Friday, 19/1/2018 | : : UTC-8
Skate Today

EUROPEANS: MAGIC IN THE AIR

Gabriella Papadakis+Guillaume Ciizeron showed beauty, artistry, and athleticism as they created magic and danced off with the gold medal while skating to “Adagio” from Mozart’s Concerto No. 23.

“Creating the magic owes nothing to magic itself,” Papadakis recently said. “It’s something you need inside of you that creates it.  You need to be one – one with your partner, one with your music, one with your audience, one with the judges, and one with the ice. That allows a performance to bring out emotions in everybody. That’s what creates the magic.”

(On the Free Skate performance) Papadakis noted, “There was a mix of excitement, of pressure, of pleasure and many other emotions as we stepped onto the ice. It was rather magical to witness the way the program made its way throughout. Then, when we heard the applause of the audience on the last note of the music – that was incredible.”

Anna Cappellini+Luca Lanotte skated a strong performance to Danse Macabre. The defending European champions have had a difficult season and were ‘over the moon’ about their score and medal.

“We are more happy with silver than anyone can believe.  It is worth gold to us.  After such a rocky start to the season and a period of self-doubt and frustration, we were not sure if we could keep competing at the level we had, especially last year,” Cappellini told the post-event press conference.“

Lanotte explained their reason for continuing to compete.  “We stayed on after last year because we love the sport, and we love the challenge. We can still compete at a higher level. We want to keep going.”

Alexandra Stepanova+Ivan Bukin, 2013 Junior World Champions, skated a personal best Level4 (spin, lift, twizzles) interpretation of the Beatles, “Eleanor Rigby”.

Stepanova explained her reactions.  “I am in shock about the results. It is our biggest dream come true. At the end of the program I usually feel empty, but this time I felt happiness. It was like an explosion of emotions.“  Bukin added, “I can’t believe it. I am completely overwhelmed.”

(On the arena and audience)  “That bright red color wakes up your emotions, and that crowd was so loud and supported us so well,” smiled Stepanova.

Elena Ilinykh+Ruslan Zhiganshin had a dramatic roller coaster free dance to “Appassionata” and “Antony and Cleopatra Theme”. They missed a straight-line lift when Zhiganshin’s right leg and pants were cut by Ilinykh’s blade. It caused Zhiganshin to nearly fall during the subsequent diagonal step sequence. It was a rough outing for the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist and her new partner.

(On the lift mistake) “We just lost the spot (on his leg). That was it. It feels OK and doesn’t hurt. Afterwards I tried to smile as if nothing happened, but, of course, everyone could see,” explained Zhiganshin.

“Terrible mistakes have happened before in my career,” Ilinykh added. “What is done is done.”

ICE CHIPS – DANCE

  • Nelli Zhiganshina+Alexander Gazsi (GER) will retire after Worlds.
  • Gold medalists Papadakis+Cizeron were 15th at 2014 Europeans.
  • Ivan Bukin is the son of 1988 Olympic Ice Dance champion, Andrei Bukin.
  • Nelli Zhiganshina (GER) and Ruslan Zhiganshina (RUS) are brother and sister who each competed for a different country.
  • British Ice Dancers, Joseph and Nicholas Buckland are brothers. Both had to WD due to illness.

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Skate Today was created in November 2004 to showcase the people of the skating world, skaters and coaches and others, who make figure skating and ice dancing a pleasure to watch for fans from around the world. The goal was to create a site that would give viewers an insight into the personalities of the people involved in this sport and to give you a more personal connection when watching them live at an event or on the television. Our staff knows how much time and dedication is put into this sport and that's why Skate Today was created.

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