December 6, 2012, Sochi, Russia – Canada’s figure skating team goes for gold as it takes on the best in the world at the ISU GRAND PRIX FINAL from Sochi, Russia and CBC is the exclusive home to all the action this Saturday. CBC has coverage of the Men’s and Ice Dance competition beginning at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) featuring Canadians Patrick Chan and the Ice Dance team of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
Chan, the reigning Canadian and World Men’s Champion looks to retain is ISU GRAND PRIX FINAL title, while reigning Olympic and World Champions Virtue and Moir look to improve on last year’s second place finish at this event. In addition to the prime time coverage, CBC has the Women’s and Pairs competitions beginning at 4 p.m. ET.
CBC’s Scott Russell (@SportsWkndScott) hosts Saturday’s coverage while Brenda Irving (@SportsWkndBrend) calls the action alongside figure skating analysts Tracy Wilson and Kurt Browning (@KurtBrowning). In addition, PJ Kwong (@skatingpj) keeps viewers up to date via social media with the latest reaction throughout the day. Viewers can interact and join the conversation on Twitter using #CBCSkate and by following on Facebook (Facebook.com/CBCSports). As always, CBCSports.ca keeps fans up-to-date with the latest news leading up to, during and after the competition.
The ISU GRAND PRIX FINAL is considered a test event in anticipation of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games from Russia, and represents a great opportunity for the Canadian Figure Skating team to make a bold statement leading into the 2013 ISU World Figure Skating Championships. Canada has a number of medal contenders in the competition including Chan, who has established himself as a perennial favourite and among the best male skaters of his generation, and Virtue and Moir who remain unbeaten in 2012. Canada also has two entries in the Pairs competition with the duos of Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford alongside Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch.
This year’s ISU GRAND PRIX FINAL features eight reigning World medalists among the 24 skaters/pairs that have qualified for this weekend’s competition. In the Men’s competition, Canada’s Chan will face Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, Takahiko Kozuka and Tatsuki Machida as well as Spain’s Javier Fernandez, who is coached by Canadian Brian Orser, the 1988 Olympic Silver Medalist. The Ice Dance lineup will see Virtue and Moir take on their rivals and training partners, Meryl Davis and Charlie White from the United States, as well as France’s Nathalie Pechalata and Favian Bourzat, Russia’s Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev, and Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov, as well as Italy’s Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte.
The Pairs competition features two Canadian teams as well as Russia’s Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov who won two Grand Prix events leading up to the Final, and fellow Russians Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov, and Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov. Rounding out the pairs competition are China’s Qing Pang and Jiang Tong. While the Women’s competition does not feature a Canadian skater, the field includes Japan’s Mao Asada and the USA’s Ashley Wagner both who qualified with two victories apiece. Other entries include Finland’s Kiira Korpi, Akiko Suzuki of Japan, and Russia’s Julia Lipnitskaia and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva.
CBC is Canada’s exclusive home for the best figure skating in the world with the ISU GRAND PRIX FINAL this weekend as well as the World Championships in March 2013, the final major competition prior to CBC’s coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games from Sochi Russia.
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