After three years away from global championships, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron will have their chance to establish why they are the best ice dance couple in the world at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The French pair, who have been training in Montreal, have won four world championships in five attempts between 2015 and 2019. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in 2018, the 2020 World Figure Skating Championships were called off.
Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron 2021 World Championships
Papadakis and Cizeron withdrew from the 2021 World Championships due to training inconsistencies brought on by having to split their time between two nations due to the pandemic.
The rhythm dance competition on Saturday marks the beginning of their long wait to compete against the finest in the world and, who knows, maybe even better their silver medal performance at the 2018 Olympics.
In this case, Papadakis and Cizeron will not be awarded the prize. Numerous other pairs, including the Russian Olympic Committee’s Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, the current world champions, present formidable challenges.
Since the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, the French have won every competition they’ve attended except the 2020 European Championships, where they claimed silver to the Russians by a mere 0.14 points.
At the competition, Papadakis and Cizeron won the rhythm dance, and Sinitsina and Katsalapov won the free dance.
These duos are followed by the ROC’s Aleksandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin, who placed second at the European Championships last month; Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, who took bronze at the 2021 World Championships;
U.S. Teams Surprised Everyone
the United States’ Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who placed fourth at the 2021 World Championships, and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, who are the reigning World Silver Medalists; and Italy’s Charlene
Those three pairs—Papadakis/Cizeron, Chock/Bates, and Hubbell/Donohue—work with trainers Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon at the Ice Academy of Montreal. To name just two examples, American Kaitlin Hawayek and Frenchman Jean-Luc Baker are two of the eleven teams representing the I.AM camp at these Games.
Both of the top U.S. teams, Papadakis/Cizeron and Sinitsina/Katsalapov, surprised everyone by competing in the team event earlier in the Olympics, where they were expected to finish in third place at best.
Hubbell and Donohue scored 1.51 points higher than Sinitsina and Katsalapov in the rhythm dance portion, and Chock and Bates scored 9.0 points more than the ROC team in the free dance portion.
All three American pairs will skate to well-known and popular songs in the rhythm dance, with Chock/Bates performing to a Billie Eilish medley, Hubbell/Donohue to a Janet Jackson medley, and Hawayek/Baker to a Donna Summer medley.