OTTAWA, ON: The 2012 Canadian silver medalists in pair skating, Jessica Dubé, 25, St-Cyrille de Wendover, Que. and Sébastien Wolfe, 22, Terrebonne, Que. have decided to retire from competitive figure skating. The two had joined up in the spring of 2011 and represented Canada at the 2012 ISU World Figure Skating Championships.
Dubé, who has been skating for 21 years, since the age of four, admitted it was a difficult decision. “Skating has been so much a part of my life. I started competing internationally when I was 12, and I’ve learned so much from the opportunities that I had to travel, to work with some amazing people, and to compete internationally for Canada.”
After such a lengthy career, Dubé had many people to thank who had contributed to her love of skating, and the development of her career. “Of course I first would like to thank my family, my parents, and my brother and sister and the friends who have been there to support me from the start. I want to thank my coaches Annie Barabé, Sophie Richard, Yvan Desjardins and all the others who have helped with our on-ice training. Thank you to Joé Letendre and Jonathan Tremblay for all the off-ice training. I so appreciated the help and advice of my sport psychologist Sylvain Guimond and Rock Moisan who has helped me in many ways!”
She also paid tribute to her two partners. “I want to thank Bryce Davison and Sébastien Wolfe, I feel so lucky to have had two such amazing partners who have made my career so special. As well to Cascades, who as a sponsor was a huge help for me and both my partners. So many people from my hometown of St-Cyrille de Wendover and the people from Drummondville have contributed to my success. There are a few other people, Hubert Lacroix, who helped me with so many things, Denis Morin and the Groupe Beaucage for sponsoring me with a car for four years and my best friends Sarah and Julie for their special support. And last, but certainly not least to Sylvie Simard and everyone with Patinage Québec, and Skate Canada, as well as the Canadian Olympic Committee, everyone’s support has always been much appreciated.”
As she reflected on her career, Dubé said, “Without all these people I would have never made it as far as I did. I feel so fortunate that skating has been a part of my life for that long and I will always be thankful for everything it brought me. ”
The past several months, Dubé had struggled with a persistent injury to the soft tissue in her right foot, which caused her significant pain when landing jumps and throws. It also affected their ability to train for this season. It was Wolfe who finally helped make the decision to retire. “We looked at continuing, but when we really reviewed everything, we just didn’t want to finish our careers without being able to train and compete at our best,” said Wolfe. “We just felt this was the right decision for both of us at this stage of our lives.”
Wolfe wanted to pay tribute to many of the people who had contributed to his career. "I would like to thank everyone who has worked with us during this whole process: our coaches Annie Barabé, Sophie Richard, Yvan Desjardins and our personal fitness trainer Joé Letendre; our families and friends who supported us during this journey; and to Patinage Quebec and Skate Canada for being there for Canadian figure skaters and helping them to reach their biggest goals."
“Jessica has been a fixture on the international figure skating scene, representing Canada for over a decade. Her strong will, desire and work ethic helped her overcome serious obstacles and challenges, while competing in two Olympics and winning a world bronze medal,” said Mike Slipchuk, High Performance Director, Skate Canada. “Though Jessica and Sébastien were only together as a pair team for a short period, they had a tremendous 2011-2012 season, winning the silver at our national championships, and representing Canada at the world Championships. It’s always encouraging to see our national team athletes choosing to stay involved in the sport in some capacity. We look forward to their future contributions to figure skating in new roles.”
Dubé has moved to Montreal, where she has already enrolled in courses at Concordia University and will be working towards a degree. Wolfe hopes to pursue a career in firefighting down the road. Both of them have completed their initial National Coaching Certification Programs (NCCP) and have moved into the coaching ranks. Dubé is already excited by working with younger athletes. “It’s really been rewarding to start coaching alongside my former coach Yvan Desjardins and with Michelle Godbout. I am really looking forward to staying involved in the sport by helping young skaters achieve their dreams.”
As a pair team, Dubé and Wolfe were Canadian silver medalists in 2012 and finished 12th at the world championships last year in Nice, France. With her previous partner, Bryce Davison, Dubé competed at the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and won a world championships’ bronze medal in 2008. Wolfe’s former partner was Tara Hancherow, and they were the junior pair silver medalists at the 2011 Canadian championships.