Quebec's Véronik Mallet is one of many Canadian ladies skaters that you absolutely want to be keeping your eye on. After winning medals on both the novice and junior level nationally, she finished in the top five at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships in her first year as a senior skater in 2013. Not to be outdone, she followed that up with a fourth place finish at this year's Nationals. She's represented Canada internationally as well at the Four Continents Championships, Skate Canada International and the Nebelhorn Trophy. With another appearance on the ISU Grand Prix circuit looming this fall, Véronik took the time to talk about her competitive career so far, working with some of skating's most brilliant choreographers, her favourite skaters and much more in this must read Canada Month interview:
Q: You've had such a steady climb up the ladder so far in your skating career - going from winning the bronze medal on the novice level at Nationals in 2010 to the silver on the junior level the following year, then fifth as a senior the next year and fourth in 2014. What have been your proudest moments or most special memories from competition so far?
A: The moment that impressed me most in my career so far was my Canadian Championships in the novice category. I had a performance during my short program which put me last. I was really disappointed because I was ready for the competition and it was not representative of my workouts at home. When I arrived at the arena in the morning for my practice, I was not confident and my practice had not been going very well. My coach Annie Barabé reacted very well and reassured me immediately. Before going on the ice to make my long program, I thought nothing was over, as it is not finished. I made a perfect long program, won the long program and I finished third overall. I learned a lot with this performance.
Q: Finishing fourth last year at Nationals, you've obviously got your eye on that podium. What are your main focuses in practice and how do you plan on getting on that podium in 2015?
A: I work a lot on the triple toe/triple toe combination because it is the only technical element that is not in my programs yet. I’m also working a lot on my choreography. I’m taking dance and ballet classes to improve on my posture. I also had the chance to work with David Wilson recently.
Q: What are your thoughts on vocals now being permitted in competition and what can you share about your new programs for the 2014/2015 season?
A: I am not against the idea of voice in programs, but for my new program I did not use music with voice because I think it is more for a show. My short program was set up by David Wilson. This is classical music and is different from my other programs.
Q: You have worked with Canadian and World Professional Champion Sébastien Britten, who I think is just a genius by the way. What makes Sébastien such a brilliant choreographer in your opinion?
A: Sébastien is a really good choreographer and I like him a lot. He always brings great ideas and his choreography is always very beautiful and very interesting. This year, I changed my choreographer for the short program because I had to make some small changes. David works in a different way and I enjoyed my experience.
Q: What would you say is your favourite and least favourite jump?
A: My favourite jump is the triple loop. This is the jump that is easiest for me. The jump that I like least is the triple salchow.
Q: Your home skating club is the CPA Sept-Îles in Quebec. What makes your skating club special?
A: What I like most about the club is that it is small and everyone is there to help. They are always there to support me during my competitions and events.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you most like to go?
A: There are several countries that would like to visit. Last year I had the opportunity to see Germany and Taiwan during my competitions and I loved both places. I love the countries where it is warm. I would like to visit France, Hawaii, Japan and much more.
Q: Who are your three favourite skaters of all time and why?
A: I had the chance to skate with Cynthia Phaneuf, Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison and Shawn Sawyer. They have always inspired me. I have always followed their competitions and I always wanted to be like them.
Q: What do you love more than anything about figure skating?
A: I love everything about skating. When I'm on the ice I feel good and I feel in my place. What I like most is the feeling after a good performance.
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