Figure skating: Skate Canada cancelled out of 'prudence for health and safety'

The second stop on the Grand Prix Series was set for Oct. 30 and 31 in Ottawa, but officials said the event is "no longer viable" due to COVID-19 restrictions.

By Nick McCarvel

Skate Canada, the second stop on the upcoming figure skating Grand Prix Series, was cancelled on Wednesday (14 October) due to the ongoing "health crisis and our prudence for health and safety," a release from the event said.

The governing body, Skate Canada, said that it had closely been monitoring the health situation in Ottawa, where the event was set to take place Oct. 30 and 31, but: "Given the evolution of the health crisis and our prudence for the health and safety of the athletes, coaches, officials, and volunteers, the appropriate course of action was to cancel the event."

It is unclear how or if this will impact the rest of the Grand Prix season, which had already been pared down from its original format. The ISU announced in August that skaters would be assigned to only one event and that they would have a more national or regional feel, with skaters only travelling in their home or training nation.

Skate America is set for Oct. 23 and 24 in Las Vegas with a mostly American field. Four other Grand Prix events remain on the schedule for November.

US Figure Skating confirmed on Wednesday to Olympic Channel that it was committed to holding Skate America.

"U.S. Figure Skating puts the health and safety of all who will attend the event as its highest priority," a statement said. "We are implementing an approved plan by the Nevada Gaming Control Board to host this event. We have implemented advance and daily health screenings and will continue to work closely with our local medical provider, University of Nevada-Las Vegas Medical."

Skate Canada's cancellation means likely no Grand Prix event for skaters such as American Jason Brown, Canadian pairs team Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro, ice dance team Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier and Japan's Miyahara Satoko, who - like Brown - is based in Toronto.

Nam Nguyen, the 2014 junior world champion and two-time Canadian champ, was also set to compete. He told Olympic Channel the athletes knew cancellation was a possibility, but that it was still disappointing.

"We knew there was a possibility that it would be cancelled," he said. "It’s obviously for everyone’s best interest and safety. That’s the first priority. I’m glad that they made the right decision and cancelled the event."

Nguyen, who added two-time Olympic silver medallist Elvis Stojko to his day-to-day team this summer, said he would not take time away from the training rink, however. He did so earlier this year when the world championships were cancelled and had a hard time finding his rhythm again.

"We’re using this time and opportunity to push ourselves, push our boundaries," he said. "We’re still developing power and my skating skills, really. We’ve taken these last few months to really bump that up. If there is an opportunity to show (my progress) to everyone this season, I sure hope so. (Right now) is about keeping your head straight and keep pushing."

The ISU confirmed the Canada cancellation on Wednesday, as well. The Junior Grand Prix Series had already been cancelled by the international organisation earlier this year, and last month the Grand Prix Final - set for December in Beijing - was postponed with no re-schedule date made.

Two-time Olympic champion Hanyu Yuzuru, has also said he won't take part in the 2020/21 season.


Free live sport events. Unlimited access to series. Unrivalled Olympic news & highlights.