The final day of Skate Canada was eventful for sure. It started with the Free Dance. During the warm-up, Americans Gregory and Petukhov were working on a rotational lift when he lost his grip on her and they went spiraling to the ice (think Dubrueil and Lauzon at the Torino Olympics). Melissa when down chest first and Denis went head first into the boards. The scene was terrible as everyone looked on and hoped she was okay. As the medical team removed her from the ice the crowd applauded. It was later announced she had suffered no injuries and we were all relieved. The competition continued with French team Carron and Jost capturing the bronze (realistically due to the fact Gregory and Petukhov withdrew), Italians Cappellini and Lanotte winning silver and Canadians Virtue and Moir shattering the competition and winning the gold (they also had a final score that was 4 points higher than Belbin and Agosto's Skate America total).
The Men's Free Skate was the final competitive event. All three American men were less than impressive. Jeremy Abbott finished 8th and highest amongst the Americans...Scott Smith was 9th and Varner was 12th. Important to note that despite the 8th place finish Abbott's free skate was judged 4th best on the night. Canadian Christopher Mabee brought the crowd to their feet with his fun Big Band inspired free skate, he finished 4th. Canada's Jeffery Buttle squeaked out the bronze medal despite a rather less than stellar program...it's a good thing he can spin and has good footwork because the jumps weren't on his side. Kevin Van Der Perren reeled off a gorgeous quad toe at the top of his program and never looked back. He was a little slow on his footwork but was determined to land every single jump and he did. With his Lawrence of Arabia program, he won the free skate, won the silver, and set a new level of excellence for his skating! Brian Joubert of course won despite a program that lacked energy and was peppered with jump mistakes, his lead from the short was simply to much for the other competitors to overcome.
Skate Canada ended of course with the Gala Exhibition where all the skaters got to strut their stuff one last time. Memorable performances were given from Mao Asada, Dube and Davison (again that Blower's Daughter piece is amazing!), Savchenko and Szolkowy, and Brian Joubert (who had far more energy in his exhibition than his free skate). The best part came when 3 teenage ladies who had been screaming at Brian everytime he skated past them during his exhibition were standing at the boards and during his encore he skated over and hugged them. These 3 girls went nuts and one of them captured a picture of him on her cell phone and was screaming, it was great!
I had never been to Quebec and I must tell you I fell in love with this place. The people are charming and inviting. The history of this historic place can be felt all around and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Au revoir Ville Du Québec. J'espère venir visite vous à l'avenir!