Preview: 2024 World Championships


by Matteo Morelli

Montreal is welcoming the 2024 World Figure Skating Championships, giving Canada the chance to host the event after having to cancel it in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The competition will be held at Bell Centre, an arena with a capacity of more than 20,000 and the second largest ice hockey arena in the world.

The ice dance field will see 36 teams representing 26 countries taking the ice to compete for the best spots. Based on quotas from previous results, countries with more than one entry are both Canada and the USA with three teams each, while the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Great Britain, Italy and Lithuania have two teams each.

The Medal Hunt

Madison Chock & Evan Bates of the USA are the reigning World Champions, with a total of four world medals collected so far. This season, they won all their Grand Prix assignments and the Grand Prix Final; they also earned a fifth national title, the third consecutive one. With their free dance based on music by Pink Floyd and the theme of time, they will aim to continue showing the consistency they had this season and fight to earn another world title. They will be competing in the town that they call home, being one of some teams at this event from the Ice Academy of Montreal.

Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri of Italy are the most experienced team at this event, with this being their twelfth Worlds Championships attendance. The six-time national champions won a second consecutive European title this season, after earning a gold medal at the Grand Prix Final. After their silver at Worlds last season, this team aims to secure another world medal this year. They will be skating on their free dance based on music from “The theory of everything”, a programme which reflects their own style.

Competing in their home country, Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier will aim at the highest spot available, trying to add another world medal to the two bronze medals they have already earned. This season, they have won both their Grand Prix assignments and earned a bronze medal at the Grand Prix Final; they also secured a third national title and won the Four Continents event. Their free dance is to music from “Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights”, a programme which has been evolving a lot throughout the season.

Lilah Fear & Lewis Gibson of Great Britain will also pose a threat for a podium finish. This season, they won their first Grand Prix event (NHK Trophy) and earned a second consecutive European silver medal. They will almost literally fight during their free skate, with their programme based on music from the movie “Rocky”, a crowd pleaser this season.

Also from Canada are Laurence Fournier Beaudry & Nikolaj Sørensen, and Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha, who will be back after an injury for Lajoie that required them to pull out of Nationals and Four Continents after a strong start of the season, when they won two silver medals in both their Grand Prix and qualified for the Grand Prix Final.

Also recording important results this season are Allison Reed & Saulius Ambrulevičius of Lithuania, who will be entering the event after winning a European bronze medal in their home country; France’s Evgenia Lopareva & Geoffrey Brissaud, with two bronze medals from their Grand Prix assignments and a fourth place finish at Europeans; and USA’s Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko, the bronze medallists at Four Continents.

Interesting facts:

  • All reigning world medallists (Chock/Bates, Guignard/Fabbri, Gilles/Poirier) are competing at this event and stand a strong chance to medal again; they are incredibly experienced teams, with each having skated together for at least thirteen years.
  • This will be the eleventh World Championships for Chock/Bates and Gilles/Poirier, and the twelfth for Guignard/Fabbri.
  • Twelve teams will be competing at a Senior World Championships for the first time, although it is to be noted that a couple of these teams have previously competed either under different flags or in different partnerships.
  • Olivia Smart and Tim Dieck will be at their first World Championships together representing Spain, after Smart competed before for the same country with Adrian Diaz and Dieck representing Germany with Katharina Müller.
  • Carolane Soucisse and Share Firus will be competing for the first time at Worlds representing Ireland, after having represented Canada in the past.

Event info: Teams have official practices from Monday, March 18. The rhythm dance kicks off on Friday, March 22, from 11:20am (EDT); the free dance occurs on Saturday, March 23, from 1:30pm (EDT).