Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Third's the Charm for Canadian Pair

The number three seems to be lucky for the Canadian pairs team of Maddison Bird and Raymond Schultz. The skaters, who turned 15 and 19 respectively in April, have won a third-place bronze medal at the national level in Canada in each of the last three years in three different divisions – pre-novice in 2007, novice in 2008, and juniors in 2009.

The couple then hit a double three when they placed sixth at the 2009 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Sofia Bulgaria, their first ISU championship in the three years that they have been together.

Maddison and Bird include a throw triple Salchow and a throw triple loop in their programs, but no side-by-side triple jumps, so that's a three they can work on this summer. This season, they did side-by-side double Lutzes and a double flip-double toe combination.

"Next year, we plan to stay in juniors again," Bird said. "We'd like to be higher on the podium at Canadians and go to Junior Worlds and be higher there. Hopefully, we'll do more Junior Grand Prixs and make the JGP Final."

Schultz started skating when he was three. "I just started in recreational skating," he said. "My sister skated and I played hockey. I played left wing in bantam leagues for about eight years. I got into figure skating to improve my hockey skill and started competing when was nine.

"I landed my first triple toe and triple Salchow on the same day," Schultz stated. "I'm working on all my triples. I've been trying a few triple Axels in practice that weren't too bad."

Schultz placed 13th at Canadian Nationals in 2009 and plans to continue.

He dabbled in ice dancing when he was about ten. "I skated with Tiffany Jermey in juvenile dance for two years," he said. "We came third a lot of times. I was just testing the waters to see where I wanted to compete."

Full article.

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