Canadian Nationals 2024 Commentary and Analysis
The 2024 Canadian National Championships in Calgary saw some great performances, but unfortunately quite a few more disappointments. From the highs of Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier winning their third national title, to the struggles of many of the favorites in the men’s and women’s competitions, it was a challenging event that suffered (but sustained) through low attendance, no broadcast parter, and sub-zero temperatures.
Ice Dance Competition
As the marquee event of the National Championships, there was certainly pressure on the top teams to perform well — and Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier met that challenge to take their third national title. Their rhythm dance was a bit tighter than usual here, but their free dance continues to evolve and get stronger, which bodes well for them going into Four Continents and the World Championships.
With the withdrawals of both Lawrence Fournier-Beaudry & Nikolaj Sorensen and Marjorie Lajiois & Zak Lagha, the door was open for two other fantastic Canadian dance teams — Marie-Jade Lauriault & Romain Le Gac and Alicia Fabbri & Paul Ayer — to take their respective and well-earned podium spots.
Wesley Chiu threw down a great short program, which helped sustain him through a nervous free skate and bolster him to win his first national title. The silver and bronze medalists, Aleksa Rakic and Anthony Paradis, were both a bit surprising. Paradis, who is just 16 years old, showed remarkable artistic ability and professionalism through an equipment malfunction to land on the podium — which may have been the highlight of the whole comp.
Coming into this event, three of the favorites were Conrad Orzel, Stephen Gogolev, and — returning to competition after a year — former Canadian National Champ, Roman Sadovsky. All three men had rough short programs that pushed them far down in the standings. Gogolev had to withdraw due to injury before the long, and neither Orzel nor Sadovsky were able to recover well enough to make the podium.
As expected, the remarkable team of Deanna Stellato-Dukek & Maxime Dechamps retained their national title — but it was not easy. Their short program had more errors than they typically see, still landing them in first but only barely. However, in their free program, they skated mostly clean and polished after messy side-by-side jumps to easily take the victory.
In second, the on-the-rise team of Lia Pereira & Trennt Michaud had a solid short program to stay close. After a less stellar free skate, the team comfortably landed in the silver spot ahead of Kelly Ann Laurin & Loucas Éthier.
This discipline saw the upset of the event with 17 year-old Kaiya Ruiter taking her first national title. While her short program was not what she’d hoped for, Kaiya came back with a strong free skate that put her well ahead of the expected winner, Madeline Schizas.
Schizas had a solid short program, but struggled with her jumps and her energy on the ice during the free skate. The result was disappointing, but should keep Maddie’s spot on the World team assured. In third, the young Hetty Shi skated well enough to take second in the free skate behind Kaiya and end up with her first senior national medal.
0:00 — Intro and Overview
2:34 — Ice Dance Competition
9:47 — Men’s Competition
21:24 — Pairs Competition
25:01 — Women’s Competition
29:53 — Gold in our Hearts
30:29 — Wrap-Up