Ice Network

Daleman holds off Chartrand for first Canadian title

Sochi Olympian gives credit to coaches, choreographer Lori Nichol
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Alaine Chartrand made it close, but in the end it was Gabrielle Daleman who captured her first Canadian title. -Getty Images

It was an incredibly close race, but Saturday night Gabrielle Daleman became the proud owner of a gold medal from the 2015 Canadian Figure Skating Championships.

"The feeling is indescribable," Daleman said. "It feels great."

Daleman, 17, was the silver medalist a year ago and a member of the Canadian Olympic team in Sochi. She said competing at the Olympics gave her more confidence and helped prepare her to seize the moment in Kingston, Ontario.

The medals for the Canadian championships have a unique design: They are each shaped like a maple leaf.

"I'm so excited about them. They look amazing," Daleman said moments before the awards ceremony.

At press time, Daleman did not know whether she would be competing at the Four Continents Championships in Seoul, but she said she hoped that she would be named to the team.

"I'd love to show everyone what I'm capable of doing," she said.

Between now and the world championships in Shanghai, Daleman will continue to focus on training.

"Just keep doing what I'm doing: working hard on my programs, getting the second mark up, the jumps better, more flow," she said.

Daleman has worked with choreographer Lori Nichol, whose induction into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame was celebrated this week.

"She's such an amazing choreographer. She works with me hand in hand. She's so supportive, so encouraging. I would not be where I am today without her and Andrei [Berezintsev] and Inga [Zusev], my two coaches. They're my world, so supportive, and I'm so thankful to have them in my life," she said.  

Daleman said she certainly dreamed of winning a Canadian senior title when she was a kid, but the feeling is even better than she imagined.

"It's a totally different feeling when it happens in reality," she said. "You can't even imagine the feeling until it actually happens."

When she finished her program, Daleman wondered if it was going to be enough to win. Although silver medalist Alaine Chartrand won the free skate, Daleman's margin from the short program (2.66 points) was enough to keep her in first place overall.

"I was overwhelmed with the score and everything. It was just amazing," she said.

Daleman was one of the three new senior champions crowned this week in Kingston. She is determined to keep Canadian ladies skating on an upward trajectory.

"It's so great to see all the new faces," she said. "I'm so proud to be on this amazing team.