Gilles is Canadian citizen in time for Sochi bid
At the world figure skating championships last spring, Piper
Gilles wore a bejeweled Canadian flag that she’d crafted herself on
the right shoulder of her bodysuit.
She wasn’t a Canadian yet, but hoped her citizenship would come
through in time to compete at the Sochi Olympics with ice dance
partner Paul Poirier.
Her dream was realized Tuesday at a citizenship ceremony in
”I have felt like a Canadian citizen for some time and I am
extremely excited that it is now official,” Gilles said in a
”I’ve dreamed about competing in the Olympics my whole life and
hope to be in Sochi next year. There is no bigger stage than the
Olympics and it would be an honor to represent Canada in front of
the entire world.”
Gilles, whose mom Bonnie is a dual citizen of Canada and the
U.S., was born in Illinois and moved to Canada in 2011 to train
with Poirier, a native of Unionville, Ontario. They were second at
the Canadian championships last winter in a field missing Kaitlyn
Weaver and Andrew Poje, who were fourth at the 2012 world
Gilles and Poirier will try to earn one of Canada’s three ice
dance spots for the Sochi Olympics at the Canadian figure skating
championships Jan. 9-15 in Ottawa.
Barring any major mishaps, Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and
Scott Moir and Weaver and Poje are expected to secure the first two
”This sets up an exciting battle in ice dance at the upcoming
2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships,” Skate Canada’s
CEO Dan Thompson said in a release. ”This adds one more team into
the very strong ice dance field competing for those spots.”
Weaver also moved north for her figure skating career. The
Houston-born skater became a Canadian citizen on June 22, 2009.
Canada’s figure skating team will be announced on Jan. 12.