Virtue, Moir solidify status as Canada's best

Ryan Pyette, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:37 PM ET

Over three nights of ice dancing, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir confirmed what Skate Canada officials knew right from the start.

They are going to be this country’s best bet for a figure skating medal at the Olympics in Vancouver next month.

The hometown duo soared to a national record 221.95 points thanks in large part to a graceful and heartstring-tugging 107.82-point free dance to secure their third straight Canadian figure skating championship title before a sellout crowd of 6,300 Saturday night at London’s John Labatt Centre.

“We’re obviously thrilled with what’s happened here,” said Moir, the 22-year-old Ilderton native.

“All season, we’ve been counting down how many times we had left for these dances in competition,” added Virtue, a 20-year-old from London. “Four, three, two, and now of course, the last one will be at the Olympics.”

“One more time,” Moir roared.

There was no question they’d be flying to Vancouver.

But the battle to be their ice dance travel partners turned downright interesting.

Despite an outright fall on a twizzle, teenagers Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier of Scarborough — in their first senior — booked the second Olympic berth by a tiny three-10ths of a point margin over Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, who stumbled, too, but received a standing ovation after the marks were posted for their Shae-Lynn Bourne-choreographed Phantom of the Opera free dance.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Weaver said. “I think the crowd ’s response said a lot. We did absolutely what we could. We congratulated them. We’re going to always show good sportsmanship.

“It’s a judged sport,” Poje said. “There’s nothing we can do to make them like us anymore. We left it on the table.”

Crone and Poirier couldn’t watch the marks.

They were told the good news by friends and fellow dancers Kharis Ralph and Asher Hill.

ryan.pyette@sunmedia.ca


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