Saturday, September 12, 2009

Veteran skaters Buntin, Hay figure to carry B.C.'s colours for Canada's Olympic team

With B.C. producing so many good figure skaters these days, it would be a shame if the province didn't have at least one representative on the Olympic team when the big show kicks off in February.

With young men's singles talents like Jeremy Ten and Kevin Reynolds locked in a death struggle with competition such as Vaughn Chipeur and Shawn Sawyer for what realistically looks like one spot behind Patrick Chan, B.C.'s best chance for Olympic representation may well lie in the pairs discipline and a couple of battle-tested veterans — Kelowna's Craig Buntin and Cody Hay of Dawson Creek.

Heading into the Olympic season, the morning-line favourites for one of the two pairs spots is the duo of Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison. They're former world junior silver medallists and bronze medallists at the 2008 worlds. But Dube and Davison are coming off a disappointing season that saw them slip all the way from third in the world to seventh at the 2009 championships in L.A.

The 29-year-old Buntin and partner Meagan Duhamel finished right behind Dube and Davison both at last year's nationals — gold for Dube/Davison and silver for Duhamel//Buntin — and also just one spot behind them (eighth) at the worlds.

The X-factor in the pairs equation is the 26-year-old Hay and his partner Anabelle Langlois. After winning the Canadian title in 2007 they missed all of last season after Langlois broke a bone in her ankle during a practice session in Barrie, Ont.

Even if you concede one of the Olympic spots to Dube and Davison it means one of either Buntin or Hay is almost certain to be a B.C. Olympic representative — although last year's bronze medallist in senior pairs, Mylene Brodeur and John Mattatall, may take exception to that suggestion.

Full article.

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