Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron became the first ice dancers to break through the 200-point barrier
Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France became the first ice dancers to break through the 200-point barrier, winning the ISU Grand Audi Cup of China on Saturday in Beijing. The French team, each age 22, set a personal best of 81.10 points in Friday’s short program and added a 119.33 in the free dance for a total of 200.43 to overtake the Canadian team’s record of 199.86. Papadakis and Cizeron’s previous high score was 196.04, set while winning the silver medal behind Virtue Moir at last year’s world championships in Helsinki.
“It’s been a really good start to the season,” Cizeron said. “We’ve had a lot of good results, and this shows how hard we’ve trained this summer and how consistent our work is with our coaches. I think we really owe these scores to our work and the support of our team and federation.”
Papadakis and Cizeron, who train in Montreal, mesmerized the audience with their dramatic routine to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” and received no less than +2 and +3 GOEs (Grades of Execution) across the board for all elements, which were level 4 (except for level 3 circular steps).
“It’s a masterpiece of music and it really talks to everyone,” Cizeron said. “We wanted to do something really iconic. The energy we have in us at different times of the day, so we just need to find that little spot.”
Chinese ice has been favorable to Papadakis and Cizeron. After winning the Cup of China in 2014, they responded with their first world championship gold medal that spring, with both events in Shanghai.
“We have a really good memory of that world championship in Shanghai,” Cizeron said. “It’s our first time here in Beijing. We have had a really great experience in China, and we are always happy to come back. We are both going to take the energy from this into the season, and we will see what happens.
After scoring higher than any ice dance team before them, they still must discover every angle to keep pace with Virtue and Moir during a run towards the top of the podium in PyeongChang.
“The thing to work on is the technical score, and we still have room for improvement,” Papadakis said. “We will continue to work as hard as possible. Our goal is to win a medal in the Olympics.”