March 1st, 2024

Gilles and Poirier golden at Four Continents as Canada claims two ice dance medals

By The Canadian Press on February 4, 2024.

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier’s dream season continued on Sunday at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Shanghai, China. Gilles and Poirier perform during the senior ice dance free program at the Canadian figure skating championships in Calgary on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

SHANGHAI – Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier’s dream season continued on Sunday at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Shanghai, China.

The Canadians won their first ISU Championships title in the ice dance competition.

“It has been a long wait, but it’s been worth the wait,” said Gilles of the win after having come so close several times in the past to a win at this level. “You have to earn these moments, and I feel like we’ve finally timed things right and have finally earned it.

“We’re just really proud of this moment. Standing on top of the podium felt really surreal – I almost got a little bit emotional.”

Poirier added: “We’re really proud of ourselves. We had two really solid, enjoyable skates for the two of us. We really enjoyed our skating here and are proud of how we skated.”

Montreal’s Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Danish-Canadian partner Nikolaj Soerensen captured silver for the second year in a row.

Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko of the United States captured the bronze medal to round out the podium with a total score of 194.14.

Toronto’s Gilles and Poirier of Unionville, Ont., led the competition from start to finish, making their performance to “Wuthering Heights” look effortless in their free skate, earning a score of 128.87 and a total score of 214.36.

Skating a dramatic love story to “Notre Dame de Paris,” Fournier Beaudry and Soerensen earned a season’s best free skate score of 125.52 for a total of 207.54 – enough for a second silver of the season.

“It was such a wonderful performance, with a lot of emotion, it was just a big relief, and a huge pleasure for us,” said Soerensen.

“We really felt free today and it was super fun to just perform. I think we stepped it up this week and we just will have a lot of motivation back home to build up towards Worlds,” added Fournier Beaudry.

Canadian skaters had all three of the top scores in the free dance as Marie-Jade Lauriault and Romain Le Gac of Ste-Anne-des-plaines, Que., scored 119.57 for their performance to “Corpse Bride.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2024.

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