen as the saviour of skating. She placed 12th ate the Olympics in 2006, which is a better result than any Canadian at this year’s Worlds. Her presence generated a lot of discussion but she was not the face of Canadian Ladies at the time.

The point being made though, I think, is that she did produce a lot of discussion about needing push female skaters more, and her ability to be out there landing "triples" combined with youth did make her get a lot of push. Perhaps not seen as the saviour, but there was a lot of attention and hope, with some even eyeing her to pass Joannie at one point while Rochette was having some difficult seasons. There was so much criticism at the time about the push she received from Skate Canada, the money poured into her, versus other skaters who were presenting more of a complete package versus tons of "triples." This was a time when there was a lot of focus on young teenage American girls and discussions about what Canada needed to do produce their own crop of powerful teenage lady skaters. To some, Mira was the Canadian equivalent of these teenagers.
 

puglover

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If there is much to learn from Mira Leung I would think it was her desire to push for more than she probably saw around her. According to wikipedia she started skating at 3 - taking lessons at 5 and by 8 was landing triple salchow and toe loop. In addition, she began playing the piano at 3 and finished grade 10 piano. I believe Joanne was preparing her for the 2010 olympics but it was Mira who stated she was gearing for the 2006 olympics. It obviously takes a lot of different attributes to make a really competitive athlete but the ability to ignore the perceived expectations and barriers seems very desirable.
 

overedge

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The point being made though, I think, is that she did produce a lot of discussion about needing push female skaters more, and her ability to be out there landing "triples" combined with youth did make her get a lot of push. Perhaps not seen as the saviour, but there was a lot of attention and hope, with some even eyeing her to pass Joannie at one point while Rochette was having some difficult seasons. There was so much criticism at the time about the push she received from Skate Canada, the money poured into her, versus other skaters who were presenting more of a complete package versus tons of "triples." This was a time when there was a lot of focus on young teenage American girls and discussions about what Canada needed to do produce their own crop of powerful teenage lady skaters. To some, Mira was the Canadian equivalent of these teenagers.

The point being made wasn't about Mira and whether she should or shouldn't have been seen as the saviour of Canadian ladies' skating. My point was that more than a decade ago people were complaining that Canadian women weren't being pushed hard enough to learn more advanced jumps, and now the same complaints are coming around again. This is nothing new, and just like in any other country, some years have stronger skaters than other years.

IMO there's no need to push Canadian ladies; let them develop at their own pace and develop good technique. If that means years without high international placements or medals, so be it. And, most importantly, let them enjoy their experience in the sport and not come out of it with mental and/or physical damage.
 

overedge

G.O.A.T.
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30,438
If there is much to learn from Mira Leung I would think it was her desire to push for more than she probably saw around her. According to wikipedia she started skating at 3 - taking lessons at 5 and by 8 was landing triple salchow and toe loop. In addition, she began playing the piano at 3 and finished grade 10 piano. I believe Joanne was preparing her for the 2010 olympics but it was Mira who stated she was gearing for the 2006 olympics. It obviously takes a lot of different attributes to make a really competitive athlete but the ability to ignore the perceived expectations and barriers seems very desirable.

A lot of Mira's push was coming from her mom. Those jumps that Mira was landing at age 8 were very underrotated and with bad technique, but to her mom the jumps were okay because they were triples. Yes, that's ignoring perceived barriers and expectations, but it didn't help Mira in the long run. Those technical issues were problems for Mira later in her career.
 

Dr.TylerPhD

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The point being made wasn't about Mira and whether she should or shouldn't have been seen as the saviour of Canadian ladies' skating. My point was that more than a decade ago people were complaining that Canadian women weren't being pushed hard enough to learn more advanced jumps, and now the same complaints are coming around again. This is nothing new, and just like in any other country, some years have stronger skaters than other years.

IMO there's no need to push Canadian ladies; let them develop at their own pace and develop good technique. If that means years without high international placements or medals, so be it. And, most importantly, let them enjoy their experience in the sport and not come out of it with mental and/or physical damage.

That's how I had interpreted it, but thanks for clarifying. I agree with the rest of your post(s) too, especially that there is some deja vu with the same complaints resurfacing.
 

nlyoung

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654
My perception is that girls are pushed more often into hockey rather than FS (at least here in MB).
It has nothing to do with pushing. Lots of kids participate in Can Skate which leads to either hockey or figure skating. There are far more opportunities for kids to participate in hockey which can be a fun, non-competitive sport.
 

manhn

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One should also try not to have different sports compete against each other. One could perhaps perceive it that hockey encourages more people to skate, and some of them will move towards figure skating. I prefer to think that hockey and figure skating can help each other out.
 

shutterbug

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1,978
It has nothing to do with pushing. Lots of kids participate in Can Skate which leads to either hockey or figure skating. There are far more opportunities for kids to participate in hockey which can be a fun, non-competitive sport.
Hockey culture is HUGE in Manitoba. Parents expect both boys and girls will play. Figure skating is rarely even given consideration. CanSkate enrollment in Winnipeg is dismal; most kids learn to skate through municipal programs or hockey schools.
 

WanderlustTO

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I am worried, and not just about the women. Two things are at play that raise my concerns. The first is skating's place in Canada's current popular sports hierarchy. Perhaps others in different provinces are experiencing a different situation, but no one I know here is looking at the sport in a serious way for themselves or their kids. Skating lessons are being treated like childhood swimming lessons; something that offers exercise and teaches a good skill to have but is only a side activity, not the main focus. Other sports have taken over for girls who want to be on ice; they're speed skating and playing hockey. A local woman even won two medals at this year's short track speed skating worlds.

Secondly, I really fear Canada isn't adjusting training and expectations to match the new normal. Our girls especially don't seem to be training the harder content early and often the way other nations are. Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm not seeing the clips of triple axel and quad attempts on the regular. I can't stop thinking there's a potential danger of this becoming a mostly recreational sport, rather than one that draws fierce competitors who want to push their athletic boundaries, here.
That's a pretty loaded comment - and I think we should all challenge ourselves to consider what should be reasonably expected from a Canadian athlete who wants to be elite.

This is one of the reasons I don't think Canada is simply at a low ebb and going to later come into an upswing - I truly believe, whether people want to say it out loud or not, we're staring down the barrel of a reality that Canada will not be competitive at the most elite level in the ladies event going forward - and maybe that's actually okay.

The training that's undertaken in somewhere like Russia to achieve the heights that Russian skaters have (including at an extremely young age) is not something that Canadians parents will shove their children into. And is that so wrong???

Canada is simply not going to create a figure skating apparatus like they've created in Russia - but isn't that for the best? I do not look at the Russian skaters who have been shoved through the country's figure skating machine and think it's worked out particularly well for a lot of them...and I'm just thinking of some recent world's level Russian skaters who then go on to finish 10th or worse at the next nationals and are barely heard from again.

In any event...sorry for being Debbie Downer. I'm actually quite optimistic about many aspects of Canadian figure skating..albeit not this particular event. But it is what it is.
 

WanderlustTO

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My perception is that girls are pushed more often into hockey rather than FS (at least here in MB).
I'm guessing it's the same in most (all?) provinces. And are they actually "pushed" or is hockey just a better attraction?

Hockey is a team sport where you can have fun playing it as a kid at multiple levels. Competitive figure skating is less friendly, perhaps.
 

Lemonade20

If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
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Ice time is hard to get, so it doesn't surprise me that hockey and ringette are more popular than figure skating. A lot of parents start their kids in CanSkate (like a learning how to skate program) and there's also speed skating too. Figure skating is possibly the most expensive of all these sports when you think about ice time, coaching, costumes, skates & boots, and traveling to competitions. I would like to see more competitions being held at lower levels, encouraging the early skaters to shoot for something. It feels like Skate Canada isn't doing enough and they're hyper focused on a select few.
 

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