Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Virtue and Moir, Osmond Lead Early at Canadian Figure Skating Championships

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Virtue and Moir, Osmond Lead Early at Canadian Figure Skating Championships

Article excerpt

Virtue, Moir lead at Canadian championships

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OTTAWA - Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir announced their return to the Canadian figure skating championships with a hip-swivelling, funky short program that had the crowd whistling from the opening few Prince lyrics.

By the time they struck their final pose, the TD Place Arena crowd was on its feet, showing how sorely the duo was missed.

Virtue and Moir, who have made a stunning return after a two-year hiatus, are the leaders after Friday's short dance at the Canadian figure skating championships. Virtue, dressing in a backless cat suit with a purple Prince-inspired neck ruffle, and Moir, dressed all in black, scored 84.36 points for their program to a medley by the late pop star.

"I'm so happy that people do enjoy it," Virtue said of the energetic program. "It's hard for us to tell because we tend to sort of block everything out. Prince does that, so appealing across every generation, it's hard not to love his music, so that really sets the tone.

"Maybe part of that is that we have so much fun performing it. We're just going to continue to make it sharper with more impact."

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., were second with 78.92, and take a narrow lead over Piper Gilles of Toronto and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., into Saturday's free dance. Gilles bounced back after spending Thursday in bed with the flu. She and Poirier scored 78.15.

Kaetlyn Osmond set the standard in the women's singles short program.

Virtue and Moir stepped away from competition after their second-place finish at the Sochi Olympics, and return this season in their quest to reclaim the Olympic crown they won in 2010 in Vancouver.

They vowed to keep pushing the ice dance envelope, and their short dance certainly does that. The pace from the opening notes is like a 100-metre sprint, before the tone turns sultry during the middle portion to Prince's "5 Women. …

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