2021/2022 Canadian Pairs: News and Updates

Xela M

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Sorry, have not read the thread but have KMT and Michael retired? Why were they not at Worlds? Seems odd to miss such an opportunity with no Russia or China
 

clairecloutier

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I caught up with Bruno Marcotte this week to get his take on Miura/Kihara, Moore-Towers/Marinaro, and the issues facing Canadian pairs:

 

Sylvia

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Congrats to Brooke McIntosh & Benjamin Mimar on winning BRONZE at 2022 Junior Worlds! :)
Their 3rd place FS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkeUBZjt_8I

ETA their quotes from the ISU's event recap:
“We’re just happy to be here, thank you to the ISU and Estonia for having us,” said McIntosh. “Our program was not perfect, but we’re happy we got a medal.”
Mimar added: “Coming here we knew we have a chance to make the top five.” The Canadians will move up to the senior level in the upcoming season.
 
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Rock2

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Marcotte said, "Of course, there is always the big challenge of trying to find the right music, choreography, and packaging.”

It is especially challenging when he defaults to his sister.

For real. I heard the Japanese team really did like their short music. But I would be prototyping them after Peng and Jin in terms of packaging. I do think Julie has a lot of tools in her toolbox when you look at some of the lower-ranked teams she works with, but for the higher ranked teams, it's a steady diet of 'powerful' (cough) ballads, pop covers from different eras and French stuff.

I guess at the end of the day it doesn't matter all that much if you have good TES. Your PCS will just rise naturally if you skate consistent, high-quality programs. The separator might be being left out of the last warmup group after the short because you just don't have that 9.5 program.
 

puglover

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Kirsten M-T will be on Kelly Rippon's IG Live at 7 pm ET tonight: https://www.instagram.com/p/CcehDgurxJD/

ETA link to the replay: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CcgxYrQl2aL/
Not the best audio - at least for me - but well worth the effort to follow it. I like the fact that Kirsten identifies the factors that lead to her eating disorder without naming names or establishing blame and does not want to come off as a victim, and although she is open about her struggle, she doesn't. She competed in 3 Olympics, won a silver medal, and then went through a very tough period in the sport. This past year clearly did not go as they had hoped but she seems happy and content. I am not sure if they are retiring but she and Liam have a big trip to Europe planned for the summer and her delightful smile was in full display throughout the interview. She is turning 30 now - so thanks to that little 8/9 year old who dared to dream big.
 

Karen-W

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Here is a short video from one of the new French pairs teams, Piegad & Strekalin in which they mention they plan on continuing to work with Vanessa James in the coming year (she's been in Paris for about 10 days since she and Eric made their trip to his hometown and videos of her working with them at their rink).


Not sure what this means for James/Radford competing next season, but I suspect the likelihood is pretty low.
 

skatista098

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Piegad and Strekalin look quite impressive for 2 months together.

James and Radford performed in Music On Ice in Bellinzona, Switzerland one week ago (April 14-15).

Earlier this week, James, Papadakis and Cizeron spent time with Premiers de Cordée, a French organization that offers sports initiatives for hospitalized children and children with disabilities. It is very nice to see skaters participating in events like this!
Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CclKeqcI2Kd/
 

Sylvia

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Emma Bulawka, 19 (6th in Senior at 2020 Canadians, last competed in the January 2021 Virtual Skate Canada Challenge, placing 13th) launched her "Wide Open Spaces" podcast earlier this year
Evelyn Walsh (May 13): https://rss.com/podcasts/wide-open-spaces/486264/
In this episode, I talk with Evelyn about the importance of elite athletes surrounding themselves with a team that supports, believes and sticks by their side through the darkest of times. In sport, as well as after. Those are your people. She shares some of the highs and lows of this last season and how she handled the added element of potentially qualifying for her first Olympics. She also opens up about her own struggles with not fitting into a certain pair skating ‘mold’ and how after she began working with a sport’s psychologist, her perspectives shifted, which allowed her to tune out self-doubt. We talk about how we, as athletes, can progress and promote longevity and positive body image for women in all sports. And how working with a sport’s psychologist will give you the tools needed to rise from the toughest of obstacles, like both of us have done and continue to do.
ETA: Near the end, she mentions she & Trennt are working with a new choreographer (without naming him or her) and will have a different themed program from what they've skated to in the past and that she's looking forward to the 2022-23 season. She has two more years of university left and is interested in studying sports psychology.
 
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Gris

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Zachary Daleman has reportedly partnered with... Natalia Zabiiako, representing Canada. :eek: They'll be coached by Bruno Marcotte.
 
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Colonel Green

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Zachary Daleman is reportedly partnered with... Natalia Zabiiako, representing Canada. :eek: They'll be coached by Bruno Marcotte.
Well, I definitely didn’t expect that.

“Mrs. Robinson” free program incoming?
 

Sylvia

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Zachary Daleman has reportedly partnered with... Natalia Zabiiako, representing Canada. :eek: They'll be coached by Bruno Marcotte.
Link to the GSD news thread with some Russian article links:

Patinage Quebec's Équipes Excellence-A-NextGen-B Couple [Pairs] 2022-2023 combined list as of 5/18/22: https://patinage.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Athletes-B_Site-Internet_2022-2023-V4.pdf

Vanessa James & Eric Radford [Julie Marcotte]
Deanna Stellato & Maxime Deschamps [Ian Connolly]
Lori Ann Matte & Thierry Ferland [Julie Marcotte]
Kelly Ann Laurin & Loucas Ethier [Stéphanie Valois]
Emmanuelle Proft & Nicolas Nadeau (NEW) [Stéphanie Valois]
Élizabeth Thibodeau-Mailhot & Daniel Villeneuve [Ian Connolly]
Émy Carignan & Bryan Pierro [Ian Connolly]
 

Sylvia

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Skate Canada's June 7th press release:

Three-time Canadian pair champions Kirsten Moore-Towers, 29, St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 30, Sarnia, Ont., have retired from competitive skating. The team began skating together in June 2014.

Moore-Towers and Marinaro won their first of five national championship medals in 2017 and would land on the podium at that event every year after (bronze 2017, bronze 2018, gold 2019-2022). They would go on to represent Canada at two Olympic Winter Games, placing 11th in 2018 and 10th in 2022.

“I am filled with gratitude for having been able to compete internationally for Canada for 13 years. My eternal thanks go to my family; their constant support and sacrifice allowed me to live my dream. Thanks to our support staff for keeping us together physically and mentally. To Pat Magee, especially, for working so hard for us from anywhere in the world. I am grateful for my past partners and coaches. Thanks, Dylan Moscovitch for carrying me, literally, through the first half of my career,” said Moore-Towers.

Moore-Towers continued, “There are not enough words to express my love and respect for the coaching team that saw us through to the end. Julie Marcotte, who is responsible for so much of our growth as people and athletes through the years. Mark Pillay, who started and ended the choreography of my pair career. Brian Shales, for his expertise and the fun lessons we had. Bruno Marcotte and Alison Purkiss, who see us as humans first and athletes second. My career has been more enjoyable and worthwhile with them as coaches and mentors. It has been the honour of my life to skate with Mike. I have no regrets and will cherish the memories forever”

“What an honour it has been to represent this amazing country and federation. It has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of my training and support staff throughout my career. I will do my best to pass on all the valuable skills and lessons each and every one of you have taught me,” said Marinaro. “None of this would have been possible without my parents. I would like to thank them for their endless support and giving me the opportunity to chase my dreams. Lastly, thank you to Kirsten for sharing this amazing journey filled with a lifetime of memories. It was a blast.”

Together they won seven ISU Grand Prix medals and qualified for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in 2019 where they placed fifth. They picked up gold medals at both the 2019 Nebelhorn Trophy and at the 2017 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic. Moore-Towers and Marinaro represented Canada at four ISU World Figure Skating Championships placing in the top eight each time.

“Kirsten and Mike have had a fantastic career in pair skating. Their dedication and drive to advance pair skating in Canada has helped to inspire the next generation,” said Mike Slipchuk, High Performance Director, Skate Canada. “Skate Canada wishes Kirsten and Mike the best in their future ventures.”

Moore-Towers and Marinaro both had international success with previous partners before teaming up in 2014.

Moore-Towers skated with Dylan Moscovitch from 2009-2014. They went on to become Canadian champions in 2011. Moore-Towers is a four-time Canadian pair champion in total across her two skating partnerships. They competed at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships three times together, with two fourth place finished in 2013 and 2014. In 2014, Moore-Towers and Moscovitch won the silver medal as part of figure skating team event at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and placed fifth in the pair event.

Marinaro skated with Margaret Purdy from 2007-2014. They saw success on the junior circuit winning three medals on the ISU Junior Grand Prix series and placing fourth at ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in 2012. Marinaro and Purdy won silver at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in 2013.

Moore-Towers is relocating to Vancouver, she looks forward to sharing her love of skating in her new community and is excited to explore new roles within the figure skating community. She will continue to advocate for the mental health of athletes and will be cheering on the next generation of skaters from the stands.


Marinaro looks forward to staying involved in the sport and spreading his love and passion for figure skating.
 

Sylvia

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Kirsten's personal retirement message with a montage of clips: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cego7l5pGCU/

I’d like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from competitive skating 🤍
I am filled with gratitude for having represented Canada internationally for 13 years. My career was filled with extreme highs and some tumultuous lows and it certainly wasn’t perfect; nor was I.
I hope to be remembered as a good teammate; as somebody who won with class and lost with dignity. Most of all, I hope you remember me as a fighter; for my performances, for my people, for what’s right. Even if it got me into trouble a time or two 😜

My eternal thanks go to my family; their constant support and sacrifice allowed me to live my dreams. To Beckey, for being the best friend there ever was; who felt every high and low with me. To Liam, for putting in all of the heavy lifting for the last four years; for always being able to make me laugh.
Thank you to our support staff for keeping us together physically and mentally. To Pat Magee, especially, for working so hard for us from anywhere in the world. To Jodie and Alexia, for reminding me what I deserve. To Skate Oakville, for the amazing support.
I am so grateful for my past coaches and partners. Thanks, Dylan Moscovitch for carrying me, literally, through the first half of my career. To Julie Marcotte, who is responsible for much of our growth as people and skaters. Our creation process will forever be some of my favourite memories. Mark Pillay was my first and last pair choreographer and a fantastic mentor.
There are not enough words to express my love, respect, and admiration for the coaching team that saw us through to the end. Thank you, Brian Shales for some of our most fun lessons. Most of all, to Bruno Marcotte and Alison Purkiss, for seeing me at my lowest and believing in me anyways; for caring about us as humans first, and athletes second. My career has been more enjoyable and worthwhile with them as coaches and mentors. Finally, it has been the honour of my life to skate with Mike; thank you for all that you are. I have no regrets, and will cherish the memories forever.
Thank you, fans and friends, for your support all these years. I’ll see you in the stands as I assume my new role as everybody’s #1 fan 🥰
 

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