Press Release

Canada sends eight athletes to JGP Austria

Event starts in Innsbruck Sept. 29

Nicole Orford and Thomas Williams will compete for Canada at the JGP Austria.
Nicole Orford and Thomas Williams will compete for Canada at the JGP Austria. (Getty Images)

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By Skate Canada
(09/26/2011) - OTTAWA, ON: A total of eight skaters will compete for Canada at the fifth installment on the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating. The event will take place in Innsbruck, Austria, from Sept. 29 - Oct. 1, 2011. Canada will be represented in all four disciplines: men's, ladies, pair and ice dance.

Liam Firus, 19, North Vancouver, B.C., is the Canadian entry in the men's division. Earlier this season he won bronze at his first assignment in Brisbane, Australia. This is his third year on the junior circuit. In 2010, he placed fifth and third respectively at his two assignments, Brasov and Sheffield. He also finished sixth at the 2011 Canadian Figure Skating Championships in the senior category. Firus is coached by Lorna Bauer at the Vancouver Skating Club.

Natasha Purich, 16, Sherwood Park, Alta., will be competing for the first time in ladies internationally. In 2011, she placed fourth at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships in the junior category. She trains with Ravi Walia at the Ice Palace Figure Skating Club in Edmonton, Alta.

Margaret Purdy, 16, Strathroy, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 19, Sarnia, Ont., are the sole entry in the pair discipline. They won bronze in the first event of the season in Riga, Latvia. This is their third year on the junior circuit. In 2010, they placed ninth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Ostrava and tenth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Sheffield. They also competed at the 2010 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships, placing eighth. They are coached by Scott Rachuk and Alison Purkiss at the Competitive Skating Centre of Strathroy.

Ice dancers Nicole Orford, 18, Burnaby, B.C. and Thomas Williams, 20, Okotoks, Alta., will also be appearing at their second ISU Junior Grand Prix of the season. They got off to a good start by winning gold in Brisbane, Australia. This is their second year on the junior circuit. In 2010 they placed fifth in Ostrava and third in Sheffield. Orford and Williams are also the 2011 Canadian Junior Ice Dance Champions. They are coached by Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe at the B.C. Centre of Excellence.

Madeline Edwards, 15, Port Moody, B.C. and Zhao Kai Pang, 16, Burnaby, B.C., are the second Canadian entry in ice dance. This is their first international competition. In 2011, they placed first at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships in the novice category. They are coached by Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe at the BC Centre of Excellence.

Louis Stong of Etobicoke, Ont., will act as the team leader and Dr. John Philpott of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian team doctor. Pam Chislett of Grand Prairie, Alta., and Reaghan Fawcett of Aurora, Ont., are the Canadian officials at the event.