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Dube, Davison end nine-year partnership

Both plan to stay involved in figure skating

Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison won three Canadian national pairs titles.
Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison won three Canadian national pairs titles. (Getty Images)

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By Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com
(03/10/2011) - Skate Canada announced on Thursday that three-time Canadian pair champions Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison have retired from eligible competition.

In a teleconference, the skaters said that although they will consider new partners, they also plan to concentrate on new endeavors.

"During the next little bit I am trying to focus on my single skating," Dube, who placed sixth at the 2011 Canadian Figure Skating Championships, said. "I have applied to University and will start this fall.

"I am kind of changing a lot of things in my life right now. There is a lot of new stuff I am looking forward to."

The 23-year-old Dube, who plans to attend Concordia University in Montreal, will remain with longtime coaches Annie Barabe and Sophie Richard. She added she was not closing the door on her pair career.

"I love to skate pairs, I am not putting a [definite end] to pairs skating at all," she said. "If the right person came along I would consider it."

While he admitted that Dube's decision to end their partnership was a surprise, the 25-year-old Davison said he, too, was ready for a new chapter.

"I'm going to put my name out and test the waters for a new partner; someone pretty special would have to come along, so we could be successful pretty quickly.

"We all know how hard it is to start from the ground up. I'm not 20 years old any more, I'm not 18 years old. When you've had success you don't want to take massive steps backward. It would have to be a very special partner . . . I will look but at the same time keep my options open, knowing there is more than skating in life."

Known for their elegant style and emotional connection on the ice, Dubé and Davison won the 2008 world bronze medal as well as their three Canadian titles. They finished sixth at both the Vancouver Olympics and the world championships last season.

During their eight-year partnership, the team was plagued by several injuries, including an injury to Dube's knee in 2006. In a famous incident at the 2007 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, the pair was doing side-by-side camel spins when Davison's blade sliced open Dubé's face. The gash across her cheek and nose required more than 80 stitches.

The last straw seems to have happened last fall, when Davison's knee locked up landing a simple jump while training for Skate Canada at Toronto's Granite Club. He underwent complicated surgery to replace a broken bone chip in the knee in late October, and the team was forced to withdraw from their Grand Prix events and the 2011 Canadian Figure Skating Championships.

On Thursday, Davison said he was still rehabbing from the injury.

"I can now go back on the ice [and] for the next month can just skate for five to ten minutes at a time. Aside from that, I am going to focus on some school and look at all of the opportunities in front of me."

Following the injury, Davis enrolled in Athabasca University's online program. On Thursday, he also said he would consider coaching.

"I would be happy to give back to the sport that has given me so much. I would be happy to share that with other athletes."

Slipchuk says Virtue, Moir fit for worlds
On the same teleconference, Skate Canada's director of performance, Michael Slipchuk, said Olympic and world ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were fit and ready to compete at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships in Tokyo.

"Tessa and Scott are ready," he said. "I saw them yesterday [Wednesday]."