Nine-time Canadian ice-dancing champions Shae-Lynn Bourne of Chatham, Ont., and Victor Kraatz of Vancouver are ready to go for the gold in a sport marred with controversy. Despite the constant in-fighting among Ice Dancing judges, The two won the Grand Prix held in Kitchener, Ont., and finished fourth at the World Championships held in Vancouver in November.
Their career has taken more turns than a mountain road, and mostly downhill. They were on a high when they won the Grand Prix Final five years ago, but then their career sputtered badly and they finished fifth and last at the event two years ago in Lyon, France.
At the Grand Prix, Bourne and Kraatz defeated 2000 world champions Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat of France for the first time since the Grand Prix Final of 1997, just before the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games. Nagano was Bourne and Kraatz's first step downward. They fell to fourth place, while Anissina and Peizerat won the bronze medal.
Winning the Grand Prix was an important step, Kraatz told The Globe and Mail in December, "but you've got to keep in mind that it's only another international. The big thing is the Olympics."