2016 Autumn Classic International Preview

The Autumn Classic International returns to the Challenger Series this week. Although this is the third time the event has been held, it is the first time Montreal has been the host with Barrie, Ontario hosting in 2014 and 2015.  10 teams representing seven countries make up the roster.

Ever since Canada’s Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir announced their return to competition back in February, the ice dance fan community has been looking forward to their debut.  Virtue & Moir are now training with Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon and share their training center with two-time World Champions Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron of France.  Their short dance is to a medley of music by Prince with their free dance to an acoustic version of “Latch” by Disclosure.  They are joined by fellow Canadians Haley Sales & Nikolas Wamsteeker and Carolane & Shane Firus who are debuting on the Challenger Series.

Denmark’s Laurence Fournier Beaudry & Nikolaj Sorensen of Denmark started their season strong at the 2016 Championnats québécois d’été in August where they posted a combined score of 160.90 to win the event. Their short dance performance to “You’re the Boss” by Elvis Presley and Ann Margaret and “A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis Presley earned 67.66 points. Their free dance is set to Edith Piaf’s “La vie en rose” and “Hymne à l’amour” performed by French singer Patricia Kaas. 

Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker represent the United States.  Last season, the team did not skate to their own expectations, but they are back this season with two programs with potential to be stand-outs.  Their short dance mixes “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble (blues) with “How I Feel” by Flo Rida (hip hop).  Their free dance to “Liebestraum” showcases their signature elegant style. 

In their second competitive season, Isabella Tobias & Ilia Tkachenko of Israel will look to continue the momentum that saw them finish 10th at the European Championships and 12th at the World Championships.

Autumn Classic also marks the first time Spaniards and fellow training mates Celia Robledo & Luis Fenero and Olivia Smart & Adria Diaz will compete against each other.

Both Marie-Jade Lauriault & Romain Le Gac of France and Ho Jung Lee & Richard Kang In Kam of Korea are entering their first full seasons on the senior circuit.

The short dance will be contested on Thursday afternoon with the free dance taking place on Saturday.