(February 22, 2006)
The free dance brought what has been a very interesting Olympic ice dance competition to a close on Monday evening.
Although Canadian Champions Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon were forced to withdraw from the competition due to a muscular injury Dubreuil suffered during their original dance program, Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe delivered a strong free skate to finish 11th overall.
Wing and Lowe, who were 12th in all three portions of the event, placed 11th overall with a total score of 166.40. This was the duo’s first trip to the Olympic Games.
Despite receiving treatment on her hip most of the night on Sunday, Dubreuil was unable to compete on Monday evening. The duo tried a walk-through of their outstanding Somewhere in Time free dance earlier on Monday, but the pain was intense.
Dubreuil and Lauzon withdrew from the competition before they were scheduled to take warm-up.
“I wanted so bad to be out there to skate my free dance,” said Dubreuil. “We have to deal with it.”
But Dubreuil and Lauzon are hopeful they will be able to compete in the 2006 ISU World Figure Skating Championships, to be held March 20-26 in Calgary.
“We won’t take any chances,” said Dubreuil. “I’ll start rehabilitation right away to make sure it’s (her injury) fully cured.”
“But, for sure, we will do everything to be able to skate in Calgary. Worlds in our own country is big,” added Lauzon.
Meanwhile, the competition for the medals was very close.
In the end, it was the Russian team of Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov who were crowned the Olympic Champions. Navka and Kostomarov, skating a dramatic interpretation of Carmen, were awarded an overall total of 200.64 points.
Americans Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto were second with 196.06 points overall, while the team from Ukraine, Elena Grushina and Ruslan Goncharov, finished third with a total score of 195.85.
“There was a lot of pressure, but we did very well,” said Navka. “I haven’t realized it yet. My dream came true. I always wanted to be Olympic Champion.”
The figure skating competition continues today with the ladies short program.