Golden Skate

Buttle leads Canadian men in Vancouver

Jeffrey Buttle (NO) led the men in the short program, followed by Patrick Chan (CO) and Christopher Mabee (WO).

Skating to last year’s program Adios Nonino, Buttle opened his routine with a triple flip-triple toeloop combination and a triple Axel. The three-time and defending champion, who exuded a new-found confidence, also delivered a triple Lutz as well as very good spins and footwork. Along with a standing ovation from the crowd, he was awarded 80.80 points for a first place finish.

Buttle felt that he did well compared to that of his performances at Skate Canada and Cup of Russia earlier this season.

“I’m extremely happy,” said the 25-year-old. “My level felt very good and I’ve trained really hard coming into this [event]. There was no reason for me not to go out there and enjoy myself, and I did. I skated really well and had a good time.”

Buttle was also asked about the big grin he had on his face during the entire warm-up.

“I think it had to do with my training,” he explained. “I just felt so confident and I’ve been skating really well. So when I got out there, it felt like I was at the same level as I was at previous competitions – not this season but in the past. To hear them call my name and have that feeling felt really good.”

Chan fell on his opening triple Axel, but recovered quickly to produce an otherwise flawless routine. Skating with a maturity beyond his years, the 17-year-old landed a solid triple flip-triple toeloop combination and triple Lutz. He earned a level 4 and positive GOEs on all of his spins, and the edges on his level 3 circular and straightline footwork were strong and silent. The 2007 Junior National silver medalist earned 73.42 points for a second place finish.

“I enjoyed myself a lot this time in Vancouver,” Chan later told the press. The crowd was great and I had a warm feeling from them. Before I went out for my short program, I felt really great physically and mentally, so I’ve been pretty good this week so far. Hopefully tomorrow works just as well.”

Mabee struggled a bit with his opening triple flip-triple toeloop combination, but otherwise produced a solid triple Axel and triple Lutz in his dramatic routine to Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia. The 2007 silver medalist also delivered good spins and footwork, and is currently third with 70.46 points.

“I really felt awful in the warmup,” confessed the 22-year-old. “I felt like garbage. My jumps were all over the place, so I was really happy to come off the ice and re-focus and get ready for the job I needed to do. I’m really proud of myself for doing that.”

Vaughn Chipeur (AB/NT/NU) delivered a fast and powerful routine which featured an enormous triple Axel. Although he stepped out his second jump on a triple flip-triple toeloop combination, the 23-year-old otherwise produced a triple Lutz and three level 4 spins. He is currently in fourth with 69.10 points.

Back from a three-year hiatus of modeling, acting, and car racing, Fedor Andreev (EO) placed a respectable fifth with 67.16 points. The 25-year-old seemed to enjoy every second of his time on the ice, and it showed in his powerful and exuberant performance to Diva Mia. He nailed all his jumps, which included a triple flip-triple toeloop combination, a triple Axel, and a triple Lutz. He nearly lost it on the landing of a flying sitspin, and later struggled a bit with his ending change combination spin. He also received a deduction for a time violation, but otherwise drew the audience into his joyful routine and was awarded with a standing ovation.

Shawn Sawyer (QC) landed a solid triple flip-triple toeloop in his routine to Another Brick in the Wall, but then two-footed the landing of a triple Axel and later popped a Lutz. The 23-year-old otherwise skated a clean program which included two good level 4 spins and level 3 straightline footwork. He is currently in sixth place with 64.00 points.

Kevin Reynolds (BC/YT) is currently in seventh place with 60.10 points. The 17-year-old landed a quadruple Salchow (albeit a forward lean) before competing a single toeloop. He otherwise produced a good triple Axle, three level 4 spins, and level 3 circular and straightline footwork.

Ken Rose (CO) sits in eighth place with 58.42 points after a fairly clean skate. Focused and determined, the 21-year-old landed a triple flip-triple toeloop combination, a double Axel, and a triple Lutz. Though he received a level 4 on two of his spins, he was only awarded a level 1 on both his circular and straightline footwork.

Ian Martinez (QC) is in a close ninth with 58.28 points. He turned on the Latin charm right from the opening pose in his Salsa routine, which received not one negative GOE. The 19-year-old, who swiveled and shimmied the crowd right into the palm of his hand, landed a triple Lutz-triple toeloop, a triple flip, and a double Axel. Though his footwork and spins are not up to par with the top skaters, he nevertheless enhanced those elements with the use of sultry hip and shoulder movements, playing to the already enthusiastic audience.

Karolin Metivier (QC), who replaced Emanuel Sandhu when he withdrew, is currently in 10th place with 56.85 points. The 21-year-old gave a good performance which included a triple Lutz-double toeloop, a double Axel, and a triple loop out of footwork.

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