Dynasties are continuing (and possibly coming to an end) at the 2018 Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships. It's not quite a foregone conclusion, but chances are good that Patrick Chan will skate away with a record tenth title this week, as will Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir, who are looking for their eighth title. As with the U.S., it's pretty clear cut who will be going to the Olympics for ice dance, but the big intrigue is, who will be the second spot for the men?
Canadian Nationals predictions
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Men Top 5 Predictions
GOLD Patrick Chan
SILVER Keegan Messing
BRONZE Liam Firus
4. Nam Nguyen
5. Kevin Reynolds
It would take something pretty stunning to knock Chan off the top spot here. With another title here, he would become the first singles skater to win ten Canadian titles (Shae-Lynn Bourne/Victor Kraatz are the only other skaters to do so). But the question has always been and will definitely still be - who takes that second Olympic spot?
By my count, it could be a battle among as many as eight skaters. Keegan Messing has perhaps had the strongest season so far, winning a bronze at Autumn Classic and taking fifth at NHK Trophy. Liam Firus, who made the team four years ago, is looking to return to the Olympics. Outside of Chan, he's the most all-around skater of the bunch, but he has always had issues delivering in competition. Two skaters who have made it to the big competitions before are Nam Nguyen and Kevin Reynolds; both have shown moments of brilliance this season.
Other names to watch for - Nicolas Nadeau, Elladj Balde, Roman Sadovsky, and Joseph Phan. Phan was the 2016 Canadian junior champ and recently beat Nadeau, Nguyen, and Balde at the Skate Canada Challenge in early December. Get ready for an intense fight for silver.
Dance Top 5 Predictions
GOLD Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir
SILVER Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje
BRONZE Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier
4. Carolane Soucisse/Shane Firus
5. Haley Sales/Nikolas Wamsteeker
Well, the Olympic team is an easy call. There have been three teams since the last Olympics who have consistently been among the top ten teams in the world, and there is no way that any of them will be off the podium this week. Virtue/Moir are looking for title #8, but it's once again the battle for second that will be most intriguing. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje, going back to their signature free dance, seem to have found their rhythm again, whereas Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier are debuting a brand new free dance this week. If Gilles/Poirier can take silver this week, it would be their first ever victory over Weaver/Poje at Canadians.