The upcoming British Columbia/Yukon sectional qualifying event just got a lot more interesting, as three-time Canadian men's champion Emanuel Sandhu, who's been retired since 2007, will be competing.
If my Twitter account (@skatingpj
) is any indication, you're all as surprised as I am!
Sandhu and I go back a long way. I first remember his skating at the Canada Winter Games in Grande Prairie, Alta., in 1995 and I couldn't take my eyes off him. His National Ballet School training provided him with the most glorious line and musical expression
The next few years were a roller-coaster ride. Undoubtedly one of the most talented Canadian skaters ever, Sandhu frequently faltered in competition. The last couple of years seemed to weigh on him and his skating lost its joie de vivre. Retiring after the 2007 season, Sandhu went on to other things like finishing in the top four in the So You Think You Can Dance Canada
television show and launching a singing career.
Now it appears Sandhu will make his return to competitive figure skating at the B.C./Yukon sectionals in Kelowna, where the men's competition begins Friday.
At the same competition, Jeremy Ten makes his post-injury comeback. Liam Firus and Nam Nguyen are also among the skaters entered in the event, which is the first step toward qualifying for January's Canadian championships.
"It is true that Emanuel is entered and hopefully he will be competing," Ted Barton, the director of the event, told me. "He has been back on the ice and looks really good.
"Emanuel said he wanted to keep things quiet for as long as possible. He isn't doing this for publicity or press. People all skate for personal reasons. He told me he has unfinished business with skating."
The men take the ice on Friday at 2:35 p.m. PT, and the competition will be live streamed on www.skatinginbc.com
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