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Jessica Dubé & Sébastien Wolfe Retire from Competitive Figure Skating

by Alexandra Stevenson

(9 January 2012) Jessica Dubé & Sébastien Wolfe, who paired up in 2011, gaining silver in the last Canadian pair championship and finishing 12th in Worlds in Nice, announced today they will not compete next week in Canadian Nationals. They had struggled to meld together since their international debut together in the 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy, and had dropped their assigned Grand Prix events for this season, Skate America and the Rostlelcom Cup in Moscow.

Dubé, 25, had a long career with her former partner, Bryce Davison, with whom she won the Canadian Senior pairs title three times, 2007, 2009 & 2010. They gained the world bronze medal in 2008 and were tenth in the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino and sixth in Vancouver in 2010.

But she has suffered through many injuries. Most recently she has been fighting a persistent and very painful problem with the soft tissue of her right foot on which she lands jumps and throws.

Wolfe, 22, said, “We looked at continuing, but when we really reviewed everything, we just didn’t want to finish our careers without being able to show our best and compete in top form.” Wolfe’s former partner was Tara Hancherow, and they were the junior pair silver medalists at the 2011 Canadian championships.

Dubé, who has been skating since the age of four, admitted it was a difficult decision. “Skating has been so much a part of my life. I started competing internationally when I was 12, and I’ve learned so much from the opportunities that I had to travel, to work with some amazing people, and to compete internationally for Canada.”

She reeled off a list of the many people, thanking them for contributing to her love of skating, and the development of her career. “Of course I first would like to thank my family, my parents, and my brother and sister and the friends who have been there to support me from the start. I want to thank my coaches Annie Barabé, Sophie Richard, Yvan Desjardins and all the others who have helped with our on-ice training. Thank you to Joé Letendre and Jonathan Tremblay for all the off-ice training. I so appreciated the help and advice of my sport psychologist Sylvain Guimond and Rock Moisan who has helped me in many ways!

“Without all these people I would have never made it as far as I did. I feel so fortunate that skating has been a part of my life for that long and I will always be thankful for everything it brought me.”

Slipchuk, High Performance Director, Skate Canada, added, “Jessica has been a fixture on the international figure skating scene, representing Canada for over a decade. Her strong will, desire and work ethic helped her overcome serious obstacles and challenges.

“Though Jessica and Sébastien were only together as a pair team for a short period, they had a tremendous 2011-2012 season. It’s always encouraging to see our national team athletes choosing to stay involved in the sport in some capacity. We look forward to their future contributions to figure skating in new roles.”

Dubé is enrolled in courses at Concordia University and will be working towards a degree. Wolfe hopes to pursue a career in firefighting down the road. Both of them have completed their initial National Coaching Certification Programs (NCCP) and have moved into the skating coaching ranks. Dubé is already excited by working with younger athletes.

“It’s really been rewarding to start coaching alongside my former coach Yvan Desjardins and with Michelle Godbout. I am really looking forward to staying involved in the sport by helping young skaters achieve their dreams.”

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