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Emanuel Sandhu

Emanuel Sandhu competing at the 2004 World Figure Skating Championships.
Personal information
Country represented:  Canada
Date of birth: November 18, 1980 (1980-11-18) (age 29)
Residence: Burnaby, British Columbia
Height: 183 cm (6.0 ft)
Coach: Joanne McLeod
Choreographer: Joanne McLeod
Skating club: B.C. Centre of Excellence
ISU personal best scores
Combined total: 228.29
2004 GP Final
Short program: 78.41
2006 Worlds
Free skate: 152.74
2004 GP Final

Emanuel Sandhu (born November 18, 1980) is a Canadian figure skater and dancer. He is a three-time Canadian national champion and the 2004 Grand Prix champion.



Sandhu was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and raised in Richmond Hill, Ontario. His mother Enza was born in Italy, and his father Lokraj is Sikh. He began studying ballet at the age of three and figure skating at the age of eight. Despite training as a figure skater, Sandhu continued to dance until the end of high school and graduated from Canada's National Ballet School. A year after Sandhu started figure skating, he was discovered by coach Joanne McLeod who has a background in dance and she has been his coach ever since. Sandhu later relocated to Burnaby, British Columbia to continue training at the B.C. Centre of Excellence with McLeod, whom he credits as being his biggest support system. Sandhu's ballet training and East Indian/Italian heritage have given him a unique style and look. He is fluent in English, French, and Italian. Sandhu also dabbles in modeling and singing.

Sandhu had early success in Canada, placing second in his first Canadian nationals. Sandhu's success qualified him for the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, but the Canadian Olympic committee refused to send him. He later qualified for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, but was forced to withdraw before the short program due to injury. He also withdrew from the World Championships that year. Sandhu's father had left the family years earlier, and Sandhu was reunited with him prior to the 2002 Olympic Games. Sandhu has stated that he was almost relieved to have to withdraw with an injury, because it was difficult dealing with his father's return.

Sandhu was the Canadian Nationals Champion in 2001, 2003, and 2004, and he won the Grand Prix Final in 2004, his most successful season. In winning the Grand Prix Final, Sandhu beat reigning World Champion Evgeny Plushenko and is one of only two people (with Brian Joubert) to beat Plushenko in the last quadrennium. This win was even more amazing because Sandhu was a substitute, not having medaled at his Grand Prix events that season. Sandhu went on to win his third Canadian title and to take the silver medal at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, his highest placement there.

Despite his various victories, Sandhu has a reputation for choking at high pressure events. He kept his eligibility following the 2006 Olympics season. He competed at Cup of China, where he won the bronze medal, and Cup of Russia, where he placed fifth. At the 2007 Nationals, he was unable to hold onto silver and dropped to third, his lowest placement at the senior level at Nationals. His season continued its downward trend as he placed ninth at the 2007 Four Continents Championships. He placed 16th at the 2007 World Figure Skating Championships.

In May 2008, Sandhu auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance Canada in Vancouver, BC and qualified for the final audition round in Toronto. He succeeded past all but the final round of auditions and was cut when selections were made for the show's Top 20.

Sandhu again auditioned during the second season of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, but this time made it into the Top 20. He finished in the Top 6 as the third placed male dancer.

Records and Achievements

  • Recipient of the Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award at age 17.


Season Short Program Free Skating Exhibition
2006-2007 Pantera en Liberta
by Monica Naranjo
by Wanyne
When Strangers Meet
by Sharov, Jiping
by Chun Yi
Tabla Beat Science
by Tala Matrix
2005-2006 Tango
by Lalo Schifrin
Original Composition
by Gordon Cobb
2004-2005 Rise
by Safri Duo
by Rene Dupere
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Minor
by Emil von Sauer
Like I Love You
by Justin Timberlake
2003-2004 Carlo Saura's Tango
by Lalo Schifrin
Ninkov Latora
by Violaine Corradi
Slow & Sassy
by Henry Mancini
Take California & Bang On
by Propellerheads
Like I Love You
by Justin Timberlake
All Love Can Be
by Charlotte Church
2002-2003 Crazy Benny
by Safri Duo
Ninkov Latora
by Violaine Corradi
Slow & Sassy
by Henry Mancini
Take California & Bang On
by Propellerheads
Purple Rain
by Prince
2001-2002 A-Gusta / Crazy / Played-A-Live
by Safri Duo
Piano Concerto 1
by Edward Grieg
Lamento d'Ariane
by Massenet
Piano Concerto 1 in C - For Orchestra
by Herbert Howells
2000-2001 The Freedom Rider
by A. Blakey
Back to the Apple
by C. Basie
Journey of Man
by Cirque de Soleil Orchestra

Competitive highlights

Event 1997-1998 1998-1999 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007
Winter Olympic Games WD 13th
World Championships 18th 9th 8th 8th 7th 5th 16th
Four Continents Championships 10th 13th 7th 5th 2nd 9th
World Junior Championships 11th
Canadian Championships 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 3rd
Grand Prix Final 1st 4th 5th
Cup of Russia 5th
Skate Canada International 5th 2nd 4th 1st 1st
Cup of China 5th 1st 3rd
Trophee Eric Bompard 3rd 9th 3rd
Skate America 4th 6th
Sparkassen Cup on Ice 8th 6th
NHK Trophy 6th
Nebelhorn Trophy 6th
Top Jump 2nd
Sears Open 5th 2nd
Goodwill Games 8th
Junior Grand Prix, France 4th

External links

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