Gala Exhibition
ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia

Papadakis, Cizeron: Career on the first place

The 21-year-old Gabriella and one year older Guillaume have been training together since she was nine and he ten. As a dancing couple they were joined by Catherine Papadakis, mother of Gabriella who also coached them later on. “We grew up together, we know each other´s reactions well. So we can cooperate together very well and to use venery minute on the ice,” assessed the positives of the long-term cooperation Guillaume two years ago in the interview for the Absolute Skating. In June 2012, the decided to move to Lyon, the centre of the French ice dancing for a long time, to the coaches Muiel Zazoui and Romain Haguenauer. The place of Maria Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat or Isabelle Delobel with Olievier Schoenfeld, who also helped with the training at the time.

In 2013, they managed to win silver at the World Junior Championships, while Papadakis had to show a huge belligerence. We entered the free skate with an ankle injury which she hurt during the warm up before the morning training. They had to stop the program at the time due to necessary treatment.

JSP_5784 papadakis cizeron fra

Crucial change in their career came in 2014. Romain Haguenaurer left to Montreal to the training group of former ice dancers Marie-France Dubreuil and Patric Lauzon and they left with him.

“We just decided to follow Romain. If we wanted to focus on our careers, it was a right decision,” said Papadakis. “At the same time it however meant that we pushed our careers on the first place so we had to break the school we studied in France,” added Cizeron.
The success came immediately; they won both competition of the autumn Grand Prix. At the European Championships in 2015 they confirmed that it was not just a coincidence and they gained their first title. Two months later, they dominated also the World Championships. As the first French representatives since 2008. And also as the youngest pair in the history in the past 49 years.

Preparations for the last season were complicated by the brain injury which Papadakis caused herself in summer. “There were lot of functions injured in my brain. Sometimes it is OK, sometimes I am losing the balance and I have blackouts of my memory or concentration,” she said after the injury to the AFP agency. The wanted to start at the Grand Prix but the health condition was improving very slowly. They only came at the European Championships – and they still managed to defend the title! And they also managed at the World Championships in March. Will they make it for the third time this year?