Quebec City, Canada
The Grand Prix series heads to Quebec City this week for its second stop, Skate Canada. Quebec City has hosted various international figure skating events, including 2002 Skate Canada.
Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir already have one Grand Prix season under the belts. They won the silver medal at the 2006 Skate Canada and finished fourth at Trophee Eric Bompard, which earned them enough points to be named alternates to the Grand Prix final. Virtue and Moir, who have been skating together since 1997, finished sixth at the 2007 World Championships; a gold medal at Skate Canada is within their grasp.
No one competing in Quebec City has as much senior international competitive experience as Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov. Gregory and Petukhov have been competing on the Grand Prix series since 2003, qualifying for the Grand Prix Final in 2006. The duo switched coaches this summer and are now working with Priscilla Hill in Newark, DE.
Anna Cappellini and Luca LaNotte are also entering their second season on the Grand Prix circuit, and the third year of their on-ice partnership. The team had 5th and 8th place finishes at their Grand Prix events in 2006.
Half of the teams on the roster for Skate Canada are making their senior Grand Prix debut. Though still age-eligible for junior events, Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev are making the jump to senior. Bobrova and Soloviev won the 2007 World Junior Championships in their first attempt and a medal isn’t out of the question for them here.
Canada’s Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, who won the bronze at Junior Worlds in 2007, were surprise bronze medalists at the Canadian National Championships last January. Weaver, a US citizen, was one of the last skaters to receive a release from US Figure Skating before the clamp down on releases began. Weaver and Poje are in their second season together.
Other teams making their senior Grand Prix debuts include Carolina Hermann and Daniel Hermann of Germany and Julia Zlobina and Alexei Sitnikov. Though Nelli Zhiganshina and Alexander Gazsi competed at the 2007 World Championships, they did not compete in any Grand Prix events, so Skate Canada is also their grand prix debut.
Allie Hann-McCurdy and Michael Coreno of Canada and Pernelle Carron and Mathiew Jost of France will also compete in Quebec City.