Press Release – Danish Skating Union | Photo by Julia Komarova

Ice dancers, Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sørensen, who since 2013 have been representing Denmark, will henceforth be representing Canada. At an extraordinary meeting Tuesday night, the governing body of the Danish Skating Union decided to support the dancers in their request. Thus, Denmark loses a world class dance couple, who both on and off ice have been great ambassadors for Denmark and who among other accomplishments on the ice have been placed 7th at the European Championships.

The decision to change representation is based on the couple’s disappointment at not being able to participate at the Winter Olympics, despite having qualified Denmark for a spot. Laurence is a Canadian citizen, Nikolaj is Danish and internationally, they have been representing Denmark since 2013. The International Skating Union allows for couples with two nationalities, requiring that the nation that the couple wish to represent, asks the other nation to release their dancer. However, at the Olympic Games, it is required that both athletes hold citizenship from the country they represent. The couple were aware of this, but no one had imagined that they, over the course of just five years, would
come to be number 13 on the world ranking list and would qualify for the Olympics.

“We have been very disappointed and sad that it has not been possible for us to participate in the ultimate competition along with the couples that we compete with all season”, says Laurence. It is natural that Laurence and Nikolaj should exchange The Danish Skating Union with Skate Canada.

Laurence is a Canadian citizen and the couple live and practice in Montreal, where also their friends and Laurence’s family are. For both skaters, saying goodbye to the Danish flag is quite emotional. Nikolaj is proud of his Viking ancestry and of being Danish. Laurence is very fond of Denmark and the Danes, why she through an online class has learned Danish. “We are very grateful for the great support we have received in Denmark. Both from the many supporters and from the Federation that has backed us all the way”, says Nikolaj.

“In the Danish Skating Union we have been proud of the young couple, who have experienced an explosive development through the last five years and who undeniably have put Denmark on the map. Of course, we are sad that they will be sporting the Canadian flag in the future, but we understand
their wish to reach the ultimate goal. Being top athletes that train more than 30 hours a week, they naturally wish to have the Olympic experience”, President, Ingelise Blangsted, comments and adds “They will always be Danish in our hearts as we will continue to follow their careers.”

According to the rules set down by the International Skating Union, the couple will be quarantined for one year before they can represent their new country in international competitions. Together with their coaches, Marie-France Dubreil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer, the couple have decided to
quit competing internationally immediately, in order to be able to compete at the World Figure Skating Championships next year.