By: Pj Kwong

We all know that childhood game where you move a piece around the board when it’s your turn, and sometimes you go up towards the finish line and sometimes you slide back down and lose ground. I only mention this because in the case of the Skate Ontario athletes today at the ISU Four Continents Championships, it was a definite ‘ladder’ day.

Ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier did Scarborough’s Ice Dance Elite proud with a joyful Rhythm Dance that earned them the lead heading into Sunday’s Free Dance Final. There’s not much else to say – except YAY! and although I do yearn for a good tango theme, their RD to Addicted to Love 80s program confirms that I am Addicted to P2! Well done.

I came across an interesting quote:

The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” – Ayn Rand

It started me thinking that as difficult as competing in figure skating can be, what if the hard parts disguised as opportunities allow for you to start to compete from a different vantage point. In my mind, that’s what I saw Maddie Schizas do today. Did she earn a Season’s Best score in the free program? No, but she did earn a Season’s Best in ‘competition’ which is kind of the point. She was measured in her approach, passionate in her delivery of her memorable ‘Porgy and Bess’ choreography, stayed upright for the whole program, and only had a minor rotation error on one jump. In other words, two solid back-to-back performances. I’d call that a ‘win’ at least a development/experience win. If you think I’m kidding, she also moved from ninth to sixth overall. Keep those competitions, or dare I say opportunities coming.

Honourable mention: Japan’s Rinka Watanabe on her way to collecting a bronze medal executed a FANTASTIC triple Axel in the free program. Swish!

Who won? Japan’s Mone Chiba. One word: Exquisite!!

The men (Conrad and Roman) and our pair (Lia and Trennt) skate tomorrow in Shanghai. 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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