Over the last week, Ottawa held the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships to determine who would represent Canada in the Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia. It was an exciting competition and after much anticipation, we finally have a confirmation of who is all headed to the Olympics as the team was officially announced Sunday afternoon.
Leading the charge is ice dance duo Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who have been skating together since 1997. Virtue and Moir won gold in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver with a total score of 221.57. Their victory marked the first time North American ice dancers won a gold medal. Being as they are both in their mid-20's, this could be the last time we see the two of them skating together on the Olympic stage. Let's hope they repeat their 2010 success and go out on top.
Patrick Chan, 23, leads the list of men heading to Sochi. Chan participated in the 2010 Winter Olympics and placed fifth. He is a decorated Canadian champion, having won seven straight Canadian figure skating titles and will look to improve on his last Olympic appearance, making it to the podium as one of the top three.
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are among three pairs headed to the Olympics. Both skaters have been paired with several partners over the course of their skating career, but have never reached the Olympics. They have been skating with each other since 2010 and hope to show the world what they are capable of.
Last but not least, 18-year old Kaetlyn Osmond is headed to Sochi in the women's division. Osmond suffered injuries to her leg and hamstring during the 2013 season, but battled back in a major way. She won her second straight Canadian championship over the weekend and is arguably skating the best she ever has. Osmond knows how to work the crowd and you can see the joy on her face when she skates. Although she's not expected to be a real threat for a medal, don't be surprised if you see Osmond standing on that podium when the competition is over.
Joining Osmond is 15-year old Gabrielle Daleman who shocked everyone by placing second and beating Amelie Lacoste for the final spot on the Olympic team. Daleman who turns 16 tomorrow, has been under the radar and could be a delightful surprise next month.
Patrick Chan, Kevin Reynolds, Liam Firus
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch, Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers
Congratulations to all of those who made the team!
Figure skating will start on February 6, 2014. It will commence one day before the opening ceremonies as a team event has been added to the competition.
With less than a month before the start of the competition, there will be constant predictions regarding the medal race in each category. Let's hope that when the real action gets under way, these Canadian figure skaters emerge victorious and hear their National Anthem played on the biggest stage.
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