Moore-Towers, Moscovitch might stay for 2018Sochi-bound Canadians embrace genuineness, relish national rivalries
If somewhere, they held a competition for most positive pairs team, Canadians Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch would have a great chance to win. In fact, it is difficult to find a competition in which Moore-Towers and Moscovitch have shown pessimism or disappointment.
This is true even for events where the team did not succeed and where not everything turned out well for them. But it seems that this season, the representatives of Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club have every reason to be in good spirits.
Moore-Towers and Moscovitch secured their Olympic spot after finishing second at the 2014 Canadian Championships last week, which was the 100th anniversary of the event for their country. The other two Canadian pairs spots went to three-time Canadian champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford and three-time Canadian bronze medal-holders Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers.
Earlier this season, Moore-Towers and Moscovitch finished second at Skate America and took the bronze at the Rostelecom Cup.
It's worth mentioning that this team has a lot of fans in different countries. Moore-Towers and Moscovitch are always greeted by the skating community with a special warmth. The secret of this attitude is likely related to the word "giving." They give the audience a genuine sense of belonging through their performances, and they give everyone a feeling that figure skating is not just a battle for the top places. And, of course, their performances give figure skating a reminder of its sporting uniqueness.
Icenetwork talked with them about their thoughts on making the Olympic team, relations with main rivals and their goals for the Sochi Olympics.
Icenetwork: Dylan, Kirsten, tell us please your thoughts and impressions on last week's Canadian championships? It seems like you have mixed feelings.
Moore-Towers: I am, overall, very pleased with our Canadian championships this year. We had a great short program and were very happy with our performance and our score. We did not have a perfect long program, and so we were a bit bummed that we left some points on the table. We were, however, pleased with our skating skills and our storytelling. We were skating well all week and were thrilled with our overall showing on and off the ice.
Moscovitch: I feel great about the Canadian championships. We prepared excellently for the event, and we were skating well all week. I was obviously disappointed about my mistake in the long program, which might have changed the overall result. However, as much as we did show up to win, we are very happy with how the event has prepared us leading into Sochi.
Icenetwork: Many fans in the world like your team. And, most importantly, they like you regardless of results. I think it's because of some special connection with the audience. What do you think about that?
Moore-Towers: Dylan and I hope to have a special connection with everyone in the audience. We also both believe that it is more important to be good people, rather than just good figure skaters. We genuinely love what we do, and we hope that it shows.
Moscovitch: We always try to be genuine on and off the ice. We are fun-loving people who love to skate, and we always hope that it shows when we skate and when we are interviewed. It's very flattering to hear that people appreciate us as a team for that reason.
Icenetwork: Kirsten, I do not remember you without your charming smile. How do you manage to be so positive? Any recipe?
Moore-Towers: I love my life! And I love to smile. I am generally a very happy person, and when I'm not, it's not hard to cheer me up. ( She smiles.)
Icenetwork: Before the Canadian championships, Meagan Duhamel said in one interview that you're very good, and she thinks that you are a major key as to why she and Eric Radford are as good as they are. What can you say about this statement?
Moore-Towers: I agree that Dylan and I push Meagan and Eric, and vice versa. No domestic competition is ever easy for either of us, and in turn, the sport grows. Our "rivalry" is good for Canadian pairs skating and good for our progress as teams. In the past two years, both of us have broken Canadian records at the national championships. Unfortunately, they keep beating the record five minutes after we do. (She laughs.) So, we never get to keep the record.
Moscovitch: I think that having a very close rivalry keeps both teams on their toes. We always know that Eric and Meagan are prepared and want to win, and this motivates us to do the same for every competition. Every year, the bar is raised, and this is largely due to the fact that we are always trying to surpass each other.
Icenetwork: And how would you describe your rivalry with them?
Moore-Towers: Our rivalry is usually very friendly. Both of us do our jobs on the ice and leave it there. There is no animosity whatsoever.
Moscovitch: I would describe it as a healthy, competitive rivalry in sport. We respect one another as athletes and people. Eric is one of my closest friends in the world, and we have had a rivalry brewing since 2003 when we competed against each other in junior men. We have managed to find a healthy balance where we can be best friends off the ice and fierce rivals on the ice.
Icenetwork: Is there any aspect of your skating that you would like to improve the most?
Moore-Towers: Dylan and I are always looking to improve our program components. We also strive to get our elements faster and stronger. We would like to steadily improve for the remainder of our career in all areas of our skating.
Moscovitch: The second side of our skating can always use improvement. I would love to explore some new elements after this season and increase the difficulty.
Icenetwork: Some experts say that the current rules and a presence of many compulsory technical elements in pairs skating affects the artistic part of performances and decreases the elegance. What is your opinion on that?
Moore-Towers: The current rules are all I've really known as a skater, but if I was to compare our generation of skating to our coaches' generation of skating, I think it's just different. It's not any less elegant or artistic; it has just evolved the sport into something different than it used to be. I believe the good skaters should be able to hide the complexity of the rules with their interpretation and storytelling.
Moscovitch: I definitely think that the rules limit the time for artistry, but it also forces choreographers to be creative and the skaters to be more skilled in delivering artistry amongst the difficult transitions and elements.
Icenetwork: How will you be training in these last weeks before the Olympics?
Moore-Towers: We will be training in the same way that we have for the rest of the season. Right now, we are running a lot of programs to keep our cardio up. There is a method to our madness; I'm not always sure what the method is, but luckily, our coaches are brilliant.
Moscovitch: We will be building on the work we did leading up to the Canadian championships. We have a template that has been working for us, so we will stick to it as well as cleaning up the fineries and qualities of the elements and the program components.
Icenetwork: What do you expect from your team at the Olympic Winter Games?
Moore-Towers: Our team was more united than I've ever seen it after we all made the team at nationals. I am thrilled for us to come together as a family in an event so big as the Olympic Games. I expect that there will be a lot of support.
Moscovitch: I expect that we show up to Sochi ready to deliver the best performances of our career. The judges and competitors will have much to do with the placement, but we will be ready to do our job.
Icenetwork: What is next for you, after Sochi?
Moore-Towers/Moscovitch: After Sochi, we hope to do some shows and then rebuild for the next season. We will continue skating and take it year by year, with the possibility of competing at the 2018 Olympics.