They are a team still unaccustomed to life in such rare air.
But ask Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch about their surprising run this season, which included a trip to the Grand Prix Final, and they will tell you they believe it could be just a stepping stone to even better things.
“Dylan and I together have so many dreams and so many goals for ourselves and this is just the beginning. At least we hope it’s just the beginning,” said Moore-Towers, 18, of St. Catharines, Ont.
“There are so many things we want to do with our skating careers and we just want to build off each new experience that we have. Not everyone gets the opportunity to go to the Grand Prix Final with so many of the best teams in the world.”
Moore-Towers and Moscovitch, who were first paired by coaches Kris and Kristy Wirtz in the spring of 2009, had a somewhat typical first season together. They placed sixth at Skate Canada and skated into fifth at the 2010 Canadian Championships.
Not much was expected when they arrived at 2010 Skate Canada as replacements for Jessica Dubé and an injured Bryce Davison.
By the end of that weekend, however, the couple was the talk of the competition, winning the free skate and falling just a point short of toppling Russia’s Lubov Iliushechkina and Nodari Maisuradze for the gold.
Proving it was no fluke, Moore-Towers and Moscovitch snared a second silver medal two weeks later at Skate America and punched their ticket to the final, where they wound up sixth.
Clearly, this is a team on the rise, and the experience of competing against two-time World champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany offered inspiration for the future.
“Their poise and their confidence … They command attention when they are on the ice,” said Moscovitch, 26, of Toronto. “I think that’s definitely something we always have to keep striving for and improving on, that second mark and the polish as a team.
“The thing about polish and the second mark is that it’s a never-ending journey, really. For us, it’s always something we’re working on and trying to improve. We hope that at every competition, everything works a little bit smoother and a little bit cleaner,” he explained.
“We’re hoping that, no matter the technical performance, that people are noticing we are putting in the effort for the second mark,” Moore-Towers added. “Like Dylan said, it’s never-ending. You never can be too good, so we’re working really hard at that.”
Moore-Towers and Moscovitch were the favorites to claim top honors at the 2011 Canadian Championships and they did not disappoint.
They are just beginning to contemplate the possibilities the future might hold for them.
“Skating has always been my dream and to be on the Olympic podium and the World podiums, up there with the best,” said Moscovitch, a former junior national champion with his younger sister, Kyra. “I’ve been skating my whole life and this goal is something I’ve been working toward my whole life.
“So to all of a sudden be in the top four after the Grand Prix series was finished … it’s an unbelievable feeling, very rewarding. But we don’t think of it as ‘wow, we’re there.’
“We like to think of it as another step in the right direction and we’re taking it as momentum to keep learning and moving forward.”
Originally published in April 2011