Skate Canada 2001

Saskatoon, SK


Ladies Results     Men's Results    Pairs Results    Dance Results


Skate Canada was the second competition of the 2001/02 ISU Grand Prix.   Like Skate America before it, there were some good skaters competing, but few interesting matchups to provide tea-leave readers insight into what the season might hold.   Only the meeting of Michelle Kwan and Irina Slutskaya in the ladies event could be described as momentous.

In dance Shae-Lynn Bourne & Victor Kraatz were offered no more challenging competition than they saw at Skate America.  Nevertheless, the quality of their skating and the high marks they received, typically 5.8s, leads one to think that they are on track to be seriously considered for the bronze medal at the Olympic Games.

Jamie Sale & David Pelletier, the reigning World Champions, are now two for two in the Grand Prix, but they also were not challenged by the competition here or last week.  All one can say at this point is that they have two gold-medal-quality programs and will be in the thick of it for the pairs title in February.

Alexei Yagudin also displayed two gold-medal-quality programs.  If he stays strong and healthy there should be fireworks in the men's event in Salt Lake City.   Elvis Stojko turned in a fine performance here.  Whether he is truly back, however, remains to be seen.  Age is his biggest enemy this season, and his performance here indicates that at this point he is one of several skaters competitive for the Olympic bronze medal, but no higher.  Todd Edredge continues to work the quad and continues to land it only occasionally.  Eldredge's chances for the Olympic bronze look even slimmer than Stojko's but he cannot be ruled out at this point.

In the ladies event, Michelle Kwan and Irina Slutskaya met in the first important competition for them this season.  They entered the season as the two main rivals for the ladies title in the Olympic Games.  In  mid-October the hope and expectation was that the 2001/02 season would be the Michelle Kwan "victory tour."  In mid-November the 2001/002 season is looking more like the Michelle Kwan "deathwatch."  Kwan stands at the brink.  She is at risk not only of becoming the underdog at the Olympics, but of having to fight tooth-and-nail to retain her U.S. National title.  Between now and the Grand Prix Final she has one month to regroup and recover her season, but it will require good judgement, hard work and discipline.  We now that Kwan is capable of the second two.  Its the first one that's the hard part, and the one that will ultimately determine her season.


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