Struggling Cynthia Phaneuf turns to Orser
Two-time Canadian champion looks to recapture her edge
Canadian figure skater Cynthia Phaneuf has decided to make a coaching change.
The two-time national champion has chosen to go with former Canadian Olympic silver medallist Brian Orser, who confirmed the move to CBCSports.ca’s figure skating analyst Pj Kwong.
"Obviously this all happened very quickly," Orser told Kwong in a phone interview.
"Annie [Barabe] has done a fabulous job of coaching Cynthia but I think that Cynthia just wanted a change. It’s as simple as that. As much as anything she seemed to be craving a different training environment which we have here."
Phaneuf’s decision to switch from Barabe, her longtime coach, to Orser was first reported by the Globe and Mail.
The 23-year-old, from Contrecoeur, Que., will begin training on Monday at the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club — the home base of her choreographer, David Wilson.
Phaneuf has had a rough Grand Prix season, finishing seventh at Skate Canada and ninth at the NHK Trophy event in Japan.
She also had a difficult world championship in Moscow, one that saw her place 13th.
"I was waiting for a long time to turn this around," Phaneuf told the Globe and Mail.
Along with a stellar career on the ice, Orser’s breakthrough as a coach came after guiding South Korea’s Yu-Na Kim to a magical gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
"We know each other very well so there is none of that having to get to know each other thing, which is a good thing because we don’t have that kind of time," Orser said of Phaneuf. "She has to get on the ice in Toronto and merge with what’s going on here at the club.
"She is a beautiful skater and it is our hope that we are going to be able to bring that more often to competition. This was a tough decision but when I spoke with her on the phone, she was excited about coming to Toronto."