Nation’s skating spotlight falls on Chartrand
Alaine Chartrand is basically the last woman standing.
And if nothing much changes between now and the Canadian Figure Skating Championships in January, she could be standing on the top step of the podium.
It’s familiar territory — the 22-year-old from Prescott, Ont., was Canadian champ in 2016 — but she will have taken an unusually easy route to the top this time around. That’s because the women’s field in Canada is all but empty, at least for the time being.
Reigning world champ and Olympic bronze medallist Kaetlyn Osmond was the first top contender to bail, taking a year away from competition to skate on the Thank You Canada Tour and explore other opportunities.
Last week, Skate Canada announced two-time and reigning national champ Gabrielle Daleman was taking a break from training to focus on her mental health, while 2018 Olympian Larkyn Austman would miss Skate Canada International to rehab a sprained left foot.
So an unexpected opportunity may well await Chartrand, who shifted her training this season to York Region Skating Academy, as it meshes well with first-year kinesiology classes at York University.
“Of course, I’m totally capable of being on the podium and potentially winning another championship,” Chartrand said. “It’s unexpected to have this many kind of out of the picture at this point. But you never know by the time nationals comes. It’s a long way away.”
Chartrand was a disappointing 11th at last year’s Skate Canada International and fourth at nationals, missing a chance to skate at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
“This year is about me, in general. No matter who was competing, it was really trying to do what I want, make the changes I’ve kind of been wanting to make for a while.”