The Sport Information Resource Centre
The Sport Information Resource Centre

At the 2010 Winter Olympic games in Vancouver, Canada enjoyed the greatest gold medal haul in history with 14 medals. These were won en route to accumulating 26 medals in total. Now 4 years later, our winter athletes are preparing to head to Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Just like 2010, Canadian athletes want to showcase to the world why we are the best at winter sports.
Before they can be named to the team, athletes often have to compete at the national championships in their sport in order to get selected. One such championship is the Canadian Tire National Championship hosted in Ottawa on January 9-15. This will also be the 100th anniversary of the Canadian figure skating championship. Ottawa is the birthplace of the 1st national figure skating Championships which took place in 1914. Not only will these national championships crown the best figure skaters in the country, they will also be the final competition before Skate Canada selects their team for Sochi.


The championships will feature the reigning Olympic gold medalists in ice dance Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. The 3 time world champion and 6 time national champion in the men’s category Patrick Chan, will also be competing. This event will play host to the best figure skaters in the country as they compete for their Olympic dreams. It will show case the best the country has to offer, along with the best junior and novices in the sport of figure skating.

While watching the Canadian championships there are certain skating terms used in singles, pairs and synchronized skating. Some terms you might hear are:

  • Salchow Jump in singles skating is a jump in which the skater takes off from the back inside edge of the skating foot rotates in one rotation in the air and lands on the back outside edge of the opposite foot. Named after its originator, Ulrich Salchow. It can be done in different variations such as the double Salchow, triple Salchow, and quadruple Salchow, one foot Salchow.
  • Toe overhead lift in pairs skating is a lift in which the female is lifted after a toe assist from one side of the male’s body behind his head to a raised position. She is facing the same direction as the male in a split position.
  • Highlighting is an element in synchronize skating in which a skater(s) performs a movement in isolation that is distracting from the performance of the rest of the team.

These national championships will be a glimpse of what Canada has to offer in figure skating before the Sochi Winter games. The event will also showcase our best skaters, now and with an eye to the future.

References from the SIRC Collection:

1. Comuk N, Erden Z. The effect of muscular strength and endurance on technical skill in professional figure skaters. Isokinetics & Exercise Science. June 2012;20(2):85-90.
2. Gould D, Jackson S, Finch L. Life at the Top: The Experiences of U.S. National Champion Figure Skaters. Sport Psychologist. December 1993;7(4):354-374.
3. INSIDE EDGE AT U.S. Nationals. International Figure Skating. April 2011;17(2):40-43.
4. King D, Smith S, Brown M, Mccrory J, Munkasy B, Scheirman G. Comparison of split double and triple twists in pair figure skating. Sports Biomechanics. May 2008;7(2):222-237.
5. Lockwood K, Gervais P, Mccreary D. Landing for Success: A Biomechanical and Perceptual Analysis of On-Ice Jumps in Figure Skating. Sports Biomechanics. July 2006;5(2):231-241.
6. Miller R, Washington K. CHAPTER 60: FIGURE SKATING. Sports Marketing. March 2013;:421-422.
7. Russell S. Historical Moments. International Figure Skating. April 2011;17(2):32-33.