The 2021 Autumn Classic International, the second of the 10-event Challenger Series, will be held at the Sportplexe Pierrefonds in Pierrefonds (Montréal), Québec, Sep. 16–18. No spectators or media are permitted to attend this competition.
Three disciplines were originally planned but a pairs event has now been added. There are currently five men (all Canadian), 11 women, eight pairs and seven ice dance teams slated to compete. The competition will open Thursday afternoon with the pairs short program followed by the women′s short.
In the women′s field, Young You of South Korea, who captured silver at the Cranberry Cup International in mid-August, and her teammate and Seoyeon Ji, who finished in fourth place at both her Junior Grand Prix events in Courchevel will go up against three Canadian women: Emily Bausback, Gabrielle Daleman and Alison Schumacher, along with two Americans, Karen Chen and Starr Andrews. Chen is the highest ranked skater in the field and should be considered a top contender at this competition.
The Japan Skating Federation announced on Sep. 1 that Satoko Miyahara, who was scheduled to resume training with Lee Barkell in Canada in early September, has withdrawn from this competition and will remain in Japan.
In pairs, four Canadian teams are on the roster with Vanessa James and Eric Radford making their international debut. Japan′s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara will also open their season at this competition. Two American teams, Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc and Katie McBeath and Nathan Bartholomay were added to the roster on Sep. 8.
The ice dance event will be one to watch. Of the seven teams in the field, five train at the I.AM Academy — the exceptions are Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, the 2021 World bronze medalists and Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus, who are coached by Carol Lane and her team in Toronto, and Caroline Green and Michael Parsons, the victors at the recent Cranberry Cup International, are based in Wheaton, Maryland. Four-time World champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France were scheduled to make their first competitive appearance since January 2020, but the French federation announced the duo has withdrawn and will instead open their season at French Masters Oct. 1-3.
This competition will be live streamed worldwide (including all practice sessions) with no restrictions. Ted Barton is in Russia covering the Junior Grand Prix so Kevin Reynolds will host the live stream this year with Kaitlyn Weaver calling the ice dance event and Meagan Duhamel the pairs.
This is the first international competition for Deanna Stellato and Maxime Deschamps representing Canada after Stellato was finally released by U.S. Figure Skating in July.
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