Kitchener-Waterloo

Ice dancers Andrew Poje, Kaitlyn Weaver return to Olympics as 'veterans'

Having been to the Olympics before may give Waterloo's Andrew Poje and his ice dance partner Kaitlyn Weaver an edge in Pyeongchang.

Having been to the Olympics before may give ice dancing pair an edge

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden in Boston in 2016. They will return to the Olympics in February. (Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images)

It has been four years of ups and downs for Waterloo ice dancer Andrew Poje and his partner Kaitlyn Weaver, but the pair say they're on the upswing just in time for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

The duo placed seventh at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

"Since the last Olympics, we've been on the world podium twice, we've been off the world podium, we've won the grand prix finale two times, we're national champions," Weaver said, "So we've experienced a lot of highs and lows."

"I think we're wiser, we're more mature. We have a better perspective."

Poje said previous experiences taught them to know what things are distractions and when it's time to focus on their performances on the ice.

The Olympics can be a lot of fun, he said, "but we also know we have to go and take care of our business."

Watch the pair in action at a previous competition:

Poje stumbled during their side-by-side twizzles as the Canadians landed in fifth place following the short dance at the ISU Grand Prix Internationaux de France. 6:21

Feeling somewhat like 'veterans'

The two came in third at the national skating championships in Vancouver earlier in January, placing behind first-place finishers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who came out of retirement to return to the ice for Pyeongchang.

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier came in second. This Olympics will be the pair's first.

Weaver said it's nice to go into the competition in South Korea feeling somewhat like "veterans," which could give them an edge.

"The Olympics is unlike any other event that we compete at, so we're happy to be able to go in knowing a little bit what to expect and always being prepared for anything," she said.

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje have had many ups and downs in the past four years since the 2014 Olympics but they hope the experiences give them an edge in Pyeongchang. (Jim Young/Reuters)

Support from family and community

Their families will also be in the stands cheering them on and Poje said the support they receive from Waterloo and surrounding areas will help them, too.

"Waterloo is our hometown. This is where our career started," he added. "Without the support of the whole region, I wouldn't be a two-time Olympian. I wouldn't have Kaitlyn as my partner."

They said the obvious goal is to win a medal, but Weaver said in the end, they also need to just be happy with their performance and take in the whole experience.

"When we were kids, we just wanted to go. We just wanted to live that experience and say, 'I'm going to be an Olympian when I grow up,'" she said.

But while being there is already an honour, Weaver added, "We're competitive people so I won't lie and say that's going to be enough for us."

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