In last night’s nail-biting Season 6 finale of BATTLE OF THE BLADES, two-time World pairs champion, Olympic team gold and Olympic bronze medallist, Meagan Duhamel, and her partner, Wojtek Wolski, an Olympic bronze medallist in ice hockey and former NHL player with the Colorado Avalanche, were crowned the latest champions of the popular competition series. The audience votes for last week’s performances by the final four pairs were combined with the judges’ scores for the pairs’ performances in the finale to determine the top two teams, who advanced to a skate-off, performing their favourite routine from the season. Following the exciting battle, Duhamel and Wolski received the higher score from the judges, and were awarded the trophy and $50,000 each for the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, raising funds for hospital Newborn Intensive Care Units, and The Hospital for Sick Children’s Patient Amenities Fund, a source of assistance for families with limited financial resources whose child is being cared for by SickKids.
“It was a true honour to skate for the Sandra Schmirler Foundation during my time on Battle of the Blades. They are a charity I feel personally connected to and I am so happy to have brought them awareness and the winning prize money!” said Duhamel. “I am grateful to have been partnered with Wojtek and I enjoyed every moment training and performing with him. I admired his creativity and performance quality throughout the process, and his determination and willingness to go outside of his comfort zone on this journey. I feel like this show brought some light into my life in an otherwise difficult period and I hope our skating brought light to others who may be struggling.”
“2020 has been an extremely tough year for everyone; I personally lost my grandfather in March, my wife was then diagnosed with COVID-19, and a month later my dad was diagnosed with cancer. Being on this show and winning has been life changing,” said Wolski. “It helped bring a lot of hope and positivity into my life at a time when darkness could have easily taken over. I am extremely grateful to CBC and everyone involved with the show. Meagan, Paul [Martini] and Mark [Pillay] were absolutely incredible to work with, I couldn’t imagine doing it with anyone else. Being able to skate for SickKids’ Patient Amenities Fund for families dealing with cancer was truly an honour. The money raised will help many families during a difficult time in their lives. At this time, I am officially announcing my retirement from hockey and figure skating.”
Alongside Duhamel and Wolski, the final four included: former Canadian Women’s Hockey League player Jessica Campbell and her partner, Canadian ice dancer and choreographer Asher Hill; professional skater and Dancing on Ice competitor Carlotta Edwards and her partner, Kris Versteeg, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks; and six-time French pairs champion, 2018 Grand Prix Final champion and 2019 European champion, Vanessa James, and her partner, NHL player Akim Aliu, formerly of the Calgary Flames. Combining the audience votes based on the previous week’s performances, with the judges’ scores of the finale performances, the top two skating pairs were identified as Campbell and Hill, and Duhamel and Wolski, who reprised past routines from the season to determine the winners. Based on the judges’ scores, Duhamel and Wolski came out on top. BATTLE OF THE BLADES history was also made with the execution of the first-ever throw triples; the first pair to perform, James and Aliu, landed a huge throw triple flip, then minutes later, Duhamel and Wolski performed a perfect throw triple salchow.
Fourth-place pair James and Aliu receive $25,000 for The Time To Dream Foundation, which aims to make youth sports, including the game of hockey, more diverse, inclusive, affordable and accessible to all. Third-place pair, Edwards and Versteeg, receive $15,000 each for their respective charities: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area, enabling life-changing mentoring relationships to ignite the power and potential of young people, and Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society, nurturing and supporting the strengths and resilience of Indigenous families, children, and youth. Runners-up Campbell and Hill receive $17,500 each for their respective charities: Do It For Daron, which supports education, awareness, and research initiatives at The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health, and FreedomSchool – Toronto, a youth and parent-driven initiative that intervenes to fight against anti-Black racism in the school system.
CBC’s quintessentially Canadian competition series BATTLE OF THE BLADES featured NHL, Olympic and professional hockey players performing on ice with World and Olympic figure skating partners in the hopes of winning the Season 6 championship, and a $100,000 donation to the charity of their choice. Season 6 was hosted by multi-talented entertainer Keshia Chanté and veteran sportscaster Ron MacLean, and the judging panel featured beloved Olympic gold medallist in ice dance Scott Moir; multi-Olympic medallist in women’s ice hockey, and Season 5 runner-up, Natalie Spooner; and professional skater and choreographer Elladj Baldé. Four-time Canadian and four-time World champion figure skater Kurt Browning returned to the series as Elite Battle Expert. Fans can relive the excitement of the season on-demand anytime via the free CBC Gem streaming service.
A CBC original series, BATTLE OF THE BLADES is produced by Insight Productions. The series is executive produced by Insight’s John Brunton, Lindsay Cox, Erin Brock, and Mark Lysakowski and is co-created and executive produced by Olympian and World & Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Famer Sandra Bezic. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports; Jennifer Dettman is Executive Director, Unscripted Content; and Susan Taylor is Executive in Charge of Production.