Canada might not compete at world figure skating championships — if they happen | CBC Sports


If the world determine skating championships do go forward in a bubble in March in Sweden, there’s a good likelihood Canada will not be there.

The Swedish Figure Skating Association hopes to carry the March 22-28 occasion in a “bubble” in Stockholm, the group mentioned on its web site.

But COVID-19 has created a wildly uneven enjoying subject this season, with protocols various from nation to nation. Keegan Messing, a males’s singles skater who lives in Alaska, is the one Canadian who’s even competed since final February.

“That is one of our concerns, and we have talked about that with our athletes and coaches, given all the challenges we’ve had across Canada,” mentioned Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada’s excessive efficiency director.

WATCH | A have a look at Canada’s determine skating staff:

A deep dive into Canada’s skaters and the place they stack up towards the competitors and the pandemic. 13:28

Slipchuk identified that rinks are closed once more in COVID-19 hotspots comparable to Toronto.

“So, it’s been very hard for the athletes to be on a consistent training program,” he mentioned. “And then readiness, even if we do get to a real championship this year, we just don’t feel that our athletes will be in a (state of) readiness that they would normally be in a normal season — which when you’re trying to qualify for Olympic spots is important.”

The world championships decide what number of positions every nation may have per occasion on the 2022 Olympics.

“The World Cup organization in Sweden is working intensively together with ISU to carry out a grand championship in a different way,” the Swedish federation mentioned (translated to English) on its web site. “The stars are on site and through TV and digital solutions, those interested will be able to take part in the battle for the medals.”

Canada’s COVID-19 protocols that require a 14-day quarantine as soon as returning residence can be a difficulty

“How ready can athletes be if they have to miss two weeks of training? Is that realistic?” Slipchuk mentioned.

The Canadian staff — aside from Messing, who gained bronze at Skate America a month in the past — has been sidelined for the reason that world championships final March in Montreal had been cancelled, one of many first world sporting occasions erased by the pandemic.

WATCH | Gabriella Papadakis on partnership, pandemic and ice dance:

Internationaux de France was cancelled as a consequence of COVID-19, however we nonetheless caught up with France’s reigning world champion in ice dance. 18:27

The first lockdown in Canada final spring saved many skaters off the ice for months. Pairs and dance groups had been notably hard-hit as security protocols prevented them from touching — so no practising lifts, and so on. — even after they had been in a position to return to the rink. In some areas, touching was prohibited till August.

“So just trying to prepare has been hard … this never happens in a normal year, we would have been competing already,” Slipchuk mentioned.

Skate Canada International, scheduled for October, was cancelled.

The International Skating Union has canvassed nationwide federations, asking if there was a junior world and world championship, would they attend. The world junior championships in China have since been cancelled, together with the Four Continents Championships in Australia.

Skate Canada Challenge to be held just about

Skate Canada Challenge, the qualifying occasion for the Canadian championships, will likely be held just about. Athletes will carry out their packages at their residence rinks with a videographer, then submit them to Skate Canada. Judges will not see the packages till they’re streamed altogether in a digital present format in early January.

“It’s going to be pretty unique, so when you watch, you would see Keegan do his short program from Alaska, the judges will judge it live, a score will come up, and then Nam [Nguyen] would come on, etc.,” Slipchuk mentioned.

A Skate Canada official will likely be at every session to make sure skaters comply with competitors guidelines, comparable to a six-minute warmup, and so on.

Slipchuk is holding fingers crossed that the Canadian championships, initially scheduled for January however pushed again to February 8-14, could be held dwell as deliberate in Vancouver.

“If that ends up being the end of the season, I think it would be a good way to finish for the athletes and coaches and officials and everyone involved with Skate Canada, that we actually got to the finish line on an event.”

The ISU, in the meantime, is predicted to rule on the world championships subsequent month.

It’s unattainable to plan properly upfront for something, Slipchuk identified.

“A decision in December could change in January or February,” he mentioned.

“I just look at how fast things have changed this year, it’s one of the things that probably until you’re on the plane to get to the event, you’re not going to know if it’s going to happen. Or even in the rink.

“What we have executed this 12 months for us is absolutely put the concentrate on making an attempt to manage what we are able to management.”

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