Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) dance to lead in Short Dance

- Gangneung, Republic of Korea

The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2017 opened in Gangneung, Korea, Thursday with the Short Dance. The Four Continents Championships 2017 serve as a test event for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

4CC-Day1-Dance-VirtueMoir1-635554298Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) dance to lead in Short Dance

Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir of Canada danced to the lead in the Short Dance. USA’s Maia Shibutani/ Alex Shibutani and Madison Chock/Evan Bates follow in second and third.

Dancing to “Kiss”, “Five Women” and “Purple Rain” by Prince, Virtue/Moir picked up a level four for the side by side step sequence, the Blues pattern, the twizzles and the spin, only the partial step sequence was rated a level three. The ISU Grand Prix Final Champions scored 79.75 points. “Tessa and I were pretty happy actually with our performance. We made a little bit of a technical error in the middle of it, so it’s not ideal obviously, especially in the short program where we really have to capitalize on those technical points. But we kind of came out and felt like we attacked it. We’ve been training this program really hard. It feels extremely special to perform in this venue a year before the Games. We tried to soak that up as much as we could today”, Moir told the press.

Shibutani/Shibutani’s Blues and Hip Hop dance to “That’s Life” included level-four twizzles and a level-four rotational lift, while the Blues pattern and the footwork merited a level three. The defending ISU Four Continents Champions earned 76.59 points. “We’ve really worked on both programs, but in the short dance, we want to allow the energy to continue to grow. I think at nationals we really showed the potential that this program has and from there, we’ve taken a lot of confidence. It’s a lot of fun for us to perform, so we were really able to engage with the audience”, Maia Shibutani noted.

Chock/Bates produced a strong performance to “Bad to the Bone” and “Uptown Funk”, completing a level-four curve lift, Blues pattern and twizzles to score 74.67 points. “I think the best thing about today’s performance is that we really went for it. We had a lot of fun during the performance and felt the audience really get involved, especially when ‘Uptown Funk’ came on and we did our hip hop break. We really feel like we’re in a good place and we’ve got a lot of momentum going. Every time out we want to continue that feeling”, Bates commented.

Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) are not far behind in fourth place at 73.79 points. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) follow in fifth place (71.15 points) and Shiyue Wang/Xinyu Liu (CHN) are currently ranked sixth (61.45 point). Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) came seventh after she fell in the side by side footwork (61.21 points).

ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships continue today with the Pair Skating and Ladies Short Programs.  For more information, full entry lists and results please see: /en/single-and-pair-skating-and-ice-dance/calendar-of-events/2017/02/four-continents-figure-skating-championships . #4ContsFigure