Home Figure Skating News Guignard and Fabbri golden at Grand Prix de France

Guignard and Fabbri golden at Grand Prix de France

by Paula Slater
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022 Grand Prix de France Ice Dance

Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy perform their Free Dance at 2022 Grand Prix de France.

2022 Grand Prix de France – Ice Dance

Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri took their eighth Grand Prix medal in Ice Dance at the 2022 Grand Prix de France, but this time it was a gold. Canada’s Laurence Fournier-Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen pocketed the silver, while Evgeniia Lopareva and Geoffrey Brissaud of France earned the bronze.

Overnight leaders (83.52) Guignard and Fabbri delivered a very good routine with the haunting music of “My Love Will Never Die” which featured innovative level-four lifts with many high grades of execution (GOE). She received a level four on the twizzles, while his were graded a level three, and both the fast-paced one-foot and circular steps were graded a level two for her and three for him. The two-time European bronze medalists placed first in the free dance (124.43) and overall (207.95).

“It’s a really emotional moment because it’s our first victory in the Grand Prix” said Fabbri. “We are very happy especially as it’s here in France, Charlene is French.”

“We felt really good in the first three minutes, but the last minute was bit difficult,” he added. “We know that the program needs a lot of work, because it is more physically demanding compared to the one we had last year. It’s the beginning of the season, so we are very happy.”

Fabbri shared that they wanted to show something different that they haven’t done before after competing for so long, especially at the beginning of a new Olympic cycle.

“We really tried to give a different impact in the Rhythm Dance, but also in the Free Dance especially,” he said. “We had this sort of ‘dark’ mood when we were search for music last season, don’t know why, and Barbara found two of these pieces. We really wanted to perform something different this year and we are happy with our choice.”

Fournier-Beaudry and Soerensen scored a new personal best in the rhythm dance (82.38) for second place coming into the free dance. The team put out a passionate and expressive routine to music by Ennio Morricone which was highlighted by difficult level-four lifts. She received a level three on the twizzles, while his were a level four, but both ice dancers scored a level three for the one-foot steps. The 2021 Skate America bronze medalists finished second (119.55) in the free dance and overall (201.93).

“We are really, really happy with how we skated this whole weekend,” said Soerensen. “The silver medal is like the icing on top of the cake, because we really tried to go out and just create a moment for ourselves and have fun with what we do. To able to get a silver medal on top of it is just amazing.”

“For us, it’s very special to earn this silver medal, it is our first Grand Prix silver medal,” added Fournier-Beaudry. “We have high aspirations and we want to go to the Grand Prix Final, so we are one step closer to our goal for this season.”

The team revealed that Marie-France Dubreuil had the idea for their Free Dance music while doing the laundry. Apparently she heard one of the songs and thought: “Someone has to skate to this, I think Laurence and Nik are strong enough!”

“We’ve been wanting to do this for several seasons,” said Soerensen. “When she played the music at the rink, we said, ‘Sold!'”

“It was inspired by the Kill Bill soundtrack,” shared Fournier-Beaudry. “That’s all where it started and then we found the concept of doing a western inspired by Quentin Tarantino and Ennio Morricone, two kind of flamencos.”

Lopareva and Brissaud, who stood in third after the rhythm dance (73.17), finished third in the free dance (113.98) and overall (187.15). Their characteristic routine to music by Edith Piaf was highlighted by level-four lifts and dance spin. She received a level four for the twizzles while his were graded a level three, and both the one-foot and circular steps were scored a level two.

“I feel super-gifted for this season that we are able to skate to Edith Piaf,” Lopareva. “I am in love with this program, and in love with Edith Piaf. It feels really special to win our first Grand Prix medal with this program! We are super glad to skate this program in France and to win our first Grand Prix medal in France this program. We really felt this program felt the crowd today. It was an amazing day full of emotions and feelings!”

“Today, we really felt our performance and every step on the ice,” added Brissaud. “We felt really good from the beginning!”

Teammates Loicia Demougeot and Theo Le Mercier sat in fourth with a new personal best of (70.76) after the rhythm dance. The national bronze medalists then scored a new personal best of 109.00 for their fourth-place free dance which was featured level-four twizzles, lifts, and dance spin. The French team also scored a new total score personal best of 179.76 for fourth place overall.

“It feels so good!” said Le Mercier. “If someone would have told us before the Grand Prix season that we would end up with fourth place, we wouldn’t have believed it. We are super happy! Before the Grand Prix season, we thought a fifth-place finish would be really good!”

“Of course we can do better and we are still working for our future competition,” he added. “For now we are going to to rest and get ready for Warsaw Cup, Zagreb and then nationals.”

USA’s Eva Pate and Logan Bye placed fifth overall 174.03) ahead of Georgia’s Maria Kazakova and Georgy Reviya (173.05) and Juulia Turkkila and Matthias Versluis of Finland (172.48).

“We are going to keep working, but the crowd was amazing!” said Pate. “They were clapping so much earlier than I thought they would. It really helped us get through the program with that much high energy towards the end because we don’t get a break in the middle.”

“This was our first one and we are just excited to be here,” added Bye. “We are still waiting to find out if we will compete in Zagreb. We hope for one more and are crossing our fingers, but we really don’t know anything right now.”

Guignard and Fabbri picked up 15 at this event for the Grand Prix standings and will take the ice next week in Great Britain along with Kazakova and Reviya (5). Fournier-Beaudry and Soerensen scored 13 points in France and will compete again at NHK Trophy along with Lopareva/Brissaud (11) and USA’s Katarina Wolfkostin and Jeffrey Chen.

Demougeot and Le Mercier now have a total of 18 points after earning nine at Skate America.

Turkkila and Versluis (3) will compete again on home ice in Finland.

This was a solo event for Page/Bye, Marie Dupayage and Thomas Nabais of France (9th) and Canada’s  Molly Lanaghan and Dmitre Razgulajevs. (10th).

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