Marinaro & Moore-Towers capture gold at 2021 Skate Canada Challenge

Michael Marinaro and Kirsten Moore-Towers. (Photo by Skate Canada)

Two-time Canadian pair champions, Kirsten-Moore Towers of St. Catherines and Sarnia’s Michael Marinaro captured the senior pair gold medal Saturday at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge event, a virtual competition featuring the top junior and senior figure skaters in the country.

The competition was a qualifying event for next month’s Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Vancouver.

The duo performed their free program to The Blower’s Daughter by Damien Rice.

They scored 135.18 in the free program for a two-day total of 206.22.

Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland of Levis, Quebec finished at 172.42 followed by Deanna Stellato from Chicago, Illinois and Maxime Deschamps from Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec at 170.65.

Skating at their home rinks weeks prior to the competition, competitors performed their programs as they would at a normal competition. Once the music started, there were no second chances. The videos were submitted to Skate Canada and judged in real time during the event.

Moore-Towers and Marinaro skated their two programs more than a month ago at their Skate Oakville training base.

Like everyone else, they watched the event’s live stream Saturday to see how they fared. Shortly after they received their marks, watching from the comfort of their homes, Marinaro said “Good job today, Kirst.”

“We weren’t sure exactly how it was going to feel out there, but how it was run and all of the organization put behind it, it felt like a real event,” said Marinaro. “It was really tough to watch four weeks later, because I think we’ve improved quite a bit and made a lot of changes to the programs. We’re expecting to be about 20 points better than we showed you today.”