Radford's up-and-down ride

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:11 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- When it's time for you to skate and the music you hear is elevator music, you know you have a wee bit of a problem.

Winnipeg-born Eric Radford, now skating out of North York, Ont., was trapped in the John Labatt Centre elevator when it was time for him to skate in the men's qualifying competition at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships yesterday.

Coach Paul Wirtz, who thought it was a good idea to take his skater up to the third floor to wait his turn after his warm-up session, was trapped between the second and third floors with his skater.

"We were between the second and third floor when the elevator jammed," said Wirtz, who coached brother Kris in pairs when the fire alarm went off during their skate at Canadians in Ottawa one year.

"It's hard to do your imaging (mental exercises) when you're a little bit claustrophobic," said Wirtz of his elevator boy. "It's a brand new building. How can the elevator get stuck? Can you imagine if the event was over and everybody had gone home and we were still stuck in there?"

Attendants got the two out, and Radford was allowed to skate at the end of the program.

It meant, however, that Edmonton's Ben Ferreira had to skate earlier than expected.

"I thought I'd experienced everything in my 15 years skating, but I never had that happen before," said Ferreira, who won the qualifying group and sits third overall behind Emanuel Sandhu and Jeff Buttle heading into the short program and free-skate final. "That was a crazy thing."

"That's absolutely the first time that's ever happened," said veteran U.S. coach Richard Callaghan, coach of Ottawa's Fedor Andreev, who also had to move up.

"It didn't bother me at all. I was in the locker-room. I took my skates off. Then they told me one of the skaters was stuck in the elevator and to put my skates back on. I never heard of anything like that, ever."

Radford was allowed to skate at the end of the flight and said the elevator was not a factor in his ending up qualifying 12th overall.

"I wasn't scared. I had my coach to keep me company. It's just so unfathomable," said Radford.


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