Following the announcement of the 2022 Canadian Olympic team, High Performance Director Michael Slipchuk spoke to the media to explain the criteria the committee took into consideration in making its decisions:
“We have an internal nomination procedure that is prepared by Skate Canada and then approved by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC). It was completed in the spring and was circulated to all the athletes and coaches that were in contention for a place at the Games. If you read our criteria, there are various levels we look at when making the selections.
That includes national scores and results, placement at the last World Championships and showings, their scores throughout the season and the potential to be in the top two flights in their discipline at the Games. Part of the criteria is the placement and result at Canadians.
As with all sports in an Olympic year, when you have a national championships a lot of people assume that is the be all and end all and the final determining factor. A national championships is important, but when we did the break down and assessment with the committee that makes that decision, we looked at all the factors in that criteria. Not one is weighted higher than the other; they are all taken into consideration.
We look at the body of work of all athletes. We want to make the best assessment for the strongest team we feel has the best ability for us at the Games.
If you look at the international season, Vanessa and Eric, out of all our pairs teams, had the strongest scores but, unfortunately, with a situation largely out of everyone’s control, they were not able to complete the event (at nationals).”
“Who will compete in the Team Event is still under consideration. The order of individual disciplines has changed. Now it is men, dance, women and pairs. We always go to our top-ranked team and defer to them about what they want to do. We have had discussions with Piper and Paul and their team, Madeline and her team, and we will have it with Kirsten and Mike about what their comfort level is.
We will also look at what is best for our team. If we feel having them do the full event we would put that forward. We are devising our strategy for that. It is important to have anyone that could be a substitute for the event ready to go if needed. We did transfers at the last two Games and it is a possibility we will do it at these Games, too. Except in women; we know for sure Madeline is going all the way through the Team Event.”
With respect to having alternates ready to go to China in the event of a withdrawal:
“We haven’t (formulated a plan) yet. It is something that we are still looking at. The challenge is getting in and out of Beijing because there are only certain flights you can take in and out. But the locations where we have to catch flights would be very hard to keep people at: Istanbul, Zurich and Abu Dhabi. It is a challenge for all sports. If something happens it might be impossible to get late replacements in a timely manner and also based on the late replacement policy of the International Olympic Committee.
The COC has organized two charters from Canada to take team members in. There are two dates for those flights. So if it is one of those things that work with the plan of arrival and departure that is great. We are going to maximize the majority of our team on the charters going to Beijing. For the return, most of our team will fly through hub cities. But I think there will be a lot of countries doing charters. We are really fortunate that the COC have two Air Canada charters on the way out.
Athletes and coaches will leave Beijing within 48 hours of their events. If they in the gala, then they would have to stay through the Games. There is a charter leaving China on February 21.”
On Olympic Games alternates being named to the Four Continents team:
“We do not want to limit them or for them to lose the opportunity to compete at a Championships. We will be sending the alternates to Tallinn, as it helps us as we move through this season and into next season.”