Olympic Qualification Status
At the 2021 ISU World Championships in March, the results achieved by Canadian figure skaters ensured the country would have three ice dance couples, two pairs, one man and one woman at Beijing 2022. Canada was also eligible to go after a second men’s spot and successfully claimed that at the final qualification event, the Nebelhorn Trophy, in late September. Who will fill those spots will be determined after the Canadian championships in January. Canada will also be part of the team event at Beijing 2022 as they have qualified as one of the 10 nations that will take part in the event.
After not participating in a live competition since February 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier had a performance to remember at the 2021 World Championships. They won bronze for Canada’s only medal of the competition and stood on the world podium for the first time in their careers.
Other highlights from the worlds included sixth-place finishes by Keegan Messing in the men’s event and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro in the pairs event. The last time Moore-Towers and Marinaro competed in Grand Prix events in the fall of 2019, they won two silver medals and qualified for their first Grand Prix Final.
It was 2020 Canadian champion Roman Sadovsky who delivered under pressure at Nebelhorn Trophy to secure the spot for the country. Two-time national Nam Nguyen is also looking to challenge for his first Olympic team.
In the women’s event, Madeline Schizas had a nice worlds debut in her first major senior international event, breaking into the top-10 after the short program before finishing 13th overall.
There was some big off-season news when Eric Radford and Vanessa James announced they were coming out of retirement to form a new pairs partnership. Radford won team gold and pairs bronze with Meagan Duhamel at PyeongChang 2018 after being a two-time world champion. James won a world bronze medal in 2018 and a European title in 2019 while representing France with her former partner. Certainly not to be forgotten in the conversation about Canada’s two Olympic pairs spots are Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud who finished 12th at the 2021 worlds.
Danish-born ice dancer Nikolaj Sørensen, who finished eighth for Canada at the 2021 Worlds with partner Laurence Fournier Beaudry, has received his Canadian citizenship, making the duo eligible for Olympic competition. Canada continues to have great depth in ice dance, which also includes Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha who were world junior champions in 2019 and made their senior worlds debut in 2021.
The Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, taking place January 6-13 in Ottawa, will be the final event taken into consideration for selecting the Olympic team