By: Pj Kwong

It sure is fun to watch skating and I honestly don’t care at what level as each has its own charm from little Tiffany totally enamored with her first sparkly dress (yup – I was that kid) to the most elite athletes vying for top honours in a stacked field.

I remember Kurt Browning saying once that what makes figure skating so difficult is that there are no ‘shifts’ as there are in hockey, for example. Once your name is announced, you’re up, and whatever happens between the start and finish of your music is up to you.

Success often breeds success so for skaters trying to break free from the pack every little confidence boost, in whatever form, helps.

After a two-year wait, Russia’s Kamila Valieva has been found guilty of doping dating back to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. She has been disqualified and as a result Team Russia will lose their gold medal and be demoted to bronze. The margin is one point between the updated score for Russia and the original score for Canada, 54 to 53 respectively although there is chat that the math and the theory applied to it is off. For the moment, Team Canada will stay with a fourth-place finish. Is an appeal possible? I have no idea. Stay tuned.

For more information, check out the story here.

In the meantime, as I mentioned ISU Four Continents competitors Madeline Schizas, Roman Sadovsky and Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier from Skate Ontario who were in that 2022 Olympic Team event had been waiting for confirmation about their status one way or the other for a very long time.

Wow! To go from being an ordinary Olympian (is there such a thing?) to an Olympic medallist would have been one surefire way of corroborating what the rest of us already know: you belong in the final flight. That said, if I were to offer the advice I have been suggesting to skaters since the last millennium which is to skate how you know how to skate and let the results happen as they may because the only thing you can control is you.

So as much as this must be a bitter pill to swallow after all this time for the Canadian athletes, a piece of metal on a ribbon shouldn’t change the fact that they are here to do a job AND are lucky enough to have the ability to contend. Regardless of accolades, I still believe they all have the potential to be in the ‘final flight.’

In case you were wondering and just for fun -here are Pj’s Podium Picks:

  • ICE DANCE: Piper GILLES and Paul POIRIER – CAN (Skate Ontario!)
  • PAIRS: Rika MIURA and Ryuichi KIHARA – JPN

I am #skateontarioproud and if you are too – leave your messages of support for our athletes in the comments.


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