February 23, 2018

Winnipeg
-9° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Canadian star figure skaters would love to cap careers with gold in team event

GANGEUNG, Korea, Republic Of - Together they've collected eight world titles, and pushed their sport to the greatest of heights.

Patrick Chan, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford have been the face of Canadian figure skating for the better part of a decade, and a gold medal in the team event at the Pyeongchang Olympics would be a fitting ending for Canada's finest.

"It's such a unique story, we all sort of started at the same time, and kind of came from similar places in our careers," Radford said. "We've all together achieved so much in skating, and I think helped evolve the sport in each of our own disciplines, and all paths, all roads are leading to this one place at the Olympics, and it's going to be the end for a lot of us.

"You couldn't ask for a better story, with all these amazing personalities, skaters, and everything we've all accomplished culminating in this amazing moment."

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 60 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Add a payment method

To read the remaining 647 words of this article.

Pay only 27¢ for articles you wish to read.

Hope you enjoyed your trial.

Add a payment method

To read the remaining 647 words of this article.

Pay only 27¢ for articles you wish to read.

Patrick Chan, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford have been the face of Canadian figure skating for the better part of a decade, and a gold medal in the team event at the Pyeongchang Olympics would be a fitting ending for Canada's finest. Patrick Chan goes through his routine during a practice session at the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics, in Gangneung, South Korea, Wednesday, February 7, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Patrick Chan, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford have been the face of Canadian figure skating for the better part of a decade, and a gold medal in the team event at the Pyeongchang Olympics would be a fitting ending for Canada's finest. Patrick Chan goes through his routine during a practice session at the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics, in Gangneung, South Korea, Wednesday, February 7, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

GANGEUNG, Korea, Republic Of - Together they've collected eight world titles, and pushed their sport to the greatest of heights.

Patrick Chan, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford have been the face of Canadian figure skating for the better part of a decade, and a gold medal in the team event at the Pyeongchang Olympics would be a fitting ending for Canada's finest.

"It's such a unique story, we all sort of started at the same time, and kind of came from similar places in our careers," Radford said. "We've all together achieved so much in skating, and I think helped evolve the sport in each of our own disciplines, and all paths, all roads are leading to this one place at the Olympics, and it's going to be the end for a lot of us.

"You couldn't ask for a better story, with all these amazing personalities, skaters, and everything we've all accomplished culminating in this amazing moment."

The illustrious road ends at the Gangneung Ice Arena, where the veteran skaters will close their competitive careers.

Canada is ranked No. 1 in the team event, which begins Friday with the pairs and men's short program.

Canada captured silver when the team event made its Olympic debut four years ago in Sochi. Countries compete in all four disciplines, in both the short and long programs. Teams can make two changes to its skaters between the short and long programs.

The event means skaters double up on their workload, but the Canadians embrace it with zero hesitation.

"If they let us skate 10 times we would," said Moir, an Olympic gold and silver medallist in ice dance with Virtue. "To be on an Olympic ice is so special. We're so excited, just let us out there."

Four years ago in Sochi, the close-knit Canadians gathered on the ice for a pre-medal ceremony huddle, then clasped hands and jumped as one onto the podium.

"My favourite memories of Sochi are from that team event, and not even necessarily our skate," said Duhamel, a two-time world pairs champion with Radford. "I think this will be no different. It will provide us with the most meaningful, memorable moments that we'll have in our life from this sport."

Canada is the only country that remains virtually intact four years after Sochi, boasting the three veteran entries plus Kaetlyn Osmond and Gabrielle Daleman — world silver and bronze medallists respectively — in women's singles.

In the team event, each country has an assigned box where skaters sit rinkside and cheer on teammates, making for an entertaining spectator experience.

"That's one of my favourite parts," said Radford, a two-time world pairs champion with Duhamel.

Five of the 10 countries are eliminated after the short programs.

Chan, who finished a heartbreaking second in men's singles in Sochi, said he'd love to cap his career with gold in the team event.

"It would be really cool, oh my God," Chan said. "Because for me, a gold medal's a gold medal, nobody is going to take that away from me. No one is going to question: What gold was it for?"

Unlike their Olympic siblings in short-track and long-track speedskating, who can race several times in a single Olympics, figure skating has been a one-shot sport since its Olympic debut in 1908. The skaters relish another shot at a medal.

"It's exciting and it's another opportunity to skate on Olympic ice, which figure skaters haven't had," Radford said.

Duhamel pointed out that almost half of American swimmer Michael Phelps' Olympics medals — 12 of 28 — came in relays.

"In all these other sports, they have opportunities to win multiple medals, and in skating, we didn't have that opportunity," she said.

Canada's stiffest competition should come from Russia, Japan and the United States, but no country is as strong across all four disciplines.

"We definitely have a quiet chemistry, we just know we have a job to do and we all know we have a really good chance. We all have a task at hand," Chan said. "We have a good balance of having fun and enjoying the team event process, and then also going out and saying 'OK, this is my turn to deliver.'"

Moir and Radford said they wish the team event came at the end of the Olympics, after their individual events were over, much like the relays cap any major track and field event.

"But we'll take any opportunity we can," Moir said. "That's kind of our focus right now. We think that Canada can win, we think Canada can bring home gold, and that would be a great start to the Games for us."

The ice dance and women's short programs and pairs free programs are Sunday. The men's, ice dance, and women's free programs are Monday.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.