Skate Canada 2015 – That time I saw Yuzuru Hanyu skate live and nobody else mattered (almost!)

I have a few more thoughts to share on Skate Canada from last weekend. I know Cup of China started last night but I’m going to pretend it didn’t. My Skate Canada recap posts turned into a week long series (1, 2, 3) and I just couldn’t fit them all in! While I’ve now rather thoroughly covered the Men’s event, I haven’t even mentioned the other three disciplines. That’s what today is for!


This has always been my least favourite discipline. Scott & Tessa definitely helped, but I still care the least about it compared to the others. But that changed at Skate Canada! There was so much stellar skating in the ice dance event.

Right from the start I knew I was going to be a fan of the SD this season. Everyone was looking so fabulous! Especially the Canadians. Paul & Islam were an adorable ballerina pair and Weaver & Poje looked like they were Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin going to Cinderella’s Ball. I never saw Kaitlyn & Andrew’s original SD but I loved their new one. It was such a waltzy waltz. Plus Andrew looked like a Duke or a Viscount or something equally classy. Seeing these two live again just made me love them more.

I’m not sure I really ‘got’ Weaver & Poje’s FD but I don’t think it matters. I can appreciate the really excellent and mature skating they delivered. These two are skating the program they want to skate this season, which is nice to see. Last year the French World Champions skated a more dramatic and mature program and it seems the Canadians are trying the same. They don’t necessarily need to win Worlds this season (though that’d be nice), but goodness I hope they beat Chock & Bates.

The biggest surprise for me came from the Shibs! Wow! I’ve never been on #TeamShibSib before. I just could never get into their abundance of classical brother-sister programs. But I realized seeing them live just how amazing technically they really are. Those twizzles were fab! So fast! Best in the competition for sure! And their programs this season are stellar. The SD was excellent but the FD was even better. Fix You is probably my favourite Coldplay song and I thought it made such a great FD. The program just builds and builds. I can imagine it could be something special for them in Boston. I’m now hoping for an upset where they beat Chock & Bates!

I don’t have much to say about Bobrova and Soloviev except I’m curious to see how the top Russian teams are going to stack up against each other this season.

And finally, why don’t the judges love Paul & Islam as much as I do? I just love watching these two. They skated  two stellar programs and, perhaps it’s the Scott & Tessa effect, but I feel everything they do is magical. I just wish the judges could see it. They’ve worked so hard in the past couple seasons to try and make a break through but it just doesn’t seem to be happening for them. Unfortunately they just can’t catch a break.

2015 Skate Canada International, short dance (Photo credit Skate Canada)


 Skate Canada 2015 Medal Ceremony 1:Ashley Wagner 2:Elizaveta Tuktamysheva 3:Yuka Nagai [x]

Ashley Wagner became my favourite competing female last season and after seeing her live in Lethbridge she reaffirmed that position. This girl is fierce and such an excellent performer. I applaud her for making the changes she needed to and rededicating herself to the sport. She’s improved so much! Plus her programs are fabulous. There was a big improvement in her Moulin Rouge FS. I loved it last year, but it’s even better now. Keep rotating those jumps girl, I’d love to see you on the World podium. I’m also a huge fan of the red hair!

It was excellent to see Elizaveta Tuktamysheva here. This girl is amazingly talented with some huge jumps but compared to Ashley her programs just didn’t compare. They were too dark and heavy and definitely too many crossovers in them! But I do appreciate her fight in coming back after a bit of a disastrous SP and loved that she went for the 3A in the FS.

Yuka Nagai was a delight. And I really enjoyed seeing Kanako again. I realized I don’t like Polina much at all; she seemed very junior here in comparison to some of the others.

Gabby showed us how much of a rising star she is this week. Her jumps are huge! She still needs some refinement but I think it’ll come. I think I like her more now than I ever have! As for Kaetlyn, that was a definite disaster. This girls is such a talent but just can’t catch a break. She’s from my hometown and I know a number of people from her club; a bunch of who came to watch her skate this weekend. Here’s hoping she gets things sorted and stays healthy, you can tell the judges just want to give her the high marks she deserves!

Kaetlyn Osmond’s triple flip-triple toe


I don’t have a ton to say about this event other than Meagan and Eric are stars. Plus Eric was looking pretty fine with that facial hair.

These two will never be that classic pairs team that the Russians or even Chinese can produce and they know that. They’re doing things their way. They’re doing things differently and pushing the sport technically. Both programs this season are fabulous; they are full and you can really notice that they are trying to showcase Eric often in the programs, compared to some other teams where the girl is the sole focus. This is all in an attempt to hide Meagan’s flaws. She’s worked so hard, but there’s some things you can’t refine. My main issue with the FS is the long setup into the throws. In an otherwise packed program, this part is rather lacking. But still, that program flew by so fast compared to some of the other FS. And finally, those 3Lzs and that 4S throw were just amazing to see live. I would love to see these two back atop the world podium.

Tarasova and Morozov were a delightful surprise. Someone online pointed out that these two look like Bill and Fleur from Harry Potter, and now that I know that I can’t not see it. Please skate a Harry Potter program at some point!! It’d be fabulous.

I’m so not a fan of Kirsten and Michael. I’m 100% #TeamDylan in their split. While there is definitely improvement over last season, Marinaro just isn’t up to Dylan’s standards and I don’t know if he ever will be. Plus Kirsten just doesn’t seem like the most pleasant person to always be around. She gave him a pretty good death stare after that missed lift in the FS. And about that FS, that Romeo & Juliet program was kind of awful.


I’ve talked a lot about this event already and I still plan on doing a Hanyu vs. Chan post in the near future. But there were other skaters here than Patrick and Yuzu.

Adam Rippon was a shock to us all. What happened to the curly haired boy from a couple years ago?? While I knew a bit more about his past year than the others I was with, his transformation was still fun to see. The people in my group mostly couldn’t get over how much he looks like Frankie Grande. Adam came to Skate Canada and everything he did was so over the top! The dramatics, the hair, the costume. Just wow! Special little snowflake for sure!

Daisuke Murakami was a treat. I remember him from watching NHK last season, but I still didn’t expect much from him here. Pleasant surprise!

And Nam, keep doing what you’re doing and working hard every day. I’m not a super fan of your programs this season, definitely too heavy for you but you’re still so young and have so much potential. It’s good to experiment with new music and styles. I’ll be cheering for you all season. #TeamOrser

And just some final thoughts from Skate Canada

  • There were so many Japanese figure skating fans present this week, and while we all know who they came to see it was amazing to see their dedication and commitment to their skaters. Figure skating is no where near as popular in North America and I just love seeing the passion for the sport these fans have. There were so many Japanese flags but they had every other flag as well; a very supportive audience! Plus I think they all had a Pooh with them in some form.
  • While there were an abundant number of Japanese flags, they all had personalized flags and banners for Yuzu. It seems he deserves something special from his fans.
  • I just love watching live figure skating. I could watch it all day, it almost doesn’t matter what discipline it is (though the Men’s event is closest to my heart).
  • If you get the opportunity to see Yuzuru Hanyu or Patrick Chan skate live take it. These two are some amazing talent that deserves to be seen and appreciated live.
  • And if you get the chance, watch a Men’s practice from the front row. It’s here that you can fully appreciate the speed of the skaters and the height on their quads.

I’m already missing live skating! Bring on Worlds! Cup of China live in the middle of the night just isn’t cutting it.

Thanks for reading!
– Justine Alyssa


4 Responses

  1. I love your blog title!
    “Skate Canada 2015 – that time I saw Yuzuru Hanyu skate live and nobody else mattered (almost!)
    , and me too! 😉

  2. I am frustrated. I am a longtime figure skating fan and have been watching live IF I can find a link or it is covered by network i.e. The problem is that finding a link where I live near Toronto is next to impossible. U.S. Has Universal and NBC but not available to us. I joined ice network only to be told it was not available outside USA(they did refund me). I had more luck finding a live link two years ago then I do now. Why is this such a problem? I am willing to pay but even then cannot find a link. Wondering if anyone has feedback or knows links that I am not aware of

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