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Dube and Davison focus in on Vancouver

Two-time Canadian pair champions take aim at the podium

Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison are managing the pressures of the Olympic Games in their home country.
Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison are managing the pressures of the Olympic Games in their home country. (Getty Images)

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By Lois Elfman, special to icenetwork.com
(09/21/2009) - "For sure, you don't want to put too much pressure on yourself, but you'd be lying trying to convince yourself that it's not a big year. A home country Olympics is huge. It's something that is very special and you can't treat it any other way," says two-time Canadian pair champion Bryce Davison.

While the pressure of an Olympic Games in your home country can be intense, there are also some significant advantages. Davison, 23, and partner Jessica Dubé, 21, along with other members of the Canadian national team have had the advantage of attending training camps in Vancouver, B.C., for several years.

"It's become very comfortable for everyone on the team going to that rink," Davison says. "It helps because you know all the little details of what Vancouver is going to be like."

The most recent camp was two weeks ago, where all the invited skaters were asked to perform short program and free skate or original dance and free dance before a panel of judges and technical specialists. Each skater or team received detailed feedback.

"The short program still needs a little bit of work... but people really liked it, so we were really pleased with that," says Dubé. "It's giving us a bit of confidence to go into this season.

"It's really good to have that camp before the competitions so we're sure about the stuff we're doing. It takes a little bit of pressure off of our shoulders."

Dubé and Davison are going with new short and free programs for this season. The short was choreographed by ice dance coach Pasquale Camerlengo. It was the first time the pair worked with him. For the long they returned to longtime choreographer David Wilson.

They found working with Camerlengo quite enjoyable. "He's very innovative," says Davison. "If you didn't like something or if he could see you weren't comfortable with it, he'd find a new way to do it. It came together very quickly. We loved it and we love it still. It's going to be something a little different for us."

They're also incredibly satisfied with their collaboration with Wilson. "We're both in love with the long program, so it's easier to do it every single day," Dubé says.

Their two Grand Prix assignments are Tropheé Eric Bompard in Paris in mid-October and Skate Canada in Kitchener in mid-November. The 2008 world bronze medalists are unquestionably hoping for good results to help build momentum toward Vancouver. If they make the Canadian team, it will be their second Olympic Winter Games, having finished 10th in Torino in 2006.

Davison says having previous Olympic experience will help with little things. "We won't be surprised about how much media there is, how much security there is at the venues and things like that," he says. "Just the magnitude of the competition, which you never really see other than at an Olympics. Knowing those things is really going to help us in mental preparation."

Dubé anticipates this being a home Olympics will ramp the intensity up tenfold. "It's going to be so much bigger," she notes. "Obviously, the people that are going to be there are going to be cheering for us.

"It is huge," she adds. "Every single day, Bryce and I talk about it. It's coming so fast. We're trying not to put too much pressure on us, but we want the podium there."

Unquestionably, winning a medal will be of huge advantage after they're done competing when it comes to scoring tickets to other events. Davison, a former competitive hockey player, learned in Torino that getting tickets for Canadian hockey games is nearly impossible.

"If we have a medal, maybe that will help," he says.