Home Figure Skating News Catching up with Stéphane Lambiel

Catching up with Stéphane Lambiel

by Judith Dombrowski
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Stephane Lambiel

Stéphane Lambiel during the 2023-24 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating at iceSheffield on November 13, 2022 in Sheffield, England.

Stéphane Lambiel

Stéphane Lambiel, the two-time World champion from Switzerland, has garnered remarkable success in recent years as a coach. Notably, he coached Japanese sensation Shoma Uno to secure two World Championships and an Olympic bronze medal. Additionally, he played a key role in guiding Deniss Vasiljevs of Latvia and Koshiro Shimada of Japan to notable achievements on the international stage.

Although he doesn’t coach a large number of top-level athletes, those under Lambiel’s guidance passionately place their trust in him. This has resulted in the formation of deep, long-lasting bonds between Lambiel and his students, proving mutually beneficial when collaborating.

We had the opportunity to catch up with Lambiel at the 2024 European Championships. He was accompanying his student, Latvia’s Deniss Vasiljevs, with whom he has been working for 7 1/2 years. During our conversation, we delved into the significance of this event for the 2022 European bronze medalist. He discussed the mental and physical preparation they underwent specifically for this competition.

Continuing our conversation, we explored the progression of his relationship with Uno over the years. Lambiel took a moment to delve into the details of Uno’s season up to this point. He also shared his characterization of his three top students, highlighting the strong connection between the coach and his students. Additionally, he opened up about other skaters who have left a lasting impression on him during this season, providing insights into why these particular athletes have caught his attention.

Lambiel also shared his thoughts on being nominated as ISU choreographer and coach of the year. Interestingly, he emphasized that awards like these don’t hold the utmost significance for him. Instead, he expressed that the essence of his work and the progress achieved by his students are what matter most to him.

We discuss how he balances choreographing and coaching at the same time and how they align with each other.

The renowned coach dedicates time at his home rink in Champéry to coach very young children, introducing them to the sport. During our conversation, he shared why the skill level of the skater doesn’t hold as much importance to him as long as there is a genuine passion for the sport.

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