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Two Medals for Manitoba at Skate Canada Challenge…..

Manitoba Novice Men Figure Skater Places 1st – Gold Medal at 2023 Skate Canada Challenge – Regina
Manitoba Pre-Novice Pairs Team place 2nd – Silver Medal at the 2023 Skate Canada Challenge – Regina

Manitoba skater David Howes, 16, earned a Gold medal in Regina, Saskatchewan January 26, 2023 at the 2023 Skate Canada Challenge for Pre-Novice Novice.  David skates out of the Skate Winnipeg, in Winnipeg and is coached by Kevin Dawe, head coach from Manitoba, and Paul Parkinson, from Ontario.David skated his short program, choreographed by Tina Chen, to ‘Telephone Line’ by Electric Light Orchestra // ‘Hello, Hello’ by Trixie Mattel, and earned a score of 45.81 which placed him in first heading into the Free Skating program the following day.  Taking to the ice eighteenth, Howes skated his free program to ‘Lo Ci Saro by Andrea Bocelli, ft. Lang Lang, choreographed by Asher Hill, and earned a score of 84.92, for a total combined score of 130.73 which earned him the gold medal. David Howes had the following to say after his achievement, “I am feeling over the moon, its been a really long season, a lot of development and it just feels really good. I think I have showed a lot of improvement over the year, but I am looking forward to showing a lot more when it comes to nationals.”
Howes will continue onto the 2023 Novice Canadian Championships, being held at Winsport Arena at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary Alberta, February 18-22, 2023.
Pre-Novice Pairs team of Julia Xiao, 11, and Keith Lau, 17, of Skate Winnipeg, who train at the Canadian Ice Academy in Mississauga ON,  earned a Silver medal in Regina at the 2023 Skate Canada Challenge.  The pairs team who just began training together in August of 2022, are coached by Andrew Evans and Alex Sheldrick of Ontario.
Xiao/Lau skated their short program, choregraphed by Paul Parkinson,  to ‘Breakfast Machine’ from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, and earned a score of 34.62 which placed them in second heading into the free program the following day.  Taking to the ice eighteenth, the team skated their free program, choregraphed by Paul Parkinson, to “Circle of Life” from The Lion King,  and earned a score of 60.28, for a total combined score of 94.90, earning them the silver medal.  When asked about how she was feeling about Challenge, Julia shared the following comments, “I was excited to compete and learn from my first national competition.  I am looking forward to the upcoming Canada Winter Games and taking aim at my long term goals.” Partner Keith Lau added, “I felt okay about the performance, it wasn’t our best for both the long and short but going into the season, not having any pairs experience before, made me quite nervous but having great coaches and support from everyone really helped and I am very grateful for the results and where we’ve gotten too.  I am very excited for Canada Winter Games and what comes next in my career in pairs.”
In addition to the above skaters, Manitoba was also represented in several other events; Novice Women, Pre-Novice Women and Pre-Novice Pairs events.  Cali Boychuk, 16, who skates with Skate Winnipeg, placed 41st in the Novice Women event.  Julia Xaio, 11, who skates with Skate Winnipeg, placed 11th in Pre-Novice Women and Alison Convery, 14, who skates with Morden Figure Skating Club, placed 43rd in Pre-Novice Women.  The Pre-Novice Pairs team of Jorja Best and Wyatt James, from the Carman Skating Club, placed 18th overall in their event.
Skate Manitoba Chairperson, Diane Brine, shared the following statement at the conclusion of Challenge, “I am extremely proud of all the performances of our Manitoba skaters. To have a Novice Men’s champion and Pre-Novice Pairs Silver Medalists is evidence to their dedication, hard work and the outstanding coaching that is available in our Section.”

Alison Convery, Jorja Best & Wyatt James, and Julia Xiao & Keith Lau will all be travelling to represent Manitoba at the 2023 Canada Winter Games in PEI with fellow teammates Sadie Graetz and Orren O’Neill.


David Howes

Julia Xiao & Keith Lau