Pairs skating is a perilous sport. That’s part of what makes it so exciting to watch — no matter how beautiful the costumes or how smooth the skating, the lifts, jumps and throws are complicated athletic feats that must be executed exactly right.
When things are off by just a second or a centimetre, the consequences can be drastic.
We saw that on the Battle of the Blades training ice this week.
On a twist lift that went off by a few inches, Meagan Duhamel hit her nose into Wojtek Wolski’s shoulder as she came down. This is a common occurrence as pairs learn a new skill, but this time it had painful results: a suspected fractured nose.
“Wojtek and I have made strategic decisions on [which] difficult elements to learn and include in our routines for Battle of the Blades. Learning a double twist was one of them,” says Meagan.
“We had a little bit of a mistiming on the twist in training one day; Wojtek and I weren’t accurate in the catch and I hit my face into his shoulder,” adds Meagan.
Despite the injury, Meagan was cleared to skate this week. She and Wotjek will put the collision behind them to perform.
“We decided to keep [the double twist] in our routine for this week’s episode of Battle,” she says. “We are looking forward to perfecting [it] for future episodes.”
The theme of Battle of the Blades this week is the inspirations that drive the hockey players. Megan and Wotjek’s performance is about Wojtek’s support system as he recovered from a serious neck injury during his hockey career.