Kelowna skaters Haley Sales and Nik Wamsteeker finished sixth at an international skating competition in Quebec last week.
The pair represented Canada at the Skate Canada Autumn Classic in Quebec, which was held from Sept. 16 to Sept. 18. The event marked their first international competitive debut for the season, which featured top teams from Canada, the U.S. and Spain.
Sales and Wamsteeker finished sixth in both the short dance and free dance segments with a total score of 155.89 points. Canadian champions and World Bronze medalists Piper Gilles and Paul Poirer captured the gold medals.
“We’re at a pretty early stage in the development of our new skating and programs this season,” said Wamsteeker. “ACI was a great starter and eye-opener on what it is we need to focus on going into this Olympic season.”
It has also been a season of growth for the Sales and Wamsteeker. The pair made the move to London, Ont. this summer to be coached by iconic Canadian skater Scott Moir. Moir, along with his skating partner Tessa Virtue, has won numerous World and Olympic championships for Canada.
“We are allowing ourselves to get vulnerable this year and grow into this new skating style we are striving for going forward,” said Sales. “We are very proud of how far we’ve come in such a short time and excited to see where this next chapter goes.”
Despite the move, Sales and Wamsteeker chose to represent the Kelowna Skating Club. Prior to the Autumn Classic, the pair visited Kelowna for a week, where they trained and interacted with local skaters.
Sales has a long history with a club, where she developed as a singles skater up to the national level. She also won a bronze medal as a Novice competitor at the Canada Championships. She has two younger sisters who continue to train at the club, both of whom have competed at the national level.
“It was amazing to see them work with our skaters of all levels,” said club director Jason Mongrain. “Haley and Nik have had so much experience, from representing Canada, training abroad, and learning from exceptional coaches. It was so great to see them pass some of that along to our young generation.”
The pair have been selected to represent Canada at the ISU Grand Prix Skate Canada event in Vancouver from Oct. 29 to Oct. 31.