Skat­ing’s bright­est stars re­turn

Olympians in Vic­to­ria in May for Stars on Ice

Times Colonist - - Sports - CLEVE DHEENSAW cd­heen­[email protected]­colonist.com Twit­ter.com/tc_vic­sports

What has been de­scribed as Canada’s great­est gen­er­a­tion of skaters, ac­count­ing for two gold medals and four over­all this year at the 2018 Pyeongchang Win­ter Olympics, is re­turn­ing mostly in­tact to Save-on-Foods Me­mo­rial Cen­tre next year.

Stars on Ice will per­form May 14 at the Me­mo­rial Cen­tre to con­tinue its an­nual run, which be­gan the year the fa­cil­ity opened in 2005.

This year’s show on Blan­shard in May con­cluded with the seven mem­bers of Canada’s team-event gold medal from Pyeongchang re­ceiv­ing a stand­ing ova­tion from the ca­pac­ity crowd of 6,889 af­ter skat­ing, rather ap­pro­pri­ately, to Fields of Gold by St­ing. The seven gath­ered for an emo­tive group hug at cen­tre ice fol­low­ing the seg­ment, for­ever united by their golden Olympic mo­ment.

Miss­ing next year from that en­tourage will be the re­tired-fornow two-time Olympic goldmedal­list ice-danc­ing pair of Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue, who were the Cana­dian flag­bear­ers in the open­ing cer­e­mony at Pyeongchang, be­fore de­liv­er­ing master­ful per­for­mances in ice dance and in lead­ing Canada to gold in the team event as well.

But four of the other five Cana­dian gold medal­lists from the Pyeongchang Olympics team event, which proved Canada’s strength across the board, will re­turn to Blan­shard — Pa­trick Chan, Kaetyln Os­mond, Mea­gan Duhamel and Eric Rad­ford.

Each have had no­table suc­cess in their own events.

Chan is three-time men’s world cham­pion and 2014 Sochi Olympics sil­ver medal­list, and Os­mond the 2018 women’s world cham­pion and Olympic women’s bronze-medal­list at Pyeongchang. Duhamel and Rad­ford are two-time world pairs cham­pi­ons and were the Olympic bronze medal­lists in that event in Pyeongchang.

Some of the big­gest Is­land cheers dur­ing the show, how­ever, are al­ways re­served for the golden oldies. Elvis Sto­jko, who still re­tains his patented mus­cu­lar brand of skat­ing, will re­turn with the troupe to Blan­shard Street at age 47. The three-time men’s world cham­pion and 1994 Lille­ham­mer and 1998 Nagano Olympic Win­ter Games sil­ver medal­list helped lay the foun­da­tion for the suc­cess for the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of Cana­dian skaters.

Also re­turn­ing to skate in May will be 2006 Turin Olympic bronze-medal­list Jef­frey But­tle and world cham­pi­onship sil­ver medal­lists Kait­lyn Weaver and An­drew Poje.

The 12-city 2019 Stars on Ice tour opens April 26 in Hal­i­fax and con­cludes May 16 at Rogers Arena in Van­cou­ver.

Tick­ets for the Vic­to­ria stop went on sale Fri­day morn­ing at star­son­ice.ca, se­lec­ty­ourtick­ets.com and by phone at 250-220-7777.

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