If you’re a good Canadian who has any respect for this country, you’re getting excited for the Winter Olympics next month. While the NHL might have made it impossible for all our favourite hockey players to take the ice in PyeongChang (#NeverForget Crosby’s golden goal), our figure skating team is to. die. for. And in case you couldn’t tell, we’re a little excited about it.
— Team Canada (@TeamCanada) January 14, 2018
This year’s team is headed by veterans Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir and Patrick Chan who all said they would be retiring from the Olympics after the 2014 games in Sochi, teased us for four years and then announced they were back and better than ever. Good one, guys. You might recall that Tessa and Scott are our Gold Medal champions from Vancouver 2010 and then were robbed in 2014 by Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White. We’re ready for a rematch.
So just how good are these Canadian figure skating prospects? Historically, figure skating is one of Canada’s best sports — we have 25 medals in it in total, four of them being gold. We are also ranked number one in the world heading into the Olympics and we have the largest team of any country at 17 athletes. Eleven of our skaters have been to the Olympics before. Things are looking pretty good for us right now.
Also on the team are a duo who made their Olympic debut in Sochi and have been gaining in popularity (and titles) since then: Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford. All five of these Olympic veterans are looking to retire after these Games and they want to make it count (and so do we).
“We have one of the strongest teams in Canadian skating history,” Radford said, “Each discipline has incredible talent, incredible skaters and athletes. And I think we’re very much all on the same page, which I really, really love. We’re a really strong, close-knit group, and we’re going to carry that energy, and I hope that it really helps us to have our best performances there.”
Tessa agreed that the team is unbelievably close. “It’s incredibly special, having grown up with so many of these skaters, having travelled together, and toured together and experienced so many firsts, first nationals, first world championships, first Grand Prix, first Olympics,” Virtue said. “There are just so many bonding experiences, we’ll cherish those memories for such a long time. And there’s a certain understanding that they know exactly what we’re going through, and at a time like this, it’s really reassuring when you have the weight of the world on your shoulders.”
Figure skating starts on February 9, the same day as the Opening Ceremonies. Get your Canadian flag ponchos ready.