Exactly a month until the Canadian Figure Skating Championships begin in Halfiax, Nova Scotia......team practices begin a month today with the Senior Women qualifying starting on January 15th.......Lots of senior skaters have byes (not just the top couple) and we haven't seen them skate for a while. With top 12 from last year's senior competition automatically making it to the short program, how will the red-hot juniors from last season fare against the remaining senior skaters in the qualifying round? Some great junior singles skaters coming up the ranks as well in both men and women this year - as the battle for the senior dance rankings heating up.
Any predictions, or favorites?
Great questions! With the fix in on the top 12 it would be nice to see one of the red hots burst through! For the sake of the sport, if the perception is not there that the underdog can rise, the public seems to have less interest in the event.
A quick look at the entry list for Senior women (on the Skate Canada website now) are the following Junior women who have moved up:
Diane Szmiett - 1st Junior women
Stefani Marotta - 2nd Junior women
Devon Neuls - 3rd Junior women
Amanda Valentine - 10th Junior women
Kristen Bonkowski - 12 Junior women
Charlotte Belair - 13th Junior women
Marianne Laporte - 17th
along with Erika Tisluck - didn't compete in 2005-2006 but had NACS this year
former medallist in Novice, Pre-Novice - never competed Junior
Kim Caissey - former Juvenile, Pre-Novice medallist didn't make it
through Challenge in Junior last season
Top 3 Junior medallists will give many of the senior ladies a run for their money - and they should make it through to the short program.
With last year's top 10 women given a bye to the short program (2 have retired from the top 12 - Signe Ronka and Tanika Gibbons is injured this year) - that leaves just 14 spots for 28 women to make it to the short program, and if last year's top Juniors grab a spot - that's 11 spots for the remaining 25!
Last edited by redhotcoach; 12-15-2006 at 09:19 PM.
Reason: correcting number of entries for short program
The Ice is Slippery
For the Senior Ladies, Joannie is a shoe in. There is no one that can beat her and unless she totally craters she will again be Canadian Champion. I guess Mira will be the second in line along with Leslie Hawker in there somewhere. I am hoping to see Cynthia back and in fine form to kick Mira or Leslie off the podium. I liked her two years ago and I would really like to see her come back and be great. I would also like to see some up and comers making a name for themselves. It would be nice to see some new blood. I am not a huge fan of Mira or Leslie's skating and I can't help but wonder why Canada does not have some great talent to choose from leading up to the Olympics in Vancouver 2010. What is the matter with our Ladies skating program?
I would have rather Canada did like all the other ISU members and dropped the Q round altogether.
This levels the playing field. Not to say last years top ten ladies are not great skaters. It's just that the Canadian Championships should be an annual surprise with the best skaters of that year having the opportunity to shine through and challenge the sport and growth of all participants.
I agree! I've seen some of the top 10 women in senior skate really well - and really poorly this season. There are a few unknowns that easily beat them on a good day. If there were no QR then all senior women would have to be having a good day!
However, the idea floating around Skate Canada now is that next season all Senior skaters will have to skate at Challenge to qualify for Canadians. Talk is that top 4 from each section have to go head-to-head in one big Challenge (East and West together) and the top 20 skaters get to move on to Canadians. Sounds just like Canadians but earlier.....don't know what this will prove. Top skaters will get byes anyhow, along with those who have internationals.
I hear the decision has been made that Seniors will do Challenge next year and no one at Skate Canada is denying it.
Membership as a Senior should have it's privileges. To sacrifice 8-10 years to achieve the top rank in your sport and have your talent made mute by not being able to compete in a National all or nothing event makes no sense. Going forward, I can see competitive ranks dwindling just for this very reason.
If Canada protects it's skaters as it has traditionally done so in the past, we will become a second rate skating nation. The Russians, Chinese and Japanese have depth in their talent pool and reward success annually.
People buy tickets to see a competition. They are not interested in last years successes. The audience has moved on.
Enough! Lets enjoy Canadians! May the true talent rise!
Last edited by bems; 12-16-2006 at 12:39 AM.
Skate Canada is asking for feedback regarding a restructured senior qualifying process for Canadians. There are deadlines for input etc. and the proposed amendment will be put forth at the Annual Convention and General Meeting held in May or June 2007. If the amendment is voted in, the changes could happen as early as 2008 Cdns - or quite possibly there will be changes to the amendment that would see them implemented in 2009.
If the proposed changes, as Skate Canada is puting forth now go through - the top 12 senior level skaters in each category will get an automatic bye to the following Canadians and therefore bypass the pre-Canadians competition to be held during the Eastern and Western Challenge.
You're right - after more than 8-10 years of expensive training and competition -senior level skaters should get more respect. Qualifying at sectionals and then having the one big competition at Canadians - is a much better draw for spectators and TV audiences rather than weeding out half the skaters at an expensive Challenge.
Besides - senior level skaters prepare their yearly training plan with Canadians as their VIP (very important program) and plan to peak then. If they had to peak at a massive Challenge skatefest in order to make it through - many may not be in the best competitive form at that time.
Thank you for this post. I have been a skater, a skating fan for 20 years and a volunteer for 15 years. I have attended and worked at a number of Skate Canada AGMs, National and World Championships. I needed sometime to digest this information.
I had an expectation that the newcomers to the Skate Canada executive would make a difference however, at the moment I feel a great sorrow that we are on a slippery slope downward. Your sharing of upcoming proposals does not surprise me. However, the fact that very little of this has been shared with members of Skate Canada is astonishing. I am not aware of any general announcement through the mail to clubs or on the website asking for feedback on the proposal.
We are gathering in Halifax to see the best of the best. Many of the Senior skaters, their coaches and supporters are moving lemming like toward this years event not knowing this could be the end of true competitive skating. I remember in recent years when the public asked for the retirement of certain skaters who were perceived to be under performing for the Canadian nation. Skate Canada ignored the fan base and protected these skaters. This new proposal has the potential to drive the fan base away again.
A mailing on these proposals should be sent to all Seniors following this years Canadians so that they can fully discuss it with the clubs they represent and have the clubs use their proxy at the AGM to vote as they see fit. In addition a poll on the website prior to the AGM would be useful information.
Still, I’ll be there in Halifax this year! Next year and beyond is up for grabs.
I'm always a sucker for a great skate!
I don't think that Skate Canada is trying to hold anything from the general membership....At this stage they are asking for the coaches input because it is the coaches - not Skate Canada executive or membership - that ultimately prepare the skaters for competition and any changes regarding the competitive structure should involve coaches (speaking for themselves and the athlete).
The latest proposal was presented to Coaches at the recent Challenge events in Moncton. After the event, they emailed the powerpoint presentation to all registered member coaches ( that had email, I presume). I tried to cut and paste the address for you but it didn't work.
Skate Canada has also emailed coaches a questionnaire asking for feedback into a restructuring of the Starskate/Adult programs --The questionnaire is online under the Members Only section of the Skate Canada website if you are a current member (type in your Skate Canada number and your last name is your password).
I think they are finally trying to deal with the old problem of coaches holding back skaters to win low level events and turning off those skaters whose skills are actually at that lower level. This is a very positive move on their part! Progession not regression is the key to a stronger Canadian competitive base of skaters.
Last edited by redhotcoach; 12-16-2006 at 09:57 AM.
Thanks again for sharing the facts and keeping things in perspective.
Thank you for the info. Where in the Members Only section is this located? I wasn't able to find it.
Originally Posted by redhotcoach
Love your name!!! If you go to the Skate Canada http://www.skatecanada.ca/ and then hit the Members Login button either at the top of the page ( on the header) or at the right hand side..... you should be directed to the members only sign in page. Heres the url for that page...
Only current skate canada members have access to this section of the webpage - so just plug in your Skate Canada number (from your registration card or test cards etc or coaching card) and follow the instructions.
Well to go back on subject again...these are my predictions.
3. Lesley, BUT if Cynthia is back in form we could see her back in there.
1. Emanuel or Jeff
2. Emanuel or Jeff
3. Patrick Chan (I think he can do it)
3. L/H or W/F
1. D/L (duh)
3. I have no idea! Could be anyone.
I don't follow Junior enough to comment.
I wish I could go...I'm only an hour away from Halifax.
Men Buttle Mabee Sawyer
Ladies Joannie Meghan Cynthia
Pairs M&B L&H M&M
Dance D&L V&M L&M