James Named To Canada’s Winter Olympic Team

January 10, 2022

Figure skaters Vanessa James and Eric Radford have been named to the Canadian team for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, which will take place next month in Beijing, China.

Ms James — who lived in Bermuda as a child and has Bermudian family — has previously made three Olympic appearances for France and she, along with previous partner Yannick Bonheur, became the first Black figure skating pair to compete in the Olympics in 2010. The 2022 Games will mark her fourth Olympic appearance, and her first one for Canada.

Vanessa James & Eric Radford January 2022

The Skate Canada website said, “Skate Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have nominated 13 athletes to compete in figure skating at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Selection was based on international results and scores from the past two seasons and at the 2022 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.”

Vanessa James bio on Skate Canada site says:

Born in Scarborough, Ontario, Vanessa James became a three-time Olympian for France. In April 2021, she and Eric Radford officially announced that they were forming a pairs partnership with the intention of competing for Canada at Beijing 2022.

James and Radford won silver at their first international event together, the Autumn Classic on the ISU Challenger Series. They followed up with a fifth-place finish at another Challenger Series event, the Finlandia Trophy, before making their Grand Prix debut as a team at Skate Canada International. They were the top Canadian team with their fourth-place finish. They also finished fourth at their second Grand Prix, the Internationaux de France.

Until she was 10, James grew up in Bermuda where her father was from. That allowed her to represent Great Britain internationally, which she did as a junior singles skater in the 2006-07 season, even while she lived in the United States. Later in 2007, she decided to switch to pairs skating and formed a partnership with Yannick Bonheur, which led to her representing France. Their first international season together was in 2008-09. After becoming a French citizen, James made her Olympic debut with Bonheur at Vancouver 2010 before they decided to end their partnership.

She then joined forces with Morgan Ciprès and they had their first international season together in 2011-12. James made her second Olympic appearance at Sochi 2014. Consistently in the top five at the European Championships and the top 10 at the World Championships, they had their first big breakthrough when they won bronze at the 2017 Europeans. After finishing fifth at PyeongChang 2018, they won bronze at the 2018 World Championships. They achieved two career highlights in the 2018-19 season, winning gold at the Grand Prix Final and the European Championships.

In the fall of 2019, James joined CBC’s Battle of the Blades as a professional figure skating partner to a hockey player. She also participated in the program in 2020 as her partnership with Ciprès came to an end.

A Little More About Vanessa

Getting into the Sport: Started skating at age 11… Had her Olympic dream sparked after watching Nagano 1998… Outside Interests: Enjoys tennis, dancing, reading… Odds and Ends: Twin sister Melyssa James previously competed in ice dance… Appeared on Seasons 5 and 6 of CBC’s Battle of the Blades…

Notable International Results

Olympic Winter Games: *2018 – 5th [pairs w/ Ciprès], 10th [team]; 2014 – 10th [pairs w/ Ciprès], 6th [team]; 2010 – 14th [pairs w/ Bonheur]

ISU World Championships: *2019 – 5th [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2018 – BRONZE [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2017 – 8th [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2016 – 10th [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2015 – 9th [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2014 – 10th [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2013 – 8th [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2012 – 16th [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2009 – 12th [pairs w/ Bonheur]

European Championships: *2019 – GOLD [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2018 – 4th [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2017 – BRONZE [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2016 – 4th [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2015 – 5th [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2014 – 5th [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2013 – 4th [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2012 – 6th [pairs w/ Ciprès]; 2010 – 7th [pairs w/ Bonheur]

FISU Universiade: *2015 – BRONZE [pairs w/ Ciprès]

ISU World Junior Championships: **2007 – 27th [women]

*representing France

**representing Great Britain

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