The Lou Marsh Legacy - Honouring Canada's Top Athletes

David Pelletier

Figure Skating


Action photo of figure skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier

Action photo of figure skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier

March 21, 2001
The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn

World Figure Skating Championships - March 21, 2001, GM Place, Vancouver British, Columbia

Jamie Sale and David Pelletier have a chance but they will need everything in their arsenal and maybe more. They step out onto the ice for their free skate in 3rd place after the short program. Two-time World Champions Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze have just skated and are the current leaders after a very solid free skate. The Russian pair has left precious little room at the top.

Sale and Pelletier appear composed but 16,876 spectators are on the brink of nervous collapse. Their reception for the Canadian pair is over the top but you can feel the collective tension. As the music from Richard Wagners’ sublime Tristan and Isolde begins, it adds another intriguing layer of drama to an anticipation filled arena.

Sale and Pelletiers’ chemistry oozes from the first note. Twenty seconds into the program they go to their strength with the technically difficult throw triple loop. It is perfect and the crowd erupts, but only momentarily. Just as quickly they unite in holding their breath as the pair immediately set up for Jamie’s nemesis – the jump that cost them a podium at the worlds a year earlier and that failed her in the short program here – the side-by-side triple toe. It too is brilliant. This time the crowd’s roar is as much relief as approval.

Each element – from beautiful lifts, effortless soft-landing throws, to a gorgeous forward inside death-spiral – reveals yet another striking body position. It is a perfect marriage of music, movement, artistry and exquisite technique…a feast for the senses.

Sale and Pelletiers’ unison is enchanting. They have drawn us in and taken us on a roller coaster of emotion and there isn’t a soul in GM Place or in front of a television that hasn’t joined in on this magical ride. The performance ends in a crescendo of noise, ovations and an out-pouring of emotion. At this moment the final result is unimportant. This pair, under the greatest pressure and expectation, has delivered everything they are capable of. Through their eyes, smiles, and tears we vicariously share their consummate satisfaction.

Then the marks – first place! World Champions!

A Pair of Champions Adobe PDF Transcript


Skate Canada International – Gold medal, pairs
Sears Canadian Open Figure Skating Championship – 1st place
Canadian Figure Skating Championships – Gold medal, pairs
World Figure Skating Championships – Gold medal, pairs
Lou Marsh Memorial Award
Grand Prix Overall Title
Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games – Gold medal, pairs
World Team Challenge – 1st place