Four years after coming up just short of qualifying for Vancouver 2010, Meagan Duhamel came home from Sochi 2014 as a silver medallist in the inaugural Olympic team event. She and partner Eric Radford competed in the pairs’ short program portion of the event, finishing second. The duo also placed seventh in the pairs’ event.
Duhamel had competed in both pairs and singles at the national level, but really began to take pairs seriously when she teamed with Craig Buntin in 2007. They competed at the world championships in 2008 and 2009 but finished third at the 2010 Canadian Championships, missing out on the two Olympic berths Canada had in the pairs’ event. Buntin would announce his retirement a few months later, leaving Duhamel unsure about her future.
At the suggestion of coach Richard Gauthier, Duhamel had a tryout with Eric Radford, who had also had a few partners. The two skaters had never thought about teaming up, even though they were both from small northern Ontario towns. They each have strong individual technical skills from competing as singles. That background allows them to include the most difficult of triple jumps amongst the pair skaters, triple Lutzes.
Training together in Montreal, Duhamel and Radford have had a steady progression in their international results. Seventh at their first world championship together in 2011, they moved to fifth in 2012 and set their sights on the podium in 2013. After winning two silver medals on the Grand Prix, they stood atop the podium at the 2013 Four Continents Championships. Their season culminated with a bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships, Canada’s first world medal in the pairs’ event since 2008. They added a second bronze at the 2014 World Championships.
2014 Olympic Silver Medallist (team event)… 2013 and 2014 World Bronze Medallist… 2013 Four Continents Champion… Two-Time Canadian Champion (2012, 2013)…
Getting Into Sport: Started skating at age three… Between her cousins’ hockey games, her uncles’ hockey games and the teams her dad was coaching along with her sister figure skating she was always at the rink so it made sense for her to skate… She followed her sister through the ranks… Was 10 when she started to take private lessons… Moved away from home at 14 to pursue her skating in Barrie… Both parents worked two jobs to finance her skating… Outside Interests: Vegan since 2008… After reading the book Skinny Bitch she cleaned out her kitchen and decided to change her life… Has since studied holistic/naturopathic health and became a certified holistic nutritionist in 2012… Says that she sleeps better, her skin is better and she is more energized… Always has to travel with her own homemade food… Plays baseball and dodgeball… Odds and Ends: Remembers watching the figure skating at Lillehammer 1994, dancing around the living room and telling everyone that one day she would go to the Olympics, including pen pals around the world… After watching Tara Lipinski win gold at Nagano 1998 she began dreaming of having the performance of her life at the Olympic Games… Favourite motto: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
NOTABLE INTERNATIONAL RESULTS
ISU World Championships: 2014 -BRONZE; 2013 – BRONZE; 2012 – 5th; 2011 – 7th; 2009 – 8th (with Craig Buntin); 2008 – 6th (with Craig Buntin)