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READY FOR BATTLE, CBC ANNOUNCES THE BATTLE OF THE BLADES PAIRS

CBC's hugely popular hit series BATTLE OF THE BLADESkicks-off the live portion of its dramatic second season on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. with eight formidable pairs of female figure skaters and ex-NHL hockey players competing to win a $100,000 prize donation towards their charity of choice. The live performance show airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. followed by the live results show Monday nights at 8 p.m., where, week after week, a duo will be eliminated until the new championship pair is crowned.

The live performance competition series is a test of incredible skill and showmanship, and the pairs have been chosen to maximize the best in athleticism and on-ice entertainment. The pairs, and their chosen charities, are:

Afanasieva and Stock -- Violetta Afanasieva, who won the first-ever Extreme Ice Skating World Championship with her Canadian partner/husband Peter Dack, is paired with P.J. Stock, who played 235 games in the NHL and is currently part of the CBC HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADAteam. Charity: One x One.

Brasseur and Warriner -- Isabelle Brasseur, one of four returning skaters, is a five-time Canadian pairs champion and winner of two Olympic bronze medals with partner Lloyd Eisler. She teams up with Todd Warriner, a hard-working NHL winger who scored the Maple Leafs' very first goal at the Air Canada centre in Toronto. Charity: The Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Bourne and Brisebois -- A 10-time Canadian Dance Champion with partner Victor Kratz, with whom she captured the World Figure Skating Championship, Shae-Lynn Bourne returns for her second season on BATTLE OF THE BLADES. This time, she is paired with Patrice Brisebois, who played 15 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens before becoming a NASCAR driver. Charities: Make-A-Wish Foundation (Bourne) and Sainte-Justine UHC Foundation (Brisebois).

Gordeeva and Bure -- A two-time Olympic Gold medalist and four-time World Champion, Russian native Ekaterina Gordeeva is considered by many to be the world's best pairs figure skater. Her partner is "Russian Pocket Rocket" Valeri Bure, who scored 400 points during his 11-year NHL career. Charities: Cardiac Kids/Hospital For Sick Children (Gordeeva) and Compassion Canada (Bure).

Hough-Sweeney and Courtnall -- Christine Hough-Sweeney, another return performer, represented Canada with her partner, Doug Ladret, at two Olympic Games. This season she teams up with Russ Courtnall, a former Olympian and speedy right winger who played 17 seasons with the NHL. Charity: The Archie Courtnall Center -Victoria Hospital Foundation

Ina and Chase -- A Japanese-American pairs skater, Kyoko Ina competed at three Olympics and won the U.S. championships five times with two different partners. This time she joins forces with Kelly Chase, a hardnosed former NHLer who earned the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 1998 for his work helping developmentally disabled people participate in hockey. Charity: Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan.

Langlois and Laraque -- Anabelle Langlois, who came back from a near career-ending foot injury to compete at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, is paired with Georges Laraque, one of the toughest players in the NHL and known for his charitable work, notably for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Charity: Hockey for Haiti.

Salé and Fleury -- Jamie Salé, the reigning BATTLE OF THE BLADES champion, won a gold medal at the 2002 Olympics with partner David Pelletier and the World Championships in 2001. She teams up this year with Theo Fleury, a gritty forward who collected more than 1,000 points during his 15-year NHL career and twice represented Canada at the Olympics, winning a gold medal in 2002. Charity: The Men's Project.

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