For the third event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series, 10 teams will head to Angers, France for the Grand Prix de France. Angers also hosted in 2021, but none of the medalists from the 2021 event are competing this year.
France has been part of the Grand Prix annually since the inception of the series in 1995, but over time the event name has changed. Starting with Trophee de France in 1995, it has also been known as Trophee Lalique, Trophée Eric Bompard and Internationaux de France.
Grand Prix 2022: This year, the Grand Prix has a different look for several reasons. First, the top two teams from the 2021-22 season are not in the mix. World and Olympic champions Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron choosing to take this season off and World silver medalists Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue retired from competitive skating at the end of last season. Also, the ISU maintained the ban on figure skaters from Russia due to the country’s war with neighboring Ukraine. Skaters from Belarus are also not allowed to compete due to their country’s support of the ongoing war.
The Medal Hunt: Unlike the two previous Grand Prix events, the teams in the medal hunt at Trophee de France all unveiled their programs at earlier ISU Challenger Series events.
Italy’s Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri opened their season at home with a gold medal win at Lombardia Trophy. The team has been skating together since 2009, but has not won Grand Prix gold in any season. France could change this. Their rhythm dance is to a medley of music by Grace Jones and their free dance is to “My Love Will Never Die” by AG featuring Claire Wyndham, “Mephistos Lullaby” by Yair Albeg Wein, Or Kribos and “Eden” by Belinda. Guignard and Fabbri are coached by Barbara Fusar Poli.
Laurence Fournier Beaudry & Nikolaj Sorensen debuted at Finlandia Trophy, finishing first. The Canadians have never placed higher than third at a Grand Prix event. Their rhythm dance is to “Con Los Anos Que Me Quedan”, “Rhythm is Gonna Get You” and “Conga” by Gloria Estefan (with Miami Sound Machine). Their free dance is set to music by Ennio Morricone and Robert Rodriguez. They train at Ice Academy of Montreal in Quebec, Canada.
With 2022 Olympic Champions Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron taking this season off, Evgeniia Lopareva & Geoffrey Brissaud are now the top team in France. In their first event of the season, the French duo won the silver medal at Budapest Cup. Lopareva & Brissaud are skating to “Paxi Ni Ngongo” by Bonga and “Magalenha” by Sergio Mendes for their rhythm dance. Their free dance is to “I’accordeoniste” and “Mon Dieu” by Edith Piaf. The team also spends time training at the Ice Academy of Montreal, in addition to working with coach Roxane Petetin in France.
Event info: Teams have official practices on Thursday, November 3. The rhythm dance kicks off at 3:00pm (ET) on Friday, November 4, with the free dance occurring on Saturday, November 5 at 3:10pm (ET).