Press Release

Bonhomme and Pelletier skate to 'Battle' crown

Pair of gold medalists bests competition, wins third season

Female hockey player Tessa Bonhomme was a new kind of champion.
Female hockey player Tessa Bonhomme was a new kind of champion. (Insight Productions/CBC)

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By CBC
(11/15/2011) - CBC's Battle of the Blades' first female hockey player, Tessa Bonhomme, and David Pelletier, one of the best pairs skaters in history, skated into the hearts of Canadians with their powerful, gravity-defying performances featuring a variety of amazing tricks. These two Olympic gold medalists were crowned as the champions of Battle of the Blades season three and won the $100,000 first-place prize donation that will be divided between their chosen charities -- the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CIBC) Run for the Cure (Sudbury Run Site) and Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta.

As a fierce hockey player who put on figure skates for the first time at Battle of the Blades' bootcamp in July 2011, Bonhomme transformed herself into a graceful figure skater who impressed judges with her technical ability and aesthetic presentation.

"I expected you to be good, but I did not expect that level of performance," head judge Sandra Bezic commented on Bonhomme's figure skating skills in the first week of live performances. "What this is about is the courage to put yourself in a vulnerable place, and that is inspirational."

Bonhomme was part of Canada's gold medal-winning women's hockey team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and has been a member of the Canadian national women's hockey team since 2004. She skated with Pelletier, a three-time Canadian pairs champion, world champion, Grand Prix Final champion and Olympic gold medalist.

Marie-France Dubreuil and Bryan Berard claimed the second-place prize, earning them a $35,000 donation to Do It For Daron with the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health. Returning from season one, five-time Canadian ice dance champion Dubreuil skated with Berard, who played for six NHL teams, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, and battled back from a severe eye injury in one of the greatest comeback stories in hockey history.

Five-time U.S. ice dance champion, four-time world medalist and 2006 Olympic ice dance silver medalist Tanith Belbin was paired with former Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers player Boyd Devereaux, an Ontario native, who won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2002. They claimed the third-place prize of $30,000, which will be divided between the Montreal Neurological Institute and Epilepsy Huron-Perth-Bruce.

Over the course of the third season of CBC's Battle of the Blades, the program donated $290,000 to various Canadian charities, resulting in nearly $1 million in charitable donations since the start of the series in 2009.