Coach Cédric Tour on Adam Siao Him Fa: “There’s something changed in him this season: now he understands he can win”

Adam Siao Him Fa at 2024 Europeans in Kaunas, Lithuania, where he won his second European title

For a little while, Adam Siao Him Fa was on the entries list of 2024 Bellu Memorial in Otopeni, Romania – and that was a source of great enthusiasm for us at Inside Skating. Eventually, Adam didn’t make the trip, but one of his coaches did: Cédric Tour accompanied Belgium’s Jade Hovine in Romania and, at the end of competition, he found time for a short conversation. And that conversation was, surely, about Cédric’s most prominent student, the Frenchman Adam Siao Him Fa.

About the best two years of his career, about a season that proved sensational for him, about the massive change in Adam of the present time – “Now he understands he can win”, about his preparation, their preparation towards Worlds in Montreal.

A competition that Adam enters as a podium contender.

Remember: the 23-year-old won gold at 2023 Grand Prix de France, finishing ahead of Ilia Malinin and Yuma Kagiyama, and crossing the 100, 200 and 300-point barriers for his short program, free skate and total score, he then struck gold at Cup of China, surpassing the double World champion Shoma Uno, qualified for the first Grand Prix Final of his career (where he finished 4th), before winning a second European crown this January, in Lithuania.


The interview with Cédric Tour took place less than a month before the start of 2024 World Championships in Canada – and we invite you to read it all on the week of Worlds.


Interview by Florentina Tone / Otopeni, Romania

Florentina Tone: Cédric, you didn’t come to Bellu Memorial with Adam Siao Him Fa, but our questions are mainly about him [I can imagine, Cédric smiles]. And we will start with that: what’s your first memory of Adam? When did you first see him? At French Nationals? During one of your camps?

Cédric Tour: Oh, it was a long time ago, he was a kid. I actually competed with his brother Benjamin – Adam is the youngest of the family. And I remember saying to myself back then: I think he could be really good.

So Adam was 10 or…?

Less, less. I think he was 6 or 7 when I first saw him.


You’ve been Adam’s coach for two seasons already, alongside Rodolphe Maréchal, alongside Benoît Richaud, and these two seasons are the best in Adam’s career so far. How would explain his progress? He was 8th at 2022 Worlds in Montpellier, made this coaching change and now he’s a double European champion…

I think it’s better for him now because we all work together, it’s a real team. We speak a lot and Adam can decide by himself. It’s not like: OK, you need to do that, or that!

So he is very much involved in the process…

Exactly, he’s involved, he can tell what he thinks about the training process – he has a say in it.

But how was he in 2022, when he came to you, and how is he now? In what ways he is changed?

We push him a lot in practice, he can do more now during practice. And he pushes himself too – both in the physical training, but there was also a change in his mentality.

There’s definitely been a change, one that is noticeable: in stamina, in attitude, in overall performance. Is it as if he were a completely different skater…

I think we just work differently with him than he worked before.

If I understood correctly, Rodolphe Maréchal used to train him before 2022 as well…

Yes, when Adam was a kid. Adam had Laurent Depouilly first, then Rodolphe Maréchal, then Brian [Joubert], then Laurent Depouilly again, and now the three of us.

Cédric, as one of his coaches, how would you describe Adam of the present moment? What do you think are his biggest qualities?

I think Adam doesn’t have limits – he is ready for everything.

Even for the back flip…

Of course. And it’s not finished, I think [Cédric is smiling].

But he is ready to try everything. When we want to try something new, when we want to change something, he is ready! Every time, he says: OK, I’m gonna try it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t – but he’s always ready to try. He’s really open-minded about everything. And he’s humble, he has humility.


This season in particular proved to be exceptional for Adam. Apart from his 4th place at the Grand Prix Final, he basically won every competition he entered. So how would you say the season was, from the coach’s point of view? I’ll be honest: seeing him so ready at the beginning of the season, some of us feared he might have peaked too soon…

No, no, it’s not the case. It’s just the process to success.

Last season, he got the first place on only one Grand Prix event – this season he got first on two Grand Prix and he also qualified for his first Grand Prix Final. And now he has to work on: OK, I’m one of the leaders and I have to stay strong in this position.

And we work on that – he works with a mental coach to make him handle the pressure. Because, naturally, Adam is better when he’s chasing the others.

I think Adam is the only skater who defeated Ilia, Yuma, Shoma this season – all main contenders for the gold in Montreal. What do you think Adam has this season that makes him so competitive?

If I speak about technique, he’s in the game. OK, Ilia has the quad Axel, and it’s crazy – but Adam is in the game. Plus: this season, he has very good programs, both the short and the free.

When asked about Adam in China by the journalists, the double World champion Shoma Uno said something like: You just discovered Adam, but he’s here for a while, I’ve noticed his performing abilities for a while… Do you think Adam is aware that all these other top skaters keep an eye on him, admire him?

[smiling] I think he knows that now. But it’s all new to him. There’s something changed this season, there’s a difference compared to the last ones: now he understands he can win. After the Grand Prix of France, after Cup of China… It took this step for him, and now he knows.

And do you think he has a real chance to…

To go on the podium in Montreal? Yes, yes. He has to skate really clean, but he can do it.


You said earlier that Adam is now working with a mental coach, but how do you, his team of coaches, make him not feel that pressure? Because it is a pressure, and he surely felt it in China, at the Grand Prix Final.

The method is: OK, Adam, it’s you against you. That’s it. If you do your job, if you show what you can do, it can be really good.

Cédric, how was this season behind the scenes? What is it that we don’t know? Any problems, challenges he needed to overcome? We saw him winning, but we don’t know the rest of the story…

Last season we had a lot of problems with the equipment, with the boots, but this season was OK. On the other hand, in France we don’t really have the best conditions to build something crazy.

Are you talking about the ice time? Because I might have seen Jade Hovine mentioning not having that much ice time in Nice…

It’s true, we don’t have enough sessions.

Can I ask how much ice time do you have per day?

Per day, it’s three sessions.

And a session is…?

It depends. Sometimes it’s 50 minutes, sometimes it’s one hour, but on some other days we have one hour and a half and that’s it. Because Nice is a big club – we do régional, féderal, national, international, adult, curling, ice hockey, so…

On the other hand, we also have a lot of good things here. But we are looking for solutions. During the summer, Adam will go to shows and then we move to Anglet, and we also go in Italy for camps. So we won’t have this problem over the summer.


We are less than a month before 2024 Worlds. Preparation-wise, how are things working? What do you do when you have a month to the biggest event of the season? Polish, refine programs – what is it?

Now we know what… I mean, I won’t say it [smiling], but we know exactly what program, what content Adam will show in Montreal – we decided on the jumps. I won’t say it, but we know [laughing].

So, one month before, it’s a repetition of programs, polish of choreography, details – and we try to put the maximum of trust, of confidence in Adam.

I’ll end with this: what do you want from Adam and for Adam in the future? What do you wish for him?

I wish for him to put a signature on the figure skating world. He wants that too.

I think he already does that, in a way.

Yes, but he can do more, much more. And he can be a medalist at the Olympic Games. With work, of course, but he can.

[Interview by Florentina Tone / Otopeni, Romania
Photos by Alberto Ponti at 2023 Nebelhorn Trophy,
2023 Grand Prix of France,
2024 Europeans in Kaunas]


GET TO KNOW HIM BETTER: Adam’s story, as told by himself at 2022 Worlds in Montpellier

Adam Siao Him Fa, ready for the next 8 years of his career