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Quick hits from Quebec

Picture perfect quads

French figure skater Brian Joubert.
French figure skater Brian Joubert. (Getty Images)

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By Laurie Nealin, special to icenetwork.com
(11/01/2007) - QUEBEC CITY -- Thursday afternoon, the men buzzed around the practice ice whipping off triple Axels, but only the Frenchmen - Brian Joubert and Yannick Ponsero - and Belgium's Kevin Van der Perren nailed quadruple jumps.

In the first practice group of six men, reigning world champ Joubert sailed through several pretty quad toes and later tacked on a triple toe for good measure. Ponsero also hit some nice combos, at least one being a picture-perfect quad-triple and for good measure showed two quadruple Salchows.

Ponsero, who owns a silver and bronze medal from his world junior championship days, reports that the quadruple toe loops are his best jump. He does plan two in his free skate this weekend, but will not attempt the quad Salchow this time around.

In the second practice group, which included Canadians Jeff Buttle, Chris Mabee, and Vaughn Chipeur, only Van der Perren demonstrated mastery of a four-revolution jump - two of them, actually... the toe loop and Salchow, although he took a nasty spill on the take-off of one of his three Salchows. His quad toes were also paired with triples.

After the practice, a smiling Van der Perren rubbed his jaw that he smacked hard on the ice on the botched Salchow launch.

"That really hurt," he said, still smiling.

The Joys of Parenthood

One-month-old Jesse Joe Pelletier met the media here on Thursday, but had little to say as the cameras flashed. In fact, he slept in his father David Pelletier's arms through the whole thing while his mother Jamie Sale beamed.

The 2002 Olympic gold pairs medalists have had the luxury of both being home all day to experience the joys of parenthood. They take turns getting up in the night to feed Jesse. "Dave feeds him, with a bottle obviously," Sale said with a mischievous grin.

"It's easier to get up at two in the morning to feed your child than it is to get up at six to go to train," smiled Pelletier, who also does diaper changes.

In December, Pelletier will perform without Sale in Brian Boitano's Christmas on Ice, but the couple is back training for two other Christmas shows in Canada and 20 shows on the Smuckers Stars on Ice winter tour. Sale said that Pelletier has not complained about the additional weight he is lifting at the moment while she works at slimming down to pre-pregnancy form.

The only pairs moves the couples have not yet tackled are the throw jumps. Those will have to wait until Sale regains enough muscle strength.

Asked if Jesse will follow in his famous parent's ice tracings, Pelletier said, "He'll skate but there will be no picks on the front of his blades."

YouTube Video Desensitizes

YouTube video of Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison's scary accident at the Four Continents Championship last February helped the Canadian pairs champions heal psychologically from their on-ice trauma.

Sitting with their sports psychologist, the duo watched over and over again until they became desensitized to the footage that showed his skate blade slicing her cheek when they got too close on side-by-side camel spins.

"I watched it a lot of times, even more than Bryce did," said Dube, who said she got over the accident within a week of it happening.

The main lesson learned from the accident, Davison said, is to stay focused on the things you still have left to do in your program, instead of thinking about how well you are performing.

CBC-TV Takes Over

For decades, domestic figure skating events were broadcast on the CTV Network in Canada but, beginning with this weekend's Skate Canada International, the country's public broadcaster CBC will now be known as Canada's figure skating network. On-air commentating will be handled by four Canadian figure skating icons: four-time world champion Kurt Browning; seven-time Canadian champion and Olympic medalist Tracy Wilson; and, Olympic and world champions pairs duo Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.

There will be at least two hours of coverage daily Friday through Sunday while complete coverage will be available for free, live and on-demand, all weekend long at cbcsports.ca.

CBC Sports and Skate Canada sponsor HomeSense have also launched a contest called Skate Home With a Champion which will recognize the Canadian who has made the biggest difference in their skating community. The grand prize winner will receive a special performance by a Canadian figure skating star in their hometown. Details can be found at cbcsports.ca/figureskating.