Meagan Duhamel says that only one word can be used to describe skating: Passion. A person would have to be passionate to continue after what she has been through in this sport. Take last season, when Meagan and former partner Craig Buntin were on the hunt for an Olympic berth. Meagan had to contend with 2 stress fractures and a bulging disc in her lower back and then a peculiar nerve dysfunction in her leg whereby any pressure from a skate boot or even a running shoe against her foot produced a burning sensation. Meagan resorted to physio 5 days a week, with massage and acupuncture on 2 of those days as well as time off. At the end she was sleeping on the floor and trying medication to manage pain all in an effort to keep skating. She says a shot at the Olympics made it worth it.

She had already decided definitively that she would quit skating after the Olympics but not making the team threw her into a state of flux. Having to compete at the Four Continents’ Championships meant she was able to go home for week where she definitely felt lost. When it was all said and done, she thought about it a lot and came to the conclusion that not skating meant she could do what she wanted and would be free of the pain and the pressure. She says with a laugh that “being done” lasted “for about a day” and then it hit her: “I realized I didn’t want to do anything else. I have such a love for skating that I can’t imagine not doing it.”
Enter Eric Radford. Eric and Meagan have known each other since their Northern Ontario childhoods. Craig was the first one to mention to her that he thought she should skate with Eric. When it’s all said & done, they balance each other.It works.

I caught up with Meagan after winning the Senior Ladies short at the Thornhill competition. Singles skating too? Megan and Eric are planning side by side triple Lutzes and Flips in their pairs program and competing in singles is a way to get those elements out under the stress of competition for training purposes. Eric choreographed a Short Singles’ Program for them to compete where they are using the same music.

The pair’s first event was the Quebec Summer competition and despite the extreme nervousness they felt in trying to show people what they had, Meagan was pleased with the result They made enough of an impression that they will be competing at Nebelhorn and have secured a spot for the Skate Canada International event.

Their short program is a piece called “For one Voice” sung by a French woman (they don’t yet know the name) which Meagan describes as soft, powerful and passionate and works well with their style. Their free program is to the Meet Joe Black theme song. Both programs were choreographed by Julie Brault and Meagan raves about the chemistry between them.
You can hear the joy in her voice as she talks about skating again. She thinks that stress may have played a huge part in her injuries and that is thrilled to be injury free. She is also thrilled with the team surrounding them including coaches Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte saying they are all part of the puzzle.

She enjoys spending time with Eric. “For people who are such extreme opposites we have found common ground.”

Her advice to young pair girls is to “never give up” and it appears as if she never did.

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