Skating pair seeks redemption

By RYAN PYETTE, QMI Agency

VANCOUVER — A year after his first Olympics in Turin, Bryce Davison considered quitting figure skating.

His skate blade carved up the face of his pairs partner Jessica Dube in a terrible accident while attempting side-by-side spins at the Four Continents championships at Colorado in 2007.

She needed 80-plus stitches to sew up her face. He needed an assurance he wouldn’t kill his partner on the ice.

Sunday night at the Pacific Coliseum, they will skate the pairs short program. They represent Canada’s first chance at a figure skating medal.

But for Davison, this isn’t about Olympic dream renewal.

“So much has happened since then,” the 24-year-old native of Huntsville, Ont., said. “Maybe if it just happened a year ago, I’d think about it. But it’s part of our past now. This doesn’t feel like our first Olympics.

“We know we have a job to do and we’re going out to do it, see what happens.”

Still, it’s a stirring comeback. Maybe not quite the journey embarked by ancient Chinese pair Xue Shen, 31, and 36-year-old husband Hongbo Zhao, who skate first and just might win the gold this time.

“I’m in awe of what they’re able to do,” Davison said. “I know what kind of beating your body goes through to do this. It’s like they’re ageless.”

“I don’t know if we’ll be like that,” the 22-year-old Dube added. “We’re still young. It’s tough to say our plan, if we’ll go that far.”

Lots of road still to cover. But at these Olympics, their podium fate will be decided early — by side-by-side triple Salchows in the short.

Dube has struggled with it in practice this week.

“When I hit it in practice, I usually do it in competition,” she said. “That’s the way it’s been (this season).”

“It’s going to be a big rally point,” Davison said. “All side-by-side jumps are by nature.”

There’s risk and reward — but these two have been down that road a long time ago.

ryan.pyette@sunmedia.ca

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