Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Change in Focus Benefits Chipeur

Vaughn Chipeur finally reached the podium in his fifth try at Canadian Nationals in senior men when he earned the silver medal in 2009. Chipeur had been steadily improving since a 16th place in 2006, finishing just off the podium in fourth last season.

After making the Canadian international team last season, Chipeur struggled in the ISU Grand Prix series, finishing a respectable fifth at the Cup of China, but dead last at the Cup of Russia. "Moscow was evidence that things weren't working," he confessed. "We revamped the whole training scenario."

"Last year, I was satisfied with being good instead of being great," Chipeur continued. "Now I have a point to prove. Last year I saw myself only going as far as the Four Continents and that was great. This season, I had bigger goals, making the national and world team in the second spot. I knew that it was very obtainable and I achieved it."

Rejuvenated after his performance at Canadians, Chipeur placed sixth at the 2009 Four Continents Championships in Vancouver two weeks later.

He set a personal best total score of 212.81 points and a new high mark in the free skate of 144.81 points - almost 20 points above his previous high.

"My goal was to make the top six and bang on," Chipeur noted. "I made the top six. My goal was to skate two solid performances and the long was my best ever. I can put that to my training back home."

Chipeur's short program included a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination, triple flip and triple Axel in his short program. His long included a triple Axel-double toe loop and triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination early in his program and a triple Lutz-double toe-double toe combination near the end. He also included a double and triple Axel, triple flip, triple loop, and triple Salchow.

The 24-year-old has been working on quadruple jumps seriously since last spring. "I've tried the toe, the Lutz and the Salchow and they're all quite close," Chipeur shared. "I've landed a quad toe and a couple of quad Salchows, but the Lutz has mainly just been for fun. When summer came, my coach said, 'Let's be reasonable and put them on the back burner this season'. They're not out of my reach and I hope to have a quad in my program next season. If I add a quad, I'll drop my double Axel."

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