High-level figure skating is coming to Vancouver next week, with lots on the line.
One month before the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the Canadian National Skating Championships lands on the West Coast for the first time in 10 years.
Taking place at UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre beginning on Monday, the week-long event will feature a number of world class skaters, including nine athletes that won an Olympic medal in Sochi four years ago.
On the line is an opportunity to represent Canada at the Olympics next month, as this competition serves as a qualification event. Canada won silver in the team event four years ago in Sochi, which is a testament to the depth we have in this country.
In total, 250 men and women will compete in singles, pairs, and ice dance disciplines across three levels: senior, junior, and novice. The names you’ll recognize from past Olympic Games will begin competing on Friday, January 12.
Patrick Chan, a three-time world champion and a double silver medallist from the 2014 Olympics will be there. Still just 26 years old, he has a shot for another medal in PyeongChang. He was fifth at the World Championships last year.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, now 28 and 30 respectively, will be looking to add to their Olympic trophy case. Three-time world champions in ice dancing, including first-place at last year’s Worlds, they won gold at Vancouver 2010 and two silvers in Sochi.
Keatlyn Osmond (22) and Gabrielle Daleman (19) still have youth on their side and are coming off a silver and bronze finish respectively in the ladies competition at last year’s World Championships.
In pairs, the teams of Liubov Ilyushechkina/Dylan Moscovitch (6th at the World Championships) and Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (7th) will be a sight to see.