Canadian skaters Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps said that because of the high altitude they had difficulties during their performance at the Four Continents Championships in Colorado Springs.
The pair won bronze at the tournament.
– Many people really noticed the problems because of the altitude. Were there really serious problems because of that?
Deschamps: It was terrible, haha. Everything was burning, and it’s very difficult to recover here. It was especially hard not at the beginning of the program, but near the end. Everything depended on the head, because the physical strength was zero.
Stellato-Dudek: As for me, I saw people practically dying at the end of the free program. But it wasn’t bad for me. When we first got to Colorado Springs, I felt great. The training was going well.
But the recovery was very hard – I felt worse and worse every day. But that’s normal – it’s not just me thinking that, it’s science. With that physical load, which we had, it takes thirty days to acclimatize.
No one has fully adapted to the altitude. It was hard, but I was sick the last three months, so I was not afraid of anything. I got used to not being 100% ready to compete, haha.
– Have you had a similar experience performing at altitude before in your career?
Stellato-Dudek: Only at a small one, the kind you don’t even feel. And here, it was like the altitude was five times bigger.
So I understand why the skaters felt very tired at the end of the program. For me, the problem was more about recovery.