2018 National Skating Championships, held in Vancouver, just around the corner!

Kaetlyn Osmond competes at the 2018 National Skating Championships. Osmond is the 2017 World silver medalist, a two time Skate Canada International champion, a two-time Nebelhorn Trophy champion, and a three-time Canadian national champion.

Mike Slipchuk has been High Performance Director at Skate Canada since 2006. As director, he oversees the country’s finest skaters as they prepare for world and Olympic competitions. In January, he’ll accompany the athletes to Vancouver, as they compete in the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.

Over 200 skaters will compete at the Championships, Jan. 8-14, at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre (6066 Thunderbird Blvd, University of British Columbia, Vancouver). The top competitors will get a spot on the Skate Canada National Team and the Canadian teams—a position that includes a ticket to compete at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Patrick Chan, Kaetlyn Osmond, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are among the talent coming to Vancouver in their quest for Olympic gold.

A former competitive figure skater, Slipchuk won the 1992 Canadian Figure Skating Championships and placed 9th at the 1992 Winter Olympics. He competed five times at the World Figure Skating Championships. His highest placement was seventh, in 1991.
Following his competitive career, Slipchuk skated for two seasons on Stars On Ice and later worked as a coach in Calgary. We talked to him about his role at Skate Canada, and what to expect at the National Skating Championships.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do?

A: I look after our athletes and teams who compete at the senior level. Our top-level athletes, those on the senior international circuit, and our world and Olympic teams. I call myself a manager. I liaise with the coaches to make sure all the services and people they need for their athletes to succeed are in place.

Q: What’s exciting about this year’s event?

A: It’s always a great competition, and a level higher when it’s an Olympic year because there’s more opportunity. The team that will represent Canada at the Olympics will be announced after the championships, so the results play into the decision.

And it’s a national championship. To be the national champion in the senior or junior or novice in the Canadian Championships is a big deal. It’s a highly respected title.

Patrick Chan competes in the Men’s category at the 2018 Championships. Chan is a three-time world champion and nine-time Canadian champion.

Q: Are there specific events people should be watching for?

A: All the Senior events, the Men, Women, Pair and Ice Dance, are strong. Those are the athletes who are going to be vying for those Olympic spots. There’s good competition in every category.

Q: How much time do you spend with the skaters?

A: Every four to six weeks I get in to see the athletes training. The bulk of the time they’re with their coaches in training environments. We’re with them at most of the events they do internationally.

Q: What is your role while you’re in Vancouver?

A: At that point we’re just there to watch the competition.

Q: You’ve been a competitive figure skater. Do you ever miss it?

A: Well, it’s been 25 years so it’s been a long time. I like the competition. I had my time as a competitor. Now it’s my time to be there to support. It’s as exciting as ever.

Wondering about accommodation—and want to be close to action on the ice? Hotel and ticket packages are a great way to experience the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, and the All-Event tickets are located at centre ice! The promotion is on now. Find out more at ctmstravel.com.

Single event ticket prices for the senior short programs are priced $30-$65. Prices for the senior free programs and gala are priced from $39.99-$75. Novice and junior tickets are $19.99 per day.

Tickets are on sale now at ticketmaster.ca and by phone at 1-855-985-5000.




Tagged: , ,

Comments are closed for this post

One Response to 2018 National Skating Championships, held in Vancouver, just around the corner!