Podium Picks and Skate Canada Preview by @SkatingPj

If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait for the skating season to get started! Skate Canada International is going to be in our own Skate Ontario backyard at the Paramount Center in Mississauga, Ontario from October 28 – 30, 2022.

Truth be told, as much as awards and trophies and titles have been given out over the last couple of years, they haven’t always been a true reflection of the competition between the contenders as the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic haven’t always allowed for skaters to face off against one another.

I think that although there still may be challenges ahead with one thing and another, for this event – we get to look at some outstanding talent.

Carrying the banner as Skate Ontario athletes competing under the Canadian flag in the men’s event are Stephen Gogolev and Conrad Orzel but I think the event will ultimately belong to reigning World Champion Shoma Uno. Stephen will be making his Senior Grand Prix debut while Conrad is looking to improve on last year’s 9th place finish at the same event.

Both women’s spots for Canada belong to Ontario women: Madeline Schizas and Gabrielle Daleman. Both women know how to light up the rink; Maddie in her outstanding short program in the Team Event at the 2022 Olympic Games and Gabby as the 2017 World Bronze medallist. That said, there are some very good women coming to skate in Mississauga, including two-time Four Continents Champion Rika Kihira and Korea’s Young You. The optimist in me thinks that Gabrielle Daleman has both the ability and the drive to come out on top and quiet the naysayers. Stay tuned.

World Junior 2022 Pair Bronze medallists Brooke McIntosh and Benjamin Mimar are making their Senior Grand Prix debut here in the Toronto area, coincidentally where they also train. This is a team to keep your eye on and we couldn’t be more proud. Am happy to see that Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara are competing in Mississauga just down the road from their training location in Oakville, ON. This is a team that continues to improve and is a treat to watch. I fully expect them to take their first Skate Canada International title.

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier who train with Ice Dance Elite in Scarboro are the benchmark by which all the other competitors in the ice dance event will be measuring themselves. Have seen their programs for this year and am a believer. Not only are they technically at the top of their game, their creativity is second to none. Period.

Don’t forget to follow Skate Ontario on our social media where I will be bringing you exclusive content from behind the scenes at Skate Canada International that you won’t be able to find anywhere else!

Pj’s Podium Picks:

Men:  Shoma Uno JPN

Women: Gabrielle Daleman CAN

Pairs: Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara JPN

Ice Dance: Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier CAN