Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, quadruple world champions and 2018 Olympic vice-champions in ice dance, have decided to forgo the 2021 Worlds and will therefore not skate for the season, announced the French Federation of Ice Sports (FFSG) on Tuesday January 19. The 2021 Worlds are scheduled from March 22 to 28 in Stockholm. They represent, except regulatory adaptation facing the Covid-19, the main gateway to the 2022 Olympics and were to be the only competition of the winter of the two French dancers.
“We have never experienced such a long period without competition. Cascading cancellations create a climate of uncertainty and doubt that is difficult to manage for all top athletes. The holding of the World Championships being still hypothetical, we needed a more solid, more concrete objective ”, justifies Guillaume Cizeron, according to statements reported in the press release of the federation. “Even if the competition were to take place in a health bubble, the couple prefer to give up this 2020-2021 season to focus on the preparation for the 2022 Olympic Games” in Beijing, she continues.
One year without competition
The last competition of Papadakis and Cizeron dates back to a year, at the European Championships in Graz (Austria) in January 2020. The five-time European champions had experienced their first defeat in nearly two years.
The 2020 Worlds scheduled for March in Montreal were then canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Last fall, Papadakis and Cizeron had not taken part in the Grand Prix circuit, which traditionally marks the first half of the figure skating season, but has been affected by health restrictions linked to the virus and reshaped.
Then they announced in early November their intention to “Directly target the World Championships”, and therefore to ignore the European Championships initially scheduled for January. But these have also since been canceled.