It seems us Canadians are suckers for beloved athletes on skates – season two of the CBC reality show “Battle of the Blades” is returning and has recently announced its latest cast of professional hockey players and ice skaters – only this time around, they’re letting in the Russians.
Jamie Salé, who won the last season of the show, and Shae-Lynn Bourne (who placed second) are back, teaming up with the likes of Violetta Afanasieva and Olympic champion Ekaterina Gordeeva. Other figure skaters include Isabelle Brasseur, Christine Hough-Sweeney, and Kyoko Ina. The hockey players who will be joining “Battle of the Blades” are former Canuck Russ Courtnall, Georges Laraque, Theo Fleury, Todd Warriner, Kelly Chase, Patrice Brisebois, P.J. Stock, and Valeri Bure. How everyone will be paired up has not yet been decided.
"We want to open it up to the world and who better than the Russians, in both figure skating and hockey," said series creator Sandra Bezic in an article with CBC News. "Already this year the bar is set higher because it’s been done before. In practice, they’re doing right off what we saw weeks down the road last year. They’ve seen the show and they know what to expect."
“Battle of the Blades” first premiered in October 2009 and aired for a 14-episode run. Sale and ex-NHLer Craig Simpson won the first season, earning the $100,000 prize and donating it to spinal cord research. While season two of the show is gearing up for its debut, a Quebec/French version of the show is expected this year as well.
The new season of “Battle of the Blades” debuts on September 26th on CBC.