This time last year Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron ended the European Championships in fifteenth place. What a difference twelve months makes and their rapid ascent to the upper echelons of ice dance continues with no signs of slowing down. Even in the half empty Globe Arena in Stockholm, there was an intangible magic to the mood they created on the ice during their performance to Mozart’s Adagio from Concerto No. 23. It was perfect and total intimacy and you felt that they would have danced exactly the same way if no-one or twenty thousand people had been watching.
There has been no rise more meteoric this season than that of France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. From 13th place at the World Championships in Japan in March of last year, they made everybody sit up and take notice when they claimed gold at Cup of China in November and defeated World champions Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte in the process. They proved that they are going to be a force to be reckoned over the coming years by subsequently winning the Trophee Eric Bompard and taking bronze in the Grand Prix Final in Barcelona. Romain Haguenauer, the man behind the team, believes that they timed this season to perfection.
“It’s a new Olympic cycle so we knew it was the time to be good. You always have to be good, but if they wanted to aim for a high place at the next Olympics they had to start this season because so many couples stopped competing.”