A gracious gold

TERRY JONES, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 7:36 AM ET

HALIFAX -- Jamie Sale and David Pelletier didn't score the gold. But they got the assist.

It had only been moments after Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison became new Canadian pairs champions that they went way out of their way to credit Sale & Pelletier.

"They opened our eyes,'' said 20-year-old Davison.

"We were running around like a couple of chickens with our heads cut off. They screwed them back on.''

THREE-DAY TRIP

A three-day trip to Edmonton's Royal Glenora Club four days before Christmas to be with the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic gold medal winners turned the trick.

The Drummondville, Que. pair went from break it to make it. Sale & Pelletier put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

"We were panicking. They got us straightened out,'' said Davison.

Sale & Pelletier made a lot of suggestions on presentation and even redesigned a dismount.

"They added detail,'' said Davison.

Dube said the first thing they did as new champions was call Sale & Pelletier.

"We already made the call and they're pretty happy for us,'' said Dube.

Davison had dropped Dube on her head in training in the summer and she later suffered a knee injury which required surgery.

All of that contributed to feeling like they were a derailed duo before the visit with Sale & Pelletier, which included staying three nights in their Edmonton home.

"I think everything blowing up ended up helping us,'' said Davison.

It sent them to the right place looking for help.

"We're almost speechless. This is like a huge surprise for us,'' said Davison.

The moment the interviews were over, Dube hugged teammate Cynthia Phaneuf and broke down in tears, sobbing on Phaneuf's shoulder.

One thing about figure skating. There's always a smorgasbord of emotions.

Valerie Marcoux & Craig Buntin were trying to hold it together on the other end of the spectrum.

"It was a bad night. I was nervous out there and didn't do my job,'' she said of failing to win a fourth-straight title. "I just feel really sad right now.''

Marcoux & Buntin, 11th at the Olympics and fifth at Worlds, were a mess.

She fell on the front end of an opening combination, doubled a planned side-by-side triple Axel and fell again on a throw triple Salchow.

"We'll be back,'' said Buntin of the two 26-year-olds.

Being back was the other story line in the event.

LOST HER PARTNER

Annabelle Langlois, the former Edmonton Royal Glenora skater who lost partner Patrice Archetto due to unrequited love after they finished fifth in the World, made it back to the podium and back to Worlds.

With new partner Cody Hay of Grande Prairie, the pair placed third behind the three-time champions to qualify for the Tokyo Worlds.

Langlois, who lost her skates in baggage that was sent to Russia earlier in the year, joked that she needed to make it to Worlds.

"I missed so much time, I still haven't broken in my new skates yet. Maybe by the time we get to Tokyo.''

Hay feels like he's going to Disneyland.

"It feels unbelievable.''

While the new Canadian champions credited Sale & Pelletier for their success, Langlois was giving 1984 world pairs champion Barb Underhill credit for their success.

"She told me I had to get the bitch in me back.

"She said because I had a new partner I had become much more nurturing.

"I got the bitch back.''

Whatever works.


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