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Canada shifts figure skating nationals one month, reduces entries

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating - Skate Canada

KELOWNA, BC - OCTOBER 26: Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada perform in the ice dance free dance. They placed first with a score of 126.43 during the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Canada at Prospera Place on October 26, 2019 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung - - International Skating Union/International Skating Union via Getty Images)

International Skating Union via

Canada shifted its national figure skating championships from January to February and reduced the number of competitors for the event in Vancouver, allowing more time for skaters to prepare amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The global pandemic has put forth challenges for us all, and our priority is to support the development and goals of our skaters in a safe manner,” Skate Canada CEO Debra Armstrong said in a press release.

Nationals, now scheduled to conclude the weekend of Feb. 14, will have two flights of skaters per discipline in junior and senior categories, but not novice competition.

Another event, January’s Skate Canada Challenge, a nationals qualifier, was shifted to a virtual competition with skaters participating from their home regions.

Nationals is typically a selection event for the world championships, which this season are in Stockholm in March.

Canada, the reigning Olympic team event champion, earned at least one medal at every Olympics and world championships from 2005-18, with the streak ending in 2019.

Its top skaters are ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier and the pairs’ team of Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro.

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