(November 8, 2009 - NAGANO, Japan) – Vanessa Crone of Aurora, Ont., and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., won the bronze medal in ice dancing Sunday to conclude the NHK Trophy ISU Grand Prix figure skating competition.

Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White took the gold with 201.97 points. Sinead Kerr and John Kerr of Britain were second with 177.73 followed by Crone and Poirier at 165.89 whose free dance included an orchestral passage of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

It is a second career Grand Prix medal for the Canadian couple. They were second last year at Skate Canada. Two weeks ago they placed fourth at the Grand Prix stop in Moscow but at that event Poirier was severely ill the night before the free dance.

“There were still some wobbly parts but we accomplished our goal by earning higher points than in Russia,” said Crone, who turned 19 two weeks ago.  “Our expression level really improved and we had a strong connection with the audience.”

Poirier, who celebrated his 18th birthday on Friday, says the performance was a confidence builder.

“It was very exciting for us to get the medal,” said Poirier.  “It was a goal. We are exactly where we want to be at this point of the season and our two Grand Prix performance are something we can really build on for the nationals (in January).”

The fifth stop on the circuit is this Friday to Sunday at Lake Placid, N.Y.  It will be carried live at  www.skatebuzz.com

For more information visit: www.isu.org

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