Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Too sexy? Impossible

Moir, Virtue glide to gold

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WINDSOR, Ont. -- A whistle went up from the crowd when Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir took their starting pose and Virtue ran her hand provocatively up Moir's thigh.

Virtue and Moir captured gold at Skate Canada International on Saturday, and earned rave reviews for their debut of their Carmen program -- displaying a much more mature side to the cute twosome that became Canada's favourite couple at the Vancouver Olympics.

"It's impossible to do anything too sexy," said their coach Marina Zoueva. "Is it sexy or is it not sexy? It is sexy because it is Carmen. It's different. I really wanted to show, especially for Tessa, a new way to go, show different aspects of her talent as a performer.

"It is a drama, it is a sexy drama."

Meanwhile, Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won silver in the pairs.

Two-time world champion Patrick Chan of Toronto had to settle for silver, falling on his triple Axel en route to finishing second behind Javier Fernandez of Spain.

The 21-year-old Chan, who is known for his rocky starts to the season, has new choreographers, new programs and a new lead coach in Kathy Johnson this season, and said he wasn't dismayed by the result.

"I've won these competitions before and for me it goes beyond winning," Chan said. "It's become a learning process and taking this and taking it step by step for the world championships -- worlds is my end goal, and it's my only goal, and the year after that will be the Olympics."

Chan landed his opening quad toe loop but touched a hand down on his second one in his program to La Boheme. He finished with 243.43 points overall.

Fernandez fell on his opening quad, but landed two more to finish with 253.94.

"It was my first gold internationally, so it just feels amazing," Fernandez said. "It's not about Patrick, it's about all the skaters. Patrick is still Patrick, he's a star. Of course he could have skated better. But it's only one competition, there's a lot of competitions in this year."

Nobunari Oda of Japan won the bronze.


The 23-year-old Virtue, wearing a black backless dress with plunging neckline, and the 25-year-old Moir, scored 104.32 points for their free dance, bringing the crowd at the WFCU Centre to its feet. They finished with 169.41 overall.

Italians Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, who trailed the Canadians by just 0.01 points after Friday's short dance, won the silver with 160.06.

Russians Ekaterina Riazanova and Ilia Tkachenko won bronze with 143.39.

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., finished fourth, while Toronto's Kharis Ralph and Asher Hill were eighth.

Barely a year out from the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Virtue and Moir stressed the importance of always pushing the envelope. They worked with modern dance teacher Jennifer Swan, who helped them develop their Pink Floyd program several years ago.

"Obviously, our take on Carmen, there is some sexuality to it," Moir said. "It kind of really spoke to us. It's one of those programs were we kind of make the storyline with meaning behind it. But people kind of interpret it their own way, which is good.

"I don't think you can do Carmen without that element," Virtue added. "There's such a sexuality and also just the rawness of it. That's what we tried to portray. None of our movements are without purpose."


-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 28, 2012 B16

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