Parental consent

Jamie Sale and David Pelletier pose with newborn baby Jesse this year in this officially released...

Jamie Sale and David Pelletier pose with newborn baby Jesse this year in this officially released photograph.

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

To the world, figure skating died in Salt Lake City in 2002.

It died with the judging scandal, the fix of the pairs final, which, for a few days at least, cost Edmonton's Jamie Sale and David Pelletier an Olympic gold medal.

You'd think that of all the people in the world who would be most likely to agree with that, Sale and Pelletier would be at the top of the list.

Not so.

Yesterday, in a conference call out of here to announce their induction into the Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame at next month's Canadians in Vancouver, the new parents of bouncing baby boy Jesse, said no. They don't think so.

"In my opinion it's the lack of good leadership of the ISU," said Pelletier of the governing body of the sport.

He said a failure to accept what the market was offering for TV rights fees after Salt Lake, to bend a bit, has taken the sport off network TV everywhere but in Canada.

And when it comes to anything other than Canadians and Worlds on CBC, even Canadians can't follow their own skaters in the other events around the world.

"You have a hard time finding skating on TV. You can't get TV ratings if it's not on TV," he said.

"Watching the sport is still the same," he said. "It's still four and a half minutes and that's never going to change.

"Maybe the media has had a little to do with it," he said of the fallout of Salt Lake 2002 and the event which made them far more famous than they would have been if they'd simply won the gold medal without the storm which followed.

Part of it, says Sale, is the way sports go.

"Skating was really hot for a while," she said of it probably peaking with the Lillehammer Olympics.

In Canada, while Sale and Pelletier picked up the torch and carried it on, it peaked with Kurt Browning out of the same Edmonton Royal Glenora Club and carried on with Elvis Stojko.

"They were skaters people really related to," said Sale.

"That's important, too."

Figure skating, more than hockey, skiing or any other sport, was always the centre ring at the greatest show on snow, the five ring circus that's the Olympic Winter Games.

"In Vancouver 2010, I think it will be hockey," said Pelletier. "But I think figure skating will still be No. 2."

It's interesting that the January 16-20 Canadian Championships will feature not only Sale & Pelletier entering the Hall of Fame but they've been asked to perform in the Sunday exhibitions as well.

Are they being brought back to hype ticket sales for what is the first test event for Vancouver 2010?

The fact is that Sale and Pelletier going into the Hall of Fame isn't news.

They were elected in 2005.

"It's going to be great to be finally inducted," said Pelletier.

"The fact that we haven't been inducted yet is our fault. We've always been on tour," he said of the pair who haven't been to Canadians since 2002 in Hamilton and who won a world championship in Vancouver in 2001.

"It's nice to be part of Canadian skating again. All they had to do was ask.

"It's nice to participate."

The two, who are back performing again on the Stars On Ice Tour which visits Edmonton May 2, can't believe how quickly it all came back.

"We're really surprised. We were prepared for the idea that this could be the end. The way it's worked out, we're enjoying it more."

The two took on the idea that they left a lot on the table after Salt Lake, but say the way it worked out they've probably done better financially than if they'd grabbed everything on the table all at once.

They point out they are the only medal winners from 2002 still on tour.

During her pregnancy, Sale took up coaching. She'll be in Vancouver to coach Megan Ure at Canadians.

"I've been coaching for the last eight and a half months. Anybody want to talk about my labour?" laughed Sale.

Pelletier, when asked if their kid was more likely to be directed to hockey or figure skating, suggested the former when he said: "I think you know the answer to that. But right now I'd say he's more likely to be an Edmonton Eskimo.

"He's a meatball with two arms and two legs."


Photos