Figure Skating

Jon Massie - Friday Feb. 21, 2014 22:57 ET

Friendly finale: Figure skaters gather for exhibition gala

Patrick Chan, Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir headline list of performers

Patrick Chan - team figure skating
Patrick Chan performs in the men's figure skating team short program. (Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty)

What do the world’s best figure skaters do to kill time before Sunday's closing ceremony in Sochi?

Why, they hold an exhibition gala, of course.

On Saturday the best in the business will gather at the Iceberg Skating Palace to entertain spectators one last time and pay tribute to Russia’s rich figure skating history.

The event begins at 11:25 a.m. ET and will be streamed live at CBC.ca/Olympics.

The performance will begin with a skater dressed as Russian icon Nikolai Panin-Kolomenkin, who became the country’s first ever Olympic champion by winning the special figures event in 1908 in London.

The discipline consisted of drawing precise patterns and geometric figures in the ice, and was the first non-summer sport to be included in the Summer Games. Saturday's gala will begin with the carving of the Olympic rings into the ice to honour Nikolai Panin-Kolomenkin's accomplishments.

The main part of the exhibition will feature the top six finishers from both the men's and women's events, as well as the top five couples from the pairs and ice dance events.

Canada well-represented at gala

Silver medallists Patrick Chan, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are scheduled to skate after the intermission on Saturday, and they will be joined by Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch, who finished fifth in the pairs event. The five skaters were also part of the silver-medal winning squad in the team event during the opening weekend.

Moore-Towers and Moscovitch will perform to The Skaters' Waltz by French composer Emil Waldteufel. Virtue and Moir will skate to the Russian love song Shine, Shine My Star, while Chan will take the ice last, to Tony Bennett's Stepping Out. Chan has also been selected to make a short speech on behalf of all of his fellow skaters.  

The wrap-up event also gives the host nation another chance to toast their own Adelina Sotnikova, the 17-year-old gold medallist in the women's competition, as well as the rest of the Russian figure skating contingent, which ran away with the gold medal in the team event.

Four-time Olympic medallist Evgeni Plushenko, who pulled out of the men's event with a back injury and announced his retirement from competition, will not be participating alongside his countrymen.

The show will conclude with South Korea's Yuna Kim, who finished second in the women's event, representing her country in a brief ceremony that turns begins the countdown to Pyeongchang, the city that will play host to the next Winter Games in 2018.  

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