If you don’t know the name – you may be one of the few. Let me refresh your memory. David Pelletier and partner Jamie Sale were Canadian, World (2001) and Olympic pair champions in 2002. The judging scandal that was uncovered at the Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002 where Jamie and David ultimately turned in their Silver medals for Gold was the impetus for the overhaul to the judging system that is now in place today.

Fast forward to 10 minutes ago and a quick conversation with my new booth buddy David Pelletier! I have some great news for Canadian skating fans who are subscribers to the CBC BOLD Digital channel – David is going to join me for all of the action at the Skate Canada International event in Kingston. HOLY COW!! Am quite excited! Turns out – he is too!

I remember a couple of years ago, David striding with purpose in my direction to tell me that he followed skating on BOLD exclusively and wanted me to know it. Today, I asked him why: “It’s because I think skating can take itself too seriously sometimes and I like the fact that BOLD feels more conversational to me. I like the candor and I like the fact that you still get what you need. For me it makes me feel more like I am part of the event.”

We all know it’s not for everybody, but for those of us that like to follow skating and like to be the first to spot new talent long before it hits that last flight, it’s great.

For David Pelletier – skating past, present and future is interesting and he says that this is the ideal time to see who will start the climb towards the next Olympics in Sochi in 2014. He elaborates: “People come and people go. It’s interesting to see who stayed after the Olympics. After all, it’s less than 4 years until the next time so to see the programs at the beginning of the season can let you know who might be the ones to watch.”

In between talking about three year old son, Jessie, who he describes as the love of his life I asked him which side of the boards he prefers. He says : “The ‘rush’ of competing being out there in front of the public and in front of the fans and getting that moment where you can show the world and convince those 9 people on the judging panel that you are the best. It is amazing to challenge yourself and when it is the time to ask yourself ‘who is going to show up today?’. It’s a question of being in control. As the coach, you are out of control – your job is done once you get there to the competition. For the skater it is only half done once you get there They still have to skate and anything can happen when an athlete is under stress.”

If I wasn’t going to be on BOLD this weekend – I would want to watch BOLD. We’re going to have LOTS to talk about !

David Pelletier and Pj Kwong – never thought I would see those two names together!

Don’t forget – comments, questions and anything else- to pjkwong@pjkwong.com.

***TAKING THE ICE by Pj Kwong – makes a great gift! www.takingtheice.com ***

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