By: Pj Kwong

What I liked about watching the events unfold yesterday in the short programs for the men’s, women’s and pairs’ disciplines was the degree to which skaters had prepared to compete.

Starting off with the women’s event. On first glance, the 9th place result for Madeline Schizas might be seen as a ‘less than’ outcome. Maybe. But for me, I took into consideration the fact that there was some extraordinarily intense competition and let’s face it all 26 competitors were vying for the same top spot, so I was looking for other things. What I mean by that is the fierceness it takes to roll with small stumbles and still make the connection between the music, the audience (me!) and the skate. On all those counts, Maddie was amazing. The link she made with the audience and presumably the judges using eye contact and facial expressions captured her music in the best possible way. Am looking forward to her free skate!

Who’s leading? Japan’s Mone Chiba – one word: Sublime!

For the men – Roman Sadovsky was rock solid and delivered a modern dance-ish kind of interpretive vibe complete with a great quad. Conrad Orzel gets full marks for pushing through and offering a glimpse of an evolving maturity and expression that was great to see. The truth is, both men were overpowered by the kind of firepower that comes from quad after quad after quad coupled with interesting choreography that was clear with the programs of the top six men.

Honourable mention: Canada’s newest Men’s champion Wesley Chiu who sits in 6th place. I want to rename him Wesley “WOW” Chiu. Who’s with me?

Who’s leading? Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama – one word: Dazzling!

The last event of the night was Pairs – Lia Pereira and Trennt Michaud did have one glitch in the form of a fall for her out of the throw BUT what else can we talk about? Well, there’s the fact that this team made it the Grand Prix Final which is a very big deal and the fact that the hug at the end of the program tells me that they are very much a team and are in this together. This isn’t small because that kind of cohesion often takes years to achieve and these two have become a team to watch within two years of coming together. They were poised, strong and showed great technical skills including side by side triples. There’s still room to move up in the free.

Who’s leading? Canada’s Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps – one word: Compelling!

#SkateOntarioProud Standings Board – Short Program:


  • Roman Sadovsky 11th
  • Conrad Orzel 17th


  • Madeline Schizas 9th


  • Lia Periera and Trennt Michaud 6th

You’re going to want to settle in and watch the ISU Four Continents! On deck coming up are the ice dancers, featuring Skate Ontario’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier and the Women’s free skate final featuring Madeline Schizas.

As always – send your messages of support using the hashtag #SkateOntarioProud to our athletes, follow Skate Ontario on all our social media and if you want to check out what everyone is saying use the hashtag #4ContsFigure.


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