Jamie Rae Salé (born April 21, 1977) is a Canadian former competitive pair skater. With her former husband David Pelletier, she is the 2002 Olympic Champion and 2001 World Champion. The Olympic gold medals of Salé and Pelletier were shared with the Russian pair Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze after the 2002 Winter Olympics figure skating scandal.
|Born||April 21, 1977|
|Height||1.55 m (5 ft 1 in)|
|Former partner||Jason Turner|
|Former coach||Jan Ullmark |
|Former choreographer||Lori Nichol|
|Skating club||CPA St-Leonard|
Early life and careerEdit
Salé was born in Calgary, Alberta. She competed first as a singles skater, winning the novice bronze medal and placing eighth in junior ladies at the Canadian Championships. In 1994, Salé won the short program and finished with the bronze medal in the junior event at the Canadian Championships. That same year, she achieved her biggest success to date by winning the senior bronze medal with her pairs partner, Jason Turner. They were named to the 1994 Canadian Olympic team and placed 12th at the Lillehammer Olympics. They placed 16th at the 1994 World Championships in Chiba, Japan, but ended their partnership that August.
Salé returned to singles skating. She placed fifth at the 1995 Canadian Championships, but struggled with injuries which caused her to withdraw from the 1997 Championships. Salé returned in 1998 and skated a strong short program, but was only able to land one of five planned triples in her long program and placed sixth.
Return to pair skatingEdit
Salé had a tryout with David Pelletier in the summer of 1996, but it did not lead to a partnership. After her moderate success in singles, she decided to give pairs one last shot. Coach Richard Gaulthier, who was helping Pelletier find a partner, suggested Salé. He and Pelletier went to Edmonton in February 1998 to try out with Salé again. "The first time we grabbed hands, it was just great," said Pelletier, and by the next month Salé had moved to Montréal to skate with Pelletier.
The Canadian Figure Skating Association invited the pair to compete at Skate Canada, where they placed second in the short program – ahead of reigning Canadian Champions Kristy Sargeant and Kris Wirtz – and third in the long program to win the bronze medal. Because of their success, they were invited to the NHK Trophy in Japan and won another bronze medal.
Their fall successes made them favorites for the Canadian title, but they struggled technically and finished second. The silver medal earned them a spot on the Four Continents and World team, but Pelletier's back pain forced the pair to withdraw from both competitions. They spent two months off the ice recuperating.
In the summer of 1999, Gaulthier enlisted the help of Lori Nichol, a successful Canadian choreographer who was known for her work with Michelle Kwan. She created a playful tango piece for their short program, and, after a suggestion from coach Marijane Stong, set their long program to music from the movie Love Story.
They won several competitions with this program. At the 1999 Skate America competition, they defeated the reigning and two-time world champions and Olympic silver medalists Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze by winning both the short and long programs. At their second Grand Prix event, Nations Cup, they finished second to Russians Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov. With these solid results they went into the Grand Prix Final with high hopes and even higher expectations. However, several errors in both programs landed them in fifth place.
They competed at the 2000 Canadian Figure Skating Championships in Salé's hometown of Calgary. They skated a strong short program but exceeded even their own expectations by skating a nearly flawless long program, earning five 6.0 marks in presentation – the first for a pair at the championships. They also captured another 6.0 and the gold medal at the Four Continents Championships in Osaka, Japan.
Expectations mounted before the 2000 World Championships in Nice, France. There, Salé had a major error on a spin in the short program, and they were placed third. During the long program, she again struggled, this time with her jumps, and they placed fourth overall.
Salé and Pelletier returned to Lori Nichol for their 2000–01 programs. She choreographed a jazzy short to "Come Rain or Come Shine" and a dramatic, mature long to Wagner's opera "Tristan und Isolde." They returned to Skate America and Skate Canada that fall, winning both over Shen/Zhao and Berezhnaia/Sikharulidze, respectively. Berezhnaia/Sikharulidze then defeated them at Trophée Lalique.
The pair was again successful at the 2001 Canadian Championships in Winnipeg, but did not earn the string of 6.0s that "Love Story" had brought them the previous year. They went on to win again at Four Continents in Salt Lake City, the site for the 2002 Olympics, and revived "Love Story" to win the Grand Prix Final – despite Salé missing the side by side triple toe loop in all three phases of the competition.
The 2001 World Championships were held in Vancouver, and Salé and Pelletier entered as heavy favorites. Trouble on the side by side jumps landed them in third place in the short program, but the team was placed first in the long program despite Salé singling a side-by-side double axel. They were the first Canadian pair to win Worlds since Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler in 1993, and the first pair to win at a Worlds held in Canada since Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini in 1984. They would later win the Lou Marsh Trophy as outstanding Canadian athlete in 2001.
2002 Winter OlympicsEdit
Salé and Pelletier again had early success in the 2001–02 season, winning both Skate America and Skate Canada with their new long program to "Adagio Sostenuto" by Rachmaninoff, nicknamed "Orchid" for its flower theme.
The Grand Prix Final, held in Kitchener, Ontario, was important because it was the only chance to test their programs against the top contenders before the Olympics. Despite a rough performance of "Orchid" in the first long program, Salé and Pelletier once again won the event, skating a clean performance of "Love Story" for their second long program. They headed into the 2002 Canadian Championships in Hamilton, Ontario with confidence, having defeated Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze, their biggest rivals. They were able to win the title despite missing several elements in the long program, and the performance increased talks that they would revert to "Love Story" for the Olympic Games.
The pressure for the Olympics was intense. Despite several silvers and bronzes, Canada had only won two gold medals in figure skating, in 1948 and 1960. All eyes were on Salé and Pelletier to break the streak and win, overcoming the Russian pairs dominance that had lasted for 40 years. They skated their short program well, only to trip and fall on their closing pose. Because the fall was not on an element, it did not receive a deduction. They placed second behind Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze. In the long program, Salé and Pelletier had no obvious mistakes. Berezhnaya and Sikharludize, meanwhile, skated a more difficult program in which Sikharulidze had a minor step out on a jump element before quickly regaining unison with his partner. The minor error from the Russians had many convinced that the Canadians had won the gold but when the judges' scores came up, Salé and Pelletier were placed second in the long program. Four judges placed Salé and Pelletier first, while five had Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze as the winners, with the Canadians receiving higher technical scores and the Russians higher presentation scores. This result spurred an outcry from the North American media who emphasized Sikharulidze's stepout, although there was no media criticism a year earlier when Salé and Pelletier were awarded gold at the 2001 World Championships, while ignoring that Salé and Pelletier had fallen in the short program and not received a deduction. The commentators received criticism for failing to mention Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze's strengths, with some observers stating that the Russians had performed a more challenging program with greater speed, more interweaving moves and transitions, and less distance between the partners. The next day, the French judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne admitted she had been pressured into awarding the long program to the Russians in exchange for a first-place vote for the French ice dancing team of Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat, and a judging controversy quickly blew up. The scandal ultimately resulted in the suspension of several judges and officials, and Le Gougne's vote was discarded, leaving the long program a tie. Salé and Pelletier were awarded gold medals in a special ceremony later in the week.
The controversy resulted in several changes to the judging system. First, anonymous judging was incorporated to "relieve outside pressure" from judges by separating their names from their marks so pressurers could not know whether the judge had acted as they wished. After two years of this system, the Code of Points was implemented and began use in the Grand Prix season of 2003–04, and full usage for all 2004–05 competitions and thereafter.
Since Salt Lake CityEdit
After the Olympics, Salé and Pelletier turned professional and began touring North America with Stars on Ice, a figure skating show.
Salé and Pelletier became engaged on Christmas Day 2004 at their Edmonton, Alberta home, and married on December 30, 2005 at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel in Banff, Alberta. In 2006, they served as commentators on Olympic Ice, which aired on USA Network during the 2006 Winter Olympics. Their only child together, son Jesse Joe Pelletier, was born on September 30, 2007.
In October 2009, Salé began competing on the first season of the CBC's Battle of the Blades. She was partnered with hockey player Craig Simpson (currently lead analyst for Hockey Night in Canada), whom she had known for years from the Edmonton skating scene. They won the competition in November 2009. In 2010, Salé competed on the second season of Battle of the Blades, this time paired with Theoren Fleury.
On June 4, 2010, it was reported that Salé and Pelletier had decided to divorce, but planned to remain skating partners; they skated together until they retired in 2012. In a later interview, Salé stated that they had separated in March 2009, but chose to keep the news private for over a year. On June 21, 2012 in California, Salé married her season 1 Battle of the Blades partner Craig Simpson, who split from his first wife in March 2010. Salé and Simpson have one daughter, Samantha Rae "Sam" Simpson, born on July 7, 2013. Through this marriage, Salé is also a stepmother to Simpson's three children from his first marriage. They separated in June 2021.
At least twice, Salé has been in the news for sharing tweets of news stories. In May 2022, she shared aGlobal News story claiming a 12% efficacy rate for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Reuters confirmed with the outlet that the story had been published.  In August 2022, she posted a "screenshot" of CBC News, related to climate change. Agence France-Presse confirmed with CBC News that the article was real.
Other social media posts to receive media coverage include her statement that "masking children is child abuse."
(with David Pelletier)
|Winter Olympic Games||1st|
|Four Continents Championships||1st||1st|
|Grand Prix Final||5th||1st||1st|
|GP Skate America||1st||1st||1st|
|GP Skate Canada International||3rd||1st||1st|
|GP Nations Cup||2nd|
|GP Trophée Lalique||2nd|
|GP NHK Trophy||3rd|
|Masters of Figure Skating||4th|
(with Jason Turner)
|Winter Olympic Games||12th|
|Canadian Championships||1st J.||4th||3rd|
- J = Junior level
- World Team Challenge: 1st place (Team)
- Ice Wars: 2nd place (Team)
- Hallmark Skaters' Championship: 1st place
- Sears Canadian Open: 1st place
|World Junior Championships||12th|
|Canadian Championships||3rd J.||5th||WD||6th|
- J = Junior level; WD = Withdrew
- 2001 – Winner of Lou Marsh Trophy as Canadian athlete of the year (with David Pelletier)
- "Berezhnaya-Sikharulidze impress the judges". Associated Press. February 9, 2002.
- Harvey, Randy (February 13, 2002). "Skating on Thin Ice? It Figures". Los Angeles Times.
- Dixon, Robyn (February 16, 2002). "It's an Outrage to Russians". Los Angeles Times.
- Wallechinsky, David (2009). Complete Book of the Winter Olympics. Greystone Books. p. 86. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- "2002 Olympic Winter Games: Pairs Figure Skating Highlights". Golden Skate. February 12, 2002. Archived from the original on July 25, 2008.
[Salé/Pelletier's program] was not quite up to the standard set by the Russians in terms of complexity and originality
- Mittan, Barry (March 2, 2002). "As the Skate Spins". Golden Skate. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008.
- Loosemore, Sandra (writer for CBS Sportsline) (February 2002). "2002 Olympic Pairs Free Skate Analysis". SkateWeb. Archived from the original on January 31, 2010.
- "Maybe the Russians really did win". Pasadena Star News. February 13, 2002.
- "David Pelletier and Jamie Salé Marriage Profile". Archived from the original on October 29, 2007. Retrieved October 4, 2007.
- "Olympic Figure Skaters Wed". People. January 7, 2006. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- Benet, Lorenzo (October 1, 2007). "Ice Skaters Jamie Salé & David Pelletier Have a Son". People. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- "Jamie Sale Photos Page". USAToday. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011.
- Little, Lyndon (January 23, 2009). "Sale, Pelletier among inductees into Olympic Hall of Fame". The Vancouver Sun. Postmedia Network Inc. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2011.
- Onstad, Katrina (October 21, 2010). "Olympic figure skater Jamie Salé's happily ever after". Chatelaine. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- Doolittle, Robyn (November 16, 2009). "Jamie Salé and Craig Simpson win Battle of the Blades". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- Postmedia News (November 8, 2010). "Sale, Fleury eliminated from Battle of the Blades". Canada.com. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- "Olympic gold medallists Salé, Pelletier divorce". CBC.ca. June 4, 2010. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- Barlott, Caroline (April 1, 2015). "A Modern Family: After splitting up on and off the ice, Olympic gold medallists Jamie Sal and David Pelletier have formed a new kind of partnership". Avenue magazine Edmonton. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- Ng, Juanita (June 24, 2012). "Jamie Sale and Craig Simpson: A love story in photos". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- Maimann, Kevin (June 21, 2012). "Jamie Sale, 'best friend' Craig Simpson married". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- Canadian Press (June 21, 2012). "'Battle of the Blades' winners Sale and Simpson marry". CBC News. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- Canadian Press (July 9, 2013). "Skater girl: new baby in the house for Jamie Sale, Craig Simpson". Globe and Mail. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- Myles, Ruth (September 30, 2013). "Jamie Sale is settling into her judge's seat on Battle of the Blades". Calgary Herald. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- "Fact Check-Canadian outlet Global News did not report that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine recorded a 12% efficacy rate". Reuters. June 1, 2022. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
- AFP Canada (September 6, 2022). "Fabricated CBC article circulates in posts targeting Trudeau". AFP Fact Check. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
- Trent, John F. (July 20, 2022). "Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Sale: "Masking Children Is Child Abuse"". Bounding Into Sports. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
- "Canadians for Truth: Freedom & Justice". SK: Truth in Media. 2022. Retrieved September 26, 2022.