Canadian men's figure skating champion at risk of missing Olympics

Feb 3 2022, 6:11 pm

Keegan Messing, Canada’s national champion in men’s figure skating, is at risk of missing the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

He remains in Vancouver because he’s unable to produce the two negative PCR tests required to fly the Beijing and join his teammates at the Games.

Messing told Postmedia on Wednesday that he feels “perfectly fine” and had been “stupidly careful trying to keep the virus out.”

He added he doesn’t know how he could have tested positive.

Messing was crowned national champion in Ottawa in early January, claiming the men’s event at the Canadian National Figure Skating Championships with a total score of 258.03.

Canada will compete in the men’s short program, ice dance rhythm, and pairs short program on Friday. Canada is looking for its third consecutive Olympic medal in the team event after capturing silver in Sochi in 2014 and gold at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

Messing was to participate for Canada in the team event. It is expected that 22-year-old Roman Sadovsky, who placed second at nationals, will skate in Messing’s place in the short program. 

The men’s long program for the team event goes Sunday. Teams are permitted to make substitutions between the short and long programs, allowing Messing to participate should he arrive on time.

The men’s singles event begins Tuesday.

Messing, 30, participated at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games in his Olympic debut, finishing 12th. Last spring, he finished sixth at the world championships and netted bronze at Skate America in 2020 as the lone Canadian participant.

In December 2021, Messing won his second career gold medal on the ISU Challenger Series with a victory at the Golden Spin of Zagreb.

Messing was born in Girdwood, Alaska, and started competing for Canada internationally during the 2014-15 season representing the United States since the start of his career. His decision was made after conversations with his Canadian grandmother, who told him Canada had never won an Olympic gold medal in men’s figure skating.

He finished in the top five at both the 2015 and 2017 Canadian Championships, earning him a place on the national team. He made his Olympic debut in 2018 after winning silver at the 2018 Canadian Championship.

Aaron VickersAaron Vickers

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