This photo-story encapsulates the evidence: no better ending of Gabriella and Guillaume’s second Olympic season than savouring their triumph – Olympic triumph, World triumph, career’s highlights so far – with people at home: fans, family, lovers of the sport.
A celebration, if you may.
The entire ice dancing event in Montpellier had a celebratory air. France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron were expected to win their 5th World title – the first one on home ground – and everyone was ready to give them the praises, the accolades, the love they are worth.
The skaters themselves talked about it at the end of competition – how lucky one can be, and how rare to be gold medal contender at Worlds on home soil.
Gabriella: “Last Worlds in France were in Nice, in 2012, and we weren’t even competing [smiling]. I think it’s once in a lifetime, and to be in the event with a chance of winning is pretty rare – so I think we are just very lucky to have had that opportunity, and to be able to experience that moment at home”.
Guillaume: “Having Worlds in France and being at the top of our career is a very special timing – and knowing how fast it goes, we really tried to grasp every moment of it.
In Beijing [at the Olympics], we were really going there to compete and get the gold – that was our goal. And here, I think we saw it as more of a celebration of our journey, of our school, of the sport – and being able to share that with our parents, our friends, our fans, was extremely special.
It was much better than we could have imagined – it’s an indescribable feeling to have this many people screaming for you. So I think this time we didn’t just do it for us – we did it for the public, and we tried to be as generous as we could”.
And so they did – and surrounded themselves with the love of the audience, who gave them maybe the loudest cheers of their career.
We’re showing you, through pictures, how the journey in Monpellier, at 2022 Worlds, was for Gabriella and Guillaume. But not just that: through Alberto Ponti’s beautiful photos taken in Sud de France arena this March, we’re showing you how the entire ice dancing event unfolded, one layer after the other.
You know the results – now relive the emotions.
2022 World Figure Skating Championships
March 21-27, 2022
Gold: Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, France
Silver: Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, USA
Bronze: Madison Chock and Evan Bates, USA
We’re starting with the end: the joy, excitement, love the three teams medaling share – all coming from one school, Ice Academy of Montreal.
Madison Hubbell said it best in the press conference room: “What I know for our school, beyond just being 1-2-3 on the podium… we’re walking away with a friendship that I think is very unique in the sport.
And our coaches have led the way in many respects when it comes to art and creation, and transforming the sport in many ways – but I think one of their best contribution has been changing the way that we, as sportsmen, interact with each other.
And standing on the podium all together isn’t an accolade that they’re taking as separate individuals being 1-2-3… I think it’s them looking at us and realizing what they’ve created is a true family”.
Guillaume: “The podium here – with all three teams from Montreal – shows the type of energy that we have every day in training. It helped us to train with pleasure and fun, and sometimes, when we have lows, it’s to remember why we like to skate, and especially do it together”.
And watching them all being happy for one another – and seeing, minutes later, all Ice Academy of Montreal dance teams present at Worlds and coaches grouping for a photo around the podium, well, that was a moment to remember.
FREE DANCE HIGHLIGHTS
(for Rhythm Dance Highlights, see NEXT PAGE)
First: Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron
2nd: Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue
3rd: Madison Chock and Evan Bates
4th: Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri, Italy
5th: Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, Canada
6th: Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson, Great Britain
7th: Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz, Spain
8th: Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, USA
9th: Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen, Canada
10th: Allison Reed and Saulius Ambrulevicius, Lithuania
11th: Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha, Canada
12th: Juulia Turkkila and Matthias Versluis, Finland
15th: Maria Kazakova and Georgy Reviya, Georgia
16th: Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi, Japan
NEXT PAGE: Rhythm Dance Highlights