In the end, a beginning for Paul and Islam

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Part 2 of a two-part feature; read part 1 here by Jacquelyn Thayer Athletes have spoken of the difficulty in moving from the concretely goal-focused regimen of the sporting life to the more mundane concerns of life after. But in the first months since retirement, the mundane is what’s grounded ice dancers Alexandra Paul and…

With Paul and Islam, the end is where we start from

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Part 1 of a two-part feature by Jacquelyn Thayer Perseverance: few virtues are more celebrated in sport. For athletes grappling with injury and long odds, it becomes a mantra. But just as fundamental is the confidence to know when it’s time to close a door. Canadian ice dancers Alexandra Paul and Mitch Islam initially entered…

Biechler and Dodge Find Calm in Senior Ranks

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by Jacquelyn Thayer Any move up from the junior ranks in skating to senior can mean upheaval. For U.S. ice dancers Julia Biechler and Damian Dodge, bigger transitions were in the works. Though the team has long been based at Aston, Pennsylvania’s IceWorks, changes at that elite rink, where coach Natalia Linichuk once trained students…

Top Teams Ready for Battle at Canadian Tire National Skating Championships

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by Jacquelyn Thayer Ottawa is no stranger to a Canadian championships; chosen this year in part to recognize 2017’s Canada 150 celebration, it’s also hosted the national skating championships 14 previous times—including, most recently, 2014’s Olympic qualifying event, where several of this year’s top skaters then contended for a spot to Sochi. Chief among those…