James and Radford retire from competitive skating | Golden Skate

News James and Radford retire from competitive skating

News

gsk8

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Country
United-States
OTTAWA, ON: Pair world bronze medalists Vanessa James, 34, Scarborough, Ont., and Eric Radford, 37, Balmertown, Ont., have decided to retire from competitive skating. James and Radford announced their partnership in April 2021.

“We are very proud of what Vanessa and Eric have accomplished through this season culminating in a bronze medal at worlds,” said Mike Slipchuk, High Performance Director, Skate Canada. “Skate Canada wishes both Vanessa and Eric the best in their future plans”.

The pair competed in several events this season which included four top five finishes, a silver medal at the 2021 Autumn Classic International, a 12th place finish at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and they capped off their season with a bronze medal at the 2022 ISU World Figure Skating Championships.

“Almost 30 years ago at the age of 8, I started skating. Skating has shaped my life in many ways and given me some of my most amazing memories. I find it funny and unexpected to be writing about ending my competitive career for a second time, but like last time, there are many people who supported, pushed and inspired me along this journey that I am so grateful for,” said Radford.

Radford continued, “Thank you to my parents for their unwavering support over these decades; to my husband Luis and my brother Richard for always giving me the best advice. Thank you to my close friends and teammates that I get to share so many unforgettable memories with. Thank you to Skate Canada, Patinage Québec and the COC for believing in me and supporting my career. Thank you to the fans of the sport for whom it will always remain a pleasure to perform. To all the incredible coaches who shaped me not only as a skater, but as a person, thank you. Thank you to Meagan Duhamel for all we accomplished together and especially to Vanessa and Julie. Thank you to them for giving me one of the best years of my life and believing in me when I needed it the most.”

“I am profoundly grateful for the experiences this sport has provided me and for the memories I will carry with me for the rest of my life,” concluded Radford.

James was inspired by Nelson Mandela’s quote as she reflected on her career: “the greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

“Through ups and downs, joy and disappointment, I have been blessed with many people who have believed in me, encouraged me, and provided me with the skillset both on and off the ice, to make my dreams come true. I am endlessly grateful for each and every coach, mentor, teammate and staff member that has contributed to my journey and success throughout the last 23 years. To my fans, your constant love and support through the years means the world to me,” said James.

She continued, “To Skate Canada, Julie and Eric specifically, thank you for giving me the opportunity and the courage to rise again, and continue my passion and love for skating. To my parents, who have relentlessly and unshakably continued to support me in all of my endeavors, I owe you everything. Representing Canada has been an honor, and a privilege. I truly feel like the stars have aligned and everything has come full circle. As I hang up my competitive figure skates, I feel complete, and my heart is so full!”

Both James and Radford found success internationally before teaming up this past season.

Previously representing France, James was partnered with Morgan Ciprès, together they won a gold medal at the 2019 ISU European Figure Skating Championships® and a bronze medal at the 2018 ISU World Figure Skating Championships®. James and Ciprès also represented France twice on the Olympic stage.

Radford was previously partnered with Meagan Duhamel. The pair had much success over the years having won back-to-back gold medals at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships (2015,2016) and were seven-time Canadian national champions from 2012-2018. The pair won two medals at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, bringing home a gold medal in the team event and a bronze medal in the pair event.

Skate Canada wishes Vanessa and Eric all the best in their future endeavours.
 

Skater Boy

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Oh Canada! It was short a bit bumpy and they were still gelling but it's over. James and Radford have called it quits for competitive skating at least as a team. They won a world bronze, which even without the Chinese and Russians is a huge accomplishment. In a way they outperformed or out resulted. They were showing some potential and one wonders given another year but it is understandable. They are both mature in age skaters. I wish them well. This opens the door for the podium even more in pairs which is so wide open. An American sweep isin't impossible okay unlikely. I just wish we could have seen Vanessa and Eric have a clean skate with the magic that Ithink they are capable - close I guess at worlds. But to make the olympics is a huge accomplishment. Now I wonder if htey will do shows. And will it be together or their former partners where they had greater success and recognition.
 

BlissfulSynergy

Record Breaker
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Country
Olympics
Hopefully, Eric & Vanessa will be performing in shows and exhibitions. I believe that Vanessa plans to eventually help coach a young French pairs team, whose names escape me at the moment. The partnership was mentioned in the partnerships/splits thread. Eric will likely do some coaching and choreographing, along with his music composition. Vanessa recently posted a clip of herself and Eric performing a death spiral variation they created, which will look so beautiful when performed in full with music and costumes on the ice! 💓

I would bet with certainty that neither Eric nor Vanessa will be going back to their old partners! That's all water under the bridge, for all involved. Meagan Duhamel is pregnant with her second child, and Morgan Cipres is recently engaged to be married.
 

CanadianSkaterGuy

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
I'm glad they gave it a go, and gave Canadian pairs skating a much needed boost before what was going to be a rather ho-hum Olympics and Worlds for Canada. They didn't entirely rest on their laurels either and actually took their partnership seriously, and established themselves not only as Olympics worthy but also World-medal worthy. Forming a new partnership is never easy and I commend them for going for it.

Some really close podium finishes and glad they were able to seal the deal at Worlds (arguably deserving silver) and depending on what happens, they might even be Olympic team bronze medalists. Which for a flash in the pan partnership for two skaters who are well past their prime individually, ain't bad. I think they had potential for more (especially with the absence of Russia this season), but totally understand the desire to retire.
 

Seven Sisters

Medalist
Joined
Jul 17, 2018

Sackie

Medalist
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Not liking the pressure this is going to put on Evelyn and Trent for this season. They are now Canada's top ranked pairs and are now #4 in the world. Especially since they did not handle things well when James and Radford showed up last year. And CAN has shown they hype their skaters way sooner then they deserve to be.
 

BlissfulSynergy

Record Breaker
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Country
Olympics
^^ I'm not sure what you mean by not liking the pressure you feel is being placed on Evelyn & Trennt? In my opinion, E&T should be relishing the spotlight and the opportunity to show whether they can improve and put their competitive mettle fully on display.

On the whole, I have enjoyed watching Evelyn & Trennt (especially in juniors). They are both good people with apparent staunch loyalty to each other, but I have reservations about their ability to seamlessly rise to the top level. I think Trennt has exquisite abilities, but he and Evelyn do not make the best physical match. They try hard together, but she isn't the best physical match for him, and her skills are not at his level.

E&T are certainly a pleasant team to watch, and they can be very competitive in the second tier when they are at their best. Still, at this point, I don't think E&T are Canada's best pairs team. Of course, they are the team with the most experience together, but that's also the case for Matte/ Ferland. M/F are nice to watch, but I don't think they have enough weapons to rise to the top internationally either. Are Brooke and Ben still eligible to compete in juniors, or are they moving to seniors?

Personally, in respect to Canadian pairs, I'm more excited to see how Max & Deanna might have improved. They are one of my favorite pairs teams to watch, and they are very well matched physically and aesthetically. 💯 I'm also very curious to see how Daleman will fare in his partnership with Zabiako. Plus, I'm very intrigued and hopeful to see Nic Nadeau have success as a pairs skater. 🥰 All of these more recent pairings seem to have more potential to rise to the top internationally than do E&T together.

Trennt with a better-matched partner though, could be amazing. But that's the tough luck of the pairs discipline. Great partnerships are hard to make happen. It's just not that easy on a number of levels. When magic happens, it can be glorious, but also no guarantee of outsized success either, because too many factors have to click on all cylinders.

You are right that E&T did not handle J/R's partnership in a way that was helpful to themselves or to the Canadian pairs discipline. The same can be said of Kirsten/Michael, and a number of other Canadians ( including commentators, coaches, and former athletes).
 
Last edited:

4everchan

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
Country
Martinique
Not liking the pressure this is going to put on Evelyn and Trent for this season. They are now Canada's top ranked pairs and are now #4 in the world. Especially since they did not handle things well when James and Radford showed up last year. And CAN has shown they hype their skaters way sooner then they deserve to be.
I am not too worried about Evelyn and Trennt... this new quad doesn't belong to anyone and many teams could reach the top... they have nothing to lose, all to win... and everything needs to be earned again.

Maxime and Deanna are stronger IMHO.
Nic and Emma : very excited to see them.
Daleman and Zabiaako : big question mark for me but looking forward to seeing them.
I also enjoy Matte and Ferland who always have good programs and when they do land their jumps, are much more enjoyable to watch than Evelyn and Trennt.

and let's not forget Mimar McIntosh....
So Evelyn and Trennt, could be anywhere from 1st to 5th or 6th in Canada...
 
Last edited:

BlissfulSynergy

Record Breaker
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Country
Olympics
For pairs fans, there's going to be a lot to experience and to see developing during this transitional season both domestically and internationally.
 

Seven Sisters

Medalist
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
I am not too worried about Evelyn and Trennt... this new quad doesn't belong to anyone and many teams could reach the top... they have nothing to lose, all to win... and everything needs to be earned again.

Maxime and Deanna are stronger IMHO.
Nic and Emma : very excited to see them.
Daleman and Zabiaako : big question mark for me but looking forward to seeing them.
I also enjoy Matte and Ferland who always have good programs and when they do land their jumps, are much more enjoyable to watch then Evelyn and Trennt.

and let's not forget Mimar McIntosh....
So Evelyn and Trennt, could be anywhere from 1st to 5th or 6th in Canada...
I like Matte/Ferland too, and would love to see Walsh/Michaud get as creative as they are when it comes to music choices. I’ve always thought that W/M’s music choices have held them back, along with their physical limitations/lack of height difference. They can’t do much about the latter, it’s always going to look like she’s about to kick him in the head when she’s up in a lift; but they could choose better music and try to do innovative moves and shapes to make the height thing less obvious. They are pretty solid jumpers and seem like such lovely people, you can’t help wanting them to do well!

I am likewise looking forward to seeing Nic Nadeau in pairs. There are few things more fun than watching a pairs man who likes to perform and bring the drama (Max Trankov being a notable example!) I suspect Nic will be following along in that tradition. Can you imagine a pairs comp featuring both Nic and Spencer Howe? I would be all for that :)
 

4everchan

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
Country
Martinique
I like Matte/Ferland too, and would love to see Walsh/Michaud get as creative as they are when it comes to music choices. I’ve always thought that W/M’s music choices have held them back, along with their physical limitations/lack of height difference. They can’t do much about the latter, it’s always going to look like she’s about to kick him in the head when she’s up in a lift; but they could choose better music and try to do innovative moves and shapes to make the height thing less obvious. They are pretty solid jumpers and seem like such lovely people, you can’t help wanting them to do well!

I am likewise looking forward to seeing Nic Nadeau in pairs. There are few things more fun than watching a pairs man who likes to perform and bring the drama (Max Trankov being a notable example!) I suspect Nic will be following along in that tradition. Can you imagine a pairs comp featuring both Nic and Spencer Howe? I would be all for that :)
Nic and Spencer would make a great pairs team.... but i guess that's not what you meant ;)
 

Sackie

Medalist
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Any idea how many of these others pairs might get some GP assignments besides host picks for Skate Canada. Be nice if Matte/Ferland and Maxime/Deanna get some so that the host picks can go to the new teams.
 

4everchan

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
Country
Martinique
Any idea how many of these others pairs might get some GP assignments besides host picks for Skate Canada. Be nice if Matte/Ferland and Maxime/Deanna get some so that the host picks can go to the new teams.
Considering all the retirements and splits, it does look like Maxime and Deanna should get two GPs... Perhaps even Matte-Ferland. Mimar and McIntosh are lower in the standings but as world junior medalists, they may get some too... Emma and Nic are a brand new team so I can see them getting a home spot... Daleman and Zabiaako : since they are a new team but competed before with other partners and with success for Zabiaako, they may also get some GPs. It's hard to tell considering all retirements and Rus teams who are not going to participate.... I was looking at the world standings and it's a mess... even teams who have split or who have retired are still listed... not everyone did like James and Radford and asked to be removed from the list.
 

Sackie

Medalist
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Yeah I was looking at the world standings too and trying to count only the ones who might still be doing the GPs this season. It was hard to figure out for sure where the CAN teams were ranked. Do you think that they may end up doing with SR pairs what they did with JR pairs and only have Pairs at certain GPs.
 

4everchan

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
Country
Martinique
Yeah I was looking at the world standings too and trying to count only the ones who might still be doing the GPs this season. It was hard to figure out for sure where the CAN teams were ranked. Do you think that they may end up doing with SR pairs what they did with JR pairs and only have Pairs at certain GPs.
I don't think so, I certainly don't hope for that. Certain teams wouldn't be competing if that were the case. and when the field is getting smaller, it's best to encourage even the lower level teams to take part.
 

rain

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 29, 2003
I was very sorry to hear this. The state of Canadian pairs is dire, and this has come at a time when there has never been more opportunity at the top. And Canada has nobody to step up into the medal hunt.
 

BlissfulSynergy

Record Breaker
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Country
Olympics
Looking at the fields for each GP in pairs, I think it's possible for McIntosh/Mimar to medal at both their events, in at least bronze medal position. At SA, Stellato/ Deschamps certainly have the talent and abilities to take silver or bronze. Knierim/Frazier should definitely win in this middling field. Smirnova/ Siianytsia should have a chance for silver or bronze, if they skate well (despite this being their senior GP debut).

This is the senior GP debut for Brooke/ Ben as well. And also for Deanna/ Max. So yes, it's unusual for these teams to medal in their GP debut, but it's very possible due the Russians' absence, fewer veteran U.S. teams, and only one Chinese team. James/Radford retiring has also opened the way for second tier and recently paired Canadian teams to establish themselves.

Why do you think the currently competing Canadian teams can't step up for medals on the GP? It will be difficult to achieve at GPF and Worlds, but senior Bs and senior GP offer open chances for Canadian teams to medal.
 

Skater Boy

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Wow pairs is so weak with the Russians and Chinese non existent or almost extinct. Kind of sad in my opinion despite many who will say this is exciting. We have the Japanese and the kind of aging put together Knerim and Frazier who I agree are smart to continue because things are so weak in Russia, China and Canada and hardly any American competition. Guaranteed another world medal maybe gold. Though I think Japan will win it. Trennt and Evelyn need to get a great gimmic/program and play it to the hilt.
 

icybear

Medalist
Joined
Mar 18, 2017
Wow pairs is so weak with the Russians and Chinese non existent or almost extinct. Kind of sad in my opinion despite many who will say this is exciting. We have the Japanese and the kind of aging put together Knerim and Frazier who I agree are smart to continue because things are so weak in Russia, China and Canada and hardly any American competition. Guaranteed another world medal maybe gold. Though I think Japan will win it. Trennt and Evelyn need to get a great gimmic/program and play it to the hilt.
Honestly all the fields are so weak with the Russians out and lots of major retirement/semi retirement. I expect ISU will be politicking some skaters into making them the new stars of skating like Levito or Mallinn cause this sport looks like its dying out.
 
Top