Just moments after Canadians Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison began their pairs figure skating short program Sunday night, Dube fell to the ice while attempting a triple Salchow. She’d stumbled while performing the same move last month at the Canadian figure skating championships, then again days before during training.
In a field of performances as phenomenal as those on show in Pacific Coliseum—Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo set a new world record, while Germans Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy were hot on their heels—the margin for error was already thinner than the sharpest blade. And so Dube’s tumble left them way down in sixth place going into Monday night’s free skating program.
“When I was in the air I thought I was going to land it,” she said. “I was a bit surprised. I just tried to put it behind me and move on.”
Which is exactly what Davison says the duo plan to do tomorrow.
“We have to go out and skate our long program, not so much for the judges as for ourselves and the crowd. Judges are people too. If the crowd likes it, I’m sure the judges will too.”
Tonight at least, the crowd was clearly taken by the surprise performance of the other Canadians on the ice, Cody Hay and Anabelle Langlois. Theirs wasn’t the most challenging program of the night, but it was flawless and landed them in seventh place.
The more-than-respectable showing was all the more impressive given what Langlois has had to overcome. She’d been forced to take last season off after breaking her ankle, but as the pair of skaters stepped onto the ice the crowd erupted. Langlois admitted she had to fight back tears of joy at the reception they received. “I’m not wearing waterproof mascara so that would have been a mess,” she said. But once the music started, everything snapped into place.
“The moment before the music starts playing is the most nerve wracking, when everything just goes through your head, good thoughts and bad thoughts,” she said. “When the music starts, it’s what you’re trained to do, that’s when all the thoughts go away and the composure comes.”