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Canadian Team Primed for 2010

Apologies for the very late posting on my thoughts on Worlds! For what it’s worth, here’s my two cents:

What We’ve Got Here is a Failure to Communicate
Patrick ChanThe pairs event was a tough way to start the competition for the Canadian team. But, I think Dube and Davison’s mediocre showing was a much-needed reality check for the young pair. The bronze-medal gift at last year’s Worlds was premature and the pair needs to step-up their athleticism and performance if they’re going to be competitive at 2010. The pair’s performances weren’t disastrous, but they lacked heart. And when ‘heart’ is your best weapon, you’ve got to bring it out at the most important competition of the year. Did it look to anyone else like off-ice issues were getting in the way of a cohesive pair on the ice?

Despite Duhamel and Buntin’s meltdown, I admired their fight. I appreciate their willingness to give every performance their all, even when it goes off the rails.

More Media Training for Patrick Chan?
Patrick Chan is a wonderful skater and he was adequately rewarded for his strong work at Worlds. I was, however, irritated by the side story of Joubert vs. Chan. While a little off-ice rivalry is fun, Patrick may have taken things a bit too far. Perhaps Skate Canada should invest in some media training for Chan. It’s hard to avoid answering off-topic or bullying questions from the press, but I think Chan may have gotten sucked into a media-made controversy that I felt distracted from the competition.

Tried and True Wins the Day
Joannie RochetteAs I expected, the international judges rewarded the tried and true dramatic flailing about in the dance competition. Of course I’m a biased homer, but I believe Virtue and Moir’s avant garde free dance made strides towards making ice dance a relevant modern art form. After all, isn’t art meant to communicate something meaningful about the human condition? Pink Floyd’s “Money” was a thoughtful choice and an inspired performance, particularly during a worldwide economic crisis.

The Secret Sauce for Canadian Women’s Skating
Joannie Rochette is a test case for how to spot, train and nurture a skater to greatness. Her goal to peak at 2010 seems doable given a stellar performance at Worlds and a terrifically solid season. Her team of coaches, choreographers and sports pychologists have helped to mold an athlete at the top of her game. It didn’t always look so promising in the early days of Rochette’s international showings. Has Skate Canada finally found the secret sauce for women’s skating?

I’d love to hear what your favourite moments from Worlds were. Please send them in!

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