Sport Shorts: Canadians + Skates = Medals
Figure Skating: While Olympic champion ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir rest from injury, Canada keeps on winning this figure skating discipline. At Skate Canada International, the second Grand Prix event of this season, Vanessa Crone (Newmarket, Ont.) and Paul Poirier (Unionville, Ont.) took gold in Kingston, Ont. Their stunning short dance to the Beatles song “Eleanor Rigby” launched them to their first career Grand Prix gold.
Toronto’s Patrick Chan added a second gold medal for the home crowd. He landed his first competitive “quad” jump on Saturday, propelling him to a three point win over silver medallist Nobunari Oda (Japan). Kevin Reynolds (Coquitlam, B.C.) skated very well, settling for 4th place. On the ladies side, Amélie Lacoste (Delson, Que.) won bronze – her first international medal. Cynthia Phaneuf (Contrecoeur, Que.) was 4th.
With a free skate to “Les Miserables”, Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch won silver in the pairs event. Quite a feat for the Waterloo, Ont. and Toronto natives who stepped in for Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison who had to withdraw. And rounding out the relatively new faces were Paige Lawrence (Kennedy, Sask.) and Rudi Swiegers (Virden, Man.) claiming bronze in pairs. Video highlights here: www.cbc.ca/sports/figureskating.
Short Track Speed Skating: One week after racing in Montreal, the short track team travelled north to Quebec City for the second World Cup of the season. They left with nine medals and more powerful performances. On Saturday, Yellowknife’s Michael Gilday took gold in the 1,500 metres – his first individual World Cup gold. A few moments later, Marianne St-Gelais (St-Félicien, Que.) won bronze in 1,000 metres.
On Sunday, the lid came off with seven medals. St-Gelais and François-Louis Tremblay (Boucherville, Que.) both won gold in 500 metres while Charles Hamelin (Ste-Julie, Que.) took gold in the 1,000 metres and the men’s relay also won gold. Rounding out the medals were the ladies relay team capturing silver, Guillaume Bastille (Rivière-du-Loup, Que.) winning bronze in 1,000 metres and François Hamelin (Ste-Julie, Que.) adding bronze in 500 metres.
Luge: There’s a new kid in town. Brendan Hauptman (Kimberly, B.C.) won the Canadian men’s luge title ahead of veterans Sam Edney and Jeff Christie on Friday in Calgary. Hauptman narrowly missed a spot on the 2010 Olympic team. On the women’s side, Alex Gough (Calgary) won her 4th national title. The team is hers to lead after the retirement of Olympians Regan Lauscher and Meaghan Simister. The doubles title went to youngsters (and 2010 Olympians) Tristan Walker and Justin Snith (both Calgary), their first Canadian crown. Their World Cup season begins Nov. 27.
Bowling: Winnipeg’s Michael Schmidt sure can bowl. Last week, he won the World Cup of Bowling – the second time he has claimed the world title. Five years ago he also won the event, making him only the second man in history to be a two-time world champion. Check out 10-pin bowling at the Pan American Games next year.
Soccer: Canada’s women’s team defeated Guyana 8-0 on Halloween at the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifiers in Cancun. Their next match-up is Tuesday against Mexico. Team leader Christine Sinclair was named last week one of 10 nominees for the FIFA women’s world soccer player of the year award.
Rowing: This week, Canada’s top scullers are in New Zealand, aiming for great results at the World Rowing Championships. Follow here: www.wrch2010.com.