|Ladies Podium at Skate Canada International|
This was my second time attending an SCI event, as I had traveled to Mississauga (outside of Toronto) two years ago (the host city changes every season). Canadian competitions are fun for me to attend as an American because they are generally better attended than similar events in the US and the fans know their skating. (The event also fit my budget due to the favorable exchange rate).
SCI was held in Laval, a suburb of Montreal at the newly built Place Bell arena. Another plus of this event was that the Place Bell is located close to a metro stop so it’s easy to access and not have to worry about cabs or Uber costs.
I also had the opportunity to meet up with other skating fans that I’ve gotten to know through the online skating community and by attending live skating events. Several traveled from various North American locations (including Toronto and Seattle) and we met for a memorable dinner before the competition in Old Montreal, a beautiful part of the city that evokes Paris.
Onto the skating itself. This event had a particularly good lineup, despite the retirement of Canada’s top skaters post Olympics. We got a chance to see some of the newer generation of Canadian skaters rising to the top of the ranks including the always entertaining men’s silver medalist Keegan Messing and the ice dancing pair of Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier who rose through the ranks to claim the bronze medal after a major mistake in their rhythm dance. Their skate to “Starry Starry Night” was one of the best of the event, full of emotion and intricate and creative moves.