Figure Skating in
Jeffery Buttle looks good in
Silver, and Wendy Philion sounds good in Russian
Ontario has made it's mark in Russia. Jeffrey Buttle's silver medal
performance at the World Figure Skating Championship, in Moscow this
year, has put us on the Russian radar.
Jeff was in fourth place after the
short-program, behind Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland, who was in first
place, Brian Joubert of France in second and reigning champion
23-year-old Evegni Plushenko of Russia in third, but was moved up to
third place after Plushenko withdrew with an abductor muscle problem.
During his long program, Jeff fell on his first major jump, a triple
axel, and then had another fall later in the program. The gold medal
winner Stephane Lambiel , had two quads in his program. Despite the two
falls during his free skate, Jeffrey won the silver medal. That says
something about the incredible quality of the rest of this program,
which included five more triples. His choreography was called "rock
solid". Jeff's win is Canada's first World's medal since Elvis Stojko's
in France in 2000.
"I think this is a result of the new
judging system," Jeff says. "I didn't have the quad, but I made sure
that what I did have, I made look really good. My program component
scores weren't lower because of the two falls.''
Behind every great man....
A particular highlight of the evening,
for me, was hearing the announcers talk about Jeff and his journey to
the World's podium. When Jeff was asked who has been that one special
influence in his life, Sudbury's own Wendy Philion was the decided
choice. Anyone who's read this section for more than 10 minutes has
probably picked up on my admiration for Wendy and what she brings to
figure skating in the North. I have to admit to a great rush of pride
and excitement hearing people in far off Russia tell the entire world
about the talent, and great influence on the world of figure skating
today, of this wonderful coach.
Jeff says he's heading home for a very
short rest and then it's time to start working toward the Olympics. He
knows he needs to land that quad to leave a mark on Olympic history. If
the love and good wishes of Northern Ontarians is of any help, he's well
on his way.
I expect Wendy will be watching.