The grace and athleticism of Canada's most accomplished and decorated female figure skaters are set to join the star studded cast of CBC Television's BATTLE OF THE BLADES
, premiering in October. With a combined total of 17 Olympic and World Champion medals, Jamie Salé, Shae- Lynn Bourne, Isabelle Brasseur, Barbara Underhill, Marie-France Dubreuil, Christine Hough-Sweeney, Jodeyne Higgins and Kristina Lenko have reached the pinnacle of success in amateur and professional figure skating. Now these elite athletes face their biggest challenge yet - making eight NHL hockey stars understand the nuances and skill of pairs skating.
In addition to these world class female figure skaters, NHLers Sean Burke
, Ken Daneyko and Ron Duguay
have been added to complete the men's roster. They join previously announced Glenn Anderson
, Tie Domi
, Bob Probert
, Craig Simpson
and Stéphane Richer in a fierce competition of athleticism, drama and intrigue. Due to a recent injury, Lanny McDonald
is unable to participate in the competition.
Salé and her partner David Pelletier captured the hearts and minds of Canadians with gold medal performances at the 2001 World Championships and 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Ten-time Canadian Dance Champion Bourne with her partner Victor Kraatz became the first North American ice dance team ever to capture the World Figure Skating Championship title with their innovative and dynamic style. They were inducted into the Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2007. Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler were fearless in their routines and defied gravity with their athletic style of powerful throws and daring lifts. The two-time pairs Olympic bronze medallists and 1993 World Champions were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.
Five- time Canadian Pair Champions Underhill and Paul Martini's flawless 1984 World Championship performance is considered one of Canada's great sporting moments. As professionals they dominated pairs skating for a decade and were inducted into the Canadian Figure Skating, Canadian Sports and Canadian Olympic Halls of Fame and this past winter, the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. Two-time World Figure Skating silver medallists Dubreuil and partner/ husband Patrice Lauzon transformed ice dancing with their breathtakingly romantic free dance Somewhere in Time. Retired from amateur competition two years ago, they continue to perform as professionals.
Hough-Sweeney and her partner Doug Ladret represented Canada at two Winter Olympic Games and enjoyed a prolific professional career including an appearance in the movie Cutting Edge as a Russian pairs team. Former world team member Jodeyne Higgins with her husband and partner Sean Rice are true ice show gypsies. For the past 10 years they have performed as an adagio pair in exotic locations from Hong Kong to Moscow to the famed Le Lido in Paris. Former international dance competitor Lenko has made her mark as an audience favorite in the Torvill and Dean's Dancing On Ice television series in the U.K. and Australia.
Out to prove that goaltenders are truly the better skaters; Burke brings 20-years of NHL goaltending experience to the cast. The Windsor, Ontario native ranks in the top-20 in all-time wins and represented Canada at the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics.
A three-time Stanley Cup Champion with New Jersey, Daneyko brings an imposing presence to the ice. His rugged playing style spanned the course of 20-years, all with the Devils, amassing 2,516 penalty minutes. The ever popular Ron Duguay
burst onto the NHL scene in 1977 and quickly developed an iconic following while playing for the New York Rangers
. His smooth skating and stylish looks led to a professional hockey career spanning three decades. He currently works as an in-studio hockey analyst.
BATTLE OF THE BLADES
is the brainchild of Kevin Albrecht with development by Sandra Bezic. BATTLE OF THE BLADES
executive producers are John Brunton, Barbara Bowlby and Kevin Albrecht. It is produced by Insight Productions in association with CBC Television.