Canadian teenager Madeline Schizas captured her first national figure skating title on Saturday in Ottawa to all but secure her spot at next month’s Beijing Olympics, but she still has another near-term goal in mind.
Well aware that a positive COVID-19 test at this point could crush her dreams of competing in the Feb. 4-20 Olympics, Schizas said she intends to play things safe given the threat of the highly contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
“My biggest goal is to avoid catching Covid,” said Schizas. “That’s my biggest goal, for the next three weeks I’m going to do everything in my power to stay healthy.”
The 18-year-old Schizas, who led by 12.70 points after Friday’s short program, returned on Saturday to score 126.19 points in the free skate for a 198.24 total at Canada’s national skating championships.
Canada’s figure skating team for the Beijing Olympics will be announced on Sunday. Canada, whose figure skating program has been hit hard by retirements since the 2018 Olympics, have one spot in women’s singles, two spots each in pairs and men’s singles, and three spots in ice dance.
Keegan Messing won the men’s event at the national skating championships, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier took gold in the ice dance while Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro triumphed in the pairs event.