Canada’s Gilles, Poirier take ice dance silver at figure skating worlds in Montreal

Canada’s Gilles, Poirier take ice dance silver at figure skating worlds in Montreal

It’s still sinking in for Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier.

Standing at centre ice in the Bell Centre in Montreal, the Canadian ice dance pair twirled and saluted to cheers from their home crowd after delivering a breathtaking performance that ultimately earned them silver medals Saturday at the figure skating world championships.

“I haven’t really fully digested it yet. It still feels like we haven’t done it,” Gilles said. “To be able to just stand there at the end and just embrace all of our friends and family that were here to experience that moment with us was just something we can only dream of.”

For Gilles and Poirier it was “a full-circle moment” as they recalled competing in their first worlds championship on home soil in London, Ont. in 2013.

“Ten, 11, 12 years later, we have a very different moment,” Gilles said. “But it’s still something so special, and now we’re closer to the top of the podium.”

Skating to the “Wuthering Heights” soundtrack by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Toronto’s Gilles and Poirier of Unionville, Ont., gave the 8,000 fans on hand goosebumps and posted the best score of the free dance with a season-best 133.17 points.

WATCH l Gilles and Poirier capture world silver in Montreal: 

Canada’s Gilles, Poirier capture ice dance silver at figure skating worlds

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada win the free dance program but finish second overall in the ice dance competition at the World Figure Skating Championships.

As they watched the marks come up, Poirier had an astonished look on his face.

“I was exhausted,” he said, as laughs went around the Bell Centre press conference room. “We really gave our everything to the performance.”

It’s their third medal at the worlds. They collected bronze in 2021 and 2023 — just months after Gilles had surgery for ovarian cancer.

The performance wasn’t enough to dethrone defending champions Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the United States.

But the ovation and cheers from the crowd — and the silver medals around their necks — had the Canadians beaming with pride.

“It was a mix of [exhaustion], of relief that it was done, relief that it had gone well, and joy that it had gone well and joy that we were able to just share a really special moment with that crowd and soak in all of their energy and love,” Poirier said.

Chock, Bates rise to top of podium again

Chock and Bates, the 2022 Olympic champions, captured gold with a season-best total score of 222.20 after placing first in the rhythm dance.

They became the most decorated American ice dancers at the worlds with five medals but aren’t sure if they’ll build on that haul and compete next season.

“We have a lot to celebrate coming up and a lot to evaluate before we jump into another season,” Chock said. “It isn’t out of the realm of possibility but also we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves.”

WATCH | Chock, Bates successfully defend world title: 

Chock, Bates become 1st American ice dance team to claim back-to-back world titles

Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the United States win the ice dance gold at the World Figure Skating Championships for the second consecutive time.

Gilles and Poirier, both 32, weren’t sure how long they’d go before hanging their blades up, either.

“When we feel like we don’t want to come into the rink every single day, I think is when you won’t see us anymore,” Gilles said.

Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri claimed bronze (216.52).

Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Saint-Hubert, Que., ranked fifth after a beautiful program to “Roses” by Jean-Michel Blais.

They posted a personal-best 208.01 points despite the fact Lajoie suffered a concussion before the Canadian championships in January.

“We worked so hard for this moment, and with the adversity we had to be able to skate like this it’s the cherry on top,” Lajoie said.

WATCH l Free dance program: 

ISU World Figure Skating Championships Montreal: Free dance

Watch the free dance program at ISU World Figure Skating Championships from Montreal.

It’s Montreal’s first time hosting the event since 1932. The city was supposed to stage the 2020 championship but the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the competition.

Boston will hold the 2025 competition.

Malinin breaks world record

American figure skating star Ilia Malinin is a world champion — and a world-record holder.

Malinin put on a dominant display that included a jaw-dropping six quad jumps — including his patented quad axel — to snag the men’s singles crown Saturday at the world championships.

After placing third in Thursday’s short program, the 19-year-old scored a world record 227.79 in the free program while skating to the “Succession” soundtrack to bring his total to 333.76 — more than 20 points than the rest of the field.

WATCH l Malinin’s world-record free skate:

American Ilia Malinin claims men’s title at figure skating worlds

Ilia Malinin of the United States wins the gold medal in the men’s competition at the World Figure Skating Championships.

Malinin dropped to the ice in disbelief after presenting his sheer athletics to a rowdy Bell Centre crowd that cheered and clapped the whole way.

He dethroned two-time defending world champion Shoma Uno of Japan, who fell to fourth (280.85) after missing two quad jumps to start his program.

Yuma Kagiyama of Japan won silver (309.65) and Adam Siao Him Fa of France claimed bronze (284.39). Siao Him Fa climbed from 19th to third with an awe-inspiring display of his own, which included a backflip.

Canadian champion Wesley Chiu of Vancouver was 17th (227.21) and Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., fell from 11th to 19th (221.57).

Canada will only have one men’s singles spot at next year’s worlds.

More on Soerensen

Montreal’s Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Danish-Canadian partner Nikolaj Soerensen moved from 10th to ninth (199.91) in the competition while skating under the cloud of sexual assault allegations against Soerensen.

Soerensen and Fournier Beaudry withdrew from the Canadian championship in January after USA Today reported an American figure skating coach and former skater accused Soerensen of sexually assaulting her in 2012. The case is currently being probed by Canada’s Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner and the allegations have not been proven in court.

USA Today reported Saturday that the attorney for Soerensen’s complainant, Nancy Hogshead, said another complaint is being filed against Soerensen with the OSIC for comments the ice dancer made on March 6 that she says amount to “retaliation” against the complainant.

“When something like that comes out in the media, the damage is kind of done and I think that was the intention more than anything,” Soerensen said about the allegations at the time.

Soerensen denied a chance to comment on the matter Saturday.

WATCH l Gilles, Poirier base their free dance on ‘Wuthering Heights’:

Gilles, Poirier base their free dance on the book ‘Wuthering Heights’

Canadian ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier discuss the reasons for basing their free dance program on the 19th century book, Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë. Poirier says the book explores the themes of love and hate which can sometimes drive people into insanity.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Kraken Onion Market