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Skate Today

Canadians claim ice dance gold in Seoul


The US and Canada divided the Short Program pot with each country placing three in the top six. Americans, Madison Chock+Evan Bates took a slim lead over fellow countrymen Maia Shibutani+Alex Shibutani. Canadians, Kaitlyn Weaver+ Andrew Poge followed close behind in third place. Piper Gilles+Paul Pourier, Alexandra Paul+Mitchell Islam, and Kaitlin Hawayek+Jean-Luc Baker rounded out the top six.



Kaitlin Weaver+Andrew Poje vaulted into first place with a flawless skate to Max Richter’s avant-garde arrangement of The Four Seasons. The couple moved with blazing, but controlled speed while twisting and turning each intricate transition and element into a final masterpiece of art.

“We had to fight for this free dance. There was a little bit of extra gusto because of the desire to move up. It helped us perform,” said Weaver.

Poje reminisced about their first Four Continents gold medal five years ago.

“We won in Korea in 2010 when we just missed the Vancouver Games, and we were very deflated. Four Continents served as a turning point. Now we’ve won again, and being in Korea is very special. It’s a full circle.”

Weaver+Poje have won four International Senior Gold medals in 2014-15: Skate Canada, NHK, GPF, and 4C’s.

Madison Chock+Evan Bates won silver with a new personal best score for their modern and cutting edge interpretation of An American in Paris. The couple upped the ante by adding more difficult footwork after US Nationals.

“This is the first time competing since the changes in the free dance. It’s so new. It’s a bit nerve racking,” explained Bates.

“Today wasn’t our best skate, but it was definitely a solid performance. It’s great to go to Worlds with some fire in our bellies,” he added.

Maia Shibutani+Alex Shibutani waltzed off with the bronze medal, but not before Alex uncharacteristically teetered on their twizzles.

“I’m really surprised that happened. Twizzles are usually one of our strongest elements, and we can do them with our eyes closed. We were focused throughout the program and were very much in the moment. It felt really good through that point, and we finished with lots of good energy,” Alex Shibutani told the press.

The Shibutani siblings earned a personal best score of 101.14 points for their free dance. It was also a return to the Four Continents medal ceremony after a four-year absence.

The last time we were on the podium was 2011, and since then we’ve grown so much as a team,” noted Maia Shibutani.

Piper Gilles+Paul Poirier (CAN) remained in 4th place with a teasingly romantic skate to a medley of movie themes.

“We’ve never done a romantic program before. So that’s what this year has been about. It’s been trying to portray those kinds of characters. I really hope it was believable,” explained Poirier.

Kaitlin Hawayek+Jean-Luc Baker (USA) moved up to 5th with a light and airy performance to selections from Abel Korzeniowski’s Romeo & Juliet.

“We wanted to do a last great performance for our first senior season; we did everything we could. We had a great time and told a great story,” said Hawayek.

Alexandra Paul+Mitchell Islam (CAN) slipped to 6th after he fell and the team appeared to lose focus.

“The program is only two months old and is still very fresh,” explained Islam.

“We loved our previous free dance, but we were stuck trying to make it grow and be better. So we started over and came up with a great new free dance, “ added Paul.

“In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel was an exhibition program choreographed by Jeffrey Buttle, but reworked to meet competitive standards.

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