Have you caught the fever yet London? The 2013 World Figure Skating Championships are in town and London, Ontario is basking in the attention! If you  haven’t checked in yet, the championships are going fabulously and are well worth watching. All of the Short Programs have now been completed with Free Programs to be held on Friday and Saturday at the Budweiser Gardens. Tickets are still available for this not-to-be-missed affair. Alternately, you can still catch the women’s and ice dance practices at the Western Fair Sports Centre tomorrow.

So thus far in the Men’s Competition, as expected, Patrick Chan from Canada is ranked #1 after the Short Program. Also from Canada, Kevin Reynolds has slipped into third place after Wednesday night’s skate. Denis Tan from Kazakhstan  is sitting in second place, Daisuke Takahashi from Japan is currently in fourth place and Denis Joubert from France is in fifth. After a disappointing skate, Ross Miner from the USA squeaks into the Free Program on Friday in 14th place.

Patrick Chan in Practice on Thursday

Patrick Chan in Practice on Thursday

Kevin Reynolds from Canada

Daisuke Takahashi practicing at Western Fair Sports Centre

Ross Miner from the USA in practice

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They were not the only skaters practising today though. After opening the competition on Wednesday with their Short Program, the Pairs skaters took to the ice at the Western Fair Sports Centre on Thursday. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov from Russia are sitting in first place going into the Free Program on Friday. Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are sitting in second place, with Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy from Germany a fraction behind in third. Another Russian pair, Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov,  go into the Free Program in fourth place, followed closely by Canada’s own Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch.

Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov in practice at the WFSC 2013

Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford Practising at Western Fair Sports Centre

Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy at Western Fair Sports Centre

Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov practicing at WFSC 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now criticize these pictures if you want, but it is hard to capture fast-moving objects without a flash. That’s right, you are allowed to take photos in the Western Fair Sports Centre. Minus flash photography of course (it distracts the skaters) and no videos are allowed either. The same thing goes at Budweiser Gardens. If you are interested in catching a practice at the Western Fair Sports Complex, tomorrow is the last day to see one. The Ladies and Ice Dance will be practising there throughout the day and $15 will get you in for as long as you care to watch (children under 12 are free). Over at Budweiser Gardens, the pairs and men will be practising, but you will need not only a Pairs Free Program ticket to get in, but the cost of admission ($22-$32) and parking wherever you might find it. The bonus of going to Budweiser Gardens is that you are right across from the Covent Garden Market  and Bell Building, where other activities are being held to celebrate London and skating.

My suggestion though is to make a point of celebrating London and skating this week. Even if you can’t make it downtown to see the live action, you can still tune into CBC for television coverage. And dare I say, it is moments like these that make me not only proud to be Canadian, but even more proud to call London, Ontario home.

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