THE OLYMPIC SEASON IN PHOTOS. Dancing in Espoo, at Finlandia Trophy

Among those who eventually got to fulfill their Olympic dream: Spain’s Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz; 2021 Finlandia Trophy in Espoo was their second competition this season, and their first direct encounter with the other Spanish team.

At the beginning of October, at 2021 Finlandia Trophy, 17 ice dance teams were debuting their programs for the Olympic season – hoping they’ll eventually reach Beijing, in the pursuit of their Olympic dreams.

Some of them did, some of them didn’t – but, clearly, their programs, their packaging in both the rhythm dance and the free were meant to shine.

You’ll see the passion and determination already firing in the skaters’ eyes – and our wonderful photographer, Askar Ibragimov, was there to catch it all.

A little bit of context won’t hurt anyone: 2021 Finlandia Trophy was Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron’s first international competition in 20 months; the competition in Finland was the first out of the three encounters to determine which Spanish team goes to the Olympics; Evan Bates, the astronaut, met an alien, so convincingly embodied by Madison Chock; the Lion King and his Lioness were there to sparkle; Ice Academy of Montreal captured the podium through its teams; Juulia Turkkila is a blue butterfly; two birds ran away with our attention…

Ready for all of those, for all of that?

…and even for the fun in the press conference, when everything had ended, and medalists mimicked each other’s programs?

Oh, you’ll love the photos – you will.

2021 Finlandia Trophy
October 7-10, 2021
Espoo, Finland


Gold: Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, France
Silver: Madison Chock and Evan Bates, USA
Bronze: Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson, Great Britain

4th: Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz, Spain
5th: Sara Hurtado and Kirill Khaliavin, Spain
6th: Juulia Turkkila and Mathias Versluis, Finland
7th: Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha, Canada
8th: Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko, USA

11th: Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus, Canada

Ice dance podium at 2021 Finlandia Trophy in Espoo; sharing the joy, three teams training at Ice Academy of Montreal.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron skated their waacking rhythm dance at 2021 Finlandia Trophy, their first international event after a very long competitive hiatus – and all eyes were on them. No wonder: their rhythm dance this season is addictive.

Whilst for the free dance, they have chosen Gabriel Fauré’s Élégie – and there are so many layers to it, as Guillaume points out: “In this program, and in the music, there was an idea of grieving something that is very enjoyable, so it’s like beauty, and grief, and fear, and anger at the same time”.

It was gold for Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron in Espoo; silver for Madison Chock and Evan Bates; bronze for Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson.

Game of Seduction: Madison Chock and Evan Bates skating their rhythm dance in Espoo, to the music of Billie Eilish.

“Contact” is the name of Madison Chock and Evan Bates’ free dance – and truthfully so: an astronaut (Evan) meets an alien (Madison), and their encounter is explosive. A program masterfully crafted, to music by Daft Punk, with incredible costumes, as a part of the creative process. A movie-like free dance.

Madison and Evan, silver medalists in Espoo, at 2021 Finlandia Trophy

“I Was Made for Lovin’ You” and “Rock and Roll All Nite”: Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson’s musical choices for their rhythm dance this season

In the free, they tell a story – the story of the Lion King, while dancing to the marvelous music of Hans Zimmer. As for their boldness, creativity, you’ll see them all in motion during this free dance loaded with highlights.

Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson, bronze medalists in 2021 Finlandia Trophy

Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz finished 2021 Finlandia Trophy on the 4th place; there you have them skating their rhythm dance to Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary”.

Olivia and Adrian’s free dance this season – to music from “The Mask of Zorro” – is definitely a fan favorite; one that you want to watch again and again.

Sara Hurtado and Kirill Khaliavin have chosen Beyoncé to accompany them in this season’s rhythm dance – in Espoo they skated like there was no tomorrow, with fire, and attack, and character.

Led Zeppelin – “Since I’ve Been Loving You” and “Stairway to Heaven”: Sara and Kirill’s music choice for their free dance. They finished 2021 Finlandia Trophy on the 5th place.

Finland’s Juulia Turkkila and Mathias Versluis skating their rhythm dance in Espoo

Juulia? She’s a blue butterfly.

In the free dance this season, they skate to “Wild Side” by Roberto Cacciapaglia and “Bruises” by Lewis Capaldi. They finished 2021 Finlandia Trophy on the 6th place.

Super costumes, super energy for Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha’s rhythm dance this season

In their free dance, Marjorie and Zachary look so very convincingly while skating to music from the movie “Rio”. Colourful birds, feathers in the sky. They finished the event in Espoo on the 7th place.

You know that by now: Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko are Catwoman and Batman in their rhythm dance this season

…while for the free, they have chosen “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak. They ended the competition on the 8th place.

11th in Espoo: Canada’s Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus. There you have them skate their RD to music by Tina Turner, Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer.

The free dance is classic, beautiful, emphasizing their strengths – to “Hier encore” and “La Bohème” by Charles Aznavour

[Intro and selection of photos by Florentina Tone/photos by Askar Ibragimov, Espoo]

HOW THE SEASON STARTED. 2021 FINLANDIA TROPHY in photos: Pairs, Men, Women