Preview: 2023 Skate Canada
The 2023 Skate Canada International (SCI) will be held at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. Ten teams will compete in this event the second event of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series.
About SCI: Skate Canada International has been held annually since 1973. It was not held in 1979 and was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event has been part of the Grand Prix since the Series’ creation in 1995. Vancouver last hosted the event in 2021.
Grand Prix 2023: As with the 2022-23 season, the ISU maintained the ban on figure skaters from Russia due to the country’s war with neighboring Ukraine. Skaters from Belarus are also not allowed to compete due to their country’s support of the ongoing war. In addition, the fifth Grand Prix event of the series will be held in Espoo, Finland.
The medal hunt: The senior international season started in late summer, with all but one of the teams on the SCI roster competing at least once at a prior event.
Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier of Canada have a full set of medals after competing at Skate Canada numerous times and will be debuting their new programs in Mississauga Vancouver. The 2019, 2021 and 2022 SCI champions will be skating to David Freeman’s “No More I Love You’s” using the original recording which was titled “Lover Speaks.” Their free dance is set to music from the Wuthering Heights film soundtrack by Abel Korzeniowski. Gilles & Poirier finished third at the 2023 World Championships.
Great Britain’s Lilah Fear & Lewis Gibson have won all of their international outings this season, including back-to-back Challenger Series events Nebelhorn Trophy and Nepala Memorial. The team set new personal best scores at Nebelhorn. Fear & Gibson were fourth at the 2023 World Championships.
Allison Reed & Saulius Ambrulevicius of Lithuania finished second behind Fear & Gibson at Nebelhorn and could claim their first Grand Prix Series medal in Vancouver.
A pair of American teams could also challenge for medals. Eva Pate & Logan Bye were the surprise winners at Autumn Classic in September, while Emilea Zingas & Vadym Kolesnik finished fourth in a tough field at Nepela Memorial.
Event info: Teams have official practices on Thursday, October 26. The rhythm dance kicks off at 3:50pm (PT) on Friday, October 27, with the free dance occurring on Saturday, October 28 at 3:25pm (PT).