Montpellier, France


Gabriella Papadakis, Guillaume Cizeron WFSC Montpellier @ISU 1387874784

Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) compete in the Ice Dance Free Dance at the 2022 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Montpellier, France. @ISU

When Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) took the ice last out of the 20 Couples in the Final the capacity crowd at the Arena Sud de France greeted them with huge applause. The Olympic Champions danced with dreamlike confidence, with each step, each movement expressing the Tango “Elegie” by Gabriel Fauré. The moment the music ended, the crowd rose as one and cheered. The five-time European Champions earned a level four for two lifts, the spin and twizzles and a level three for the diagonal step sequence and rotational lift to post a new record score and personal best of 137.09. They picked up a total of 36 perfect 10.00s and racked up 229.82 points, another new highest score.

Papadakis,  Cizeron, Hubbell, Donohue,Chock, Bates WFSC Montpellier @AFP 1239527652

 Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) (silver), Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) (bronze) and Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) (gold) during the podium ceremony after the Free Ice Dance skating event at the 2022 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Montpellier, France. @AFP

“After a season like this, after winning the Games, being here at home in France with our team, our coaches, there's so much history, so many people. I think the emotions we had on the ice today, it does not compare to anything. It was magical,” Cizeron said. “I think we try to make the most of every moment with all the skaters that are here, we try to make the most of every memory, with every person, every moment,” he added.

Papadakis agreed. “It was a magical moment, we knew there would be a lot of people but we didn't expect that, so it was really emotional, so much that I don't know how to focus, but it was beautiful too. I’m just so grateful and we’re so lucky to have been surrounded by our closest friends here on the podium. I think that’s very rare and it’s what makes it worth it - gold medals, and the event, and the work. I think friendship in the end is what stays.“

Gabriella Papadakis, Guillaume Cizeron WFSC Montpellier @ISU 1387874603

 Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) compete in the Ice Dance Free Dance at the 2022 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Montpellier, France. @ISU

Dancing to “Drowning” by Anne Sila, Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue turned in a beautiful performance, the last one of their competitive career. The Olympic bronze medalists picked up a level four for three elements and her twizzles. The Americans posted another personal best with 132.67 points and 222.39 points overall to finish their career on a high note.

“We knew that the emotions were very high – we felt it this morning on practice. For many of us the goal was to not get too emotional and hinder the performance right before starting,” Hubbell shared. “We also know how to focus and we knew that we wanted to skate our best for each other for our last moment and we found peace in that. We’re just very happy. You see that we have our whole family here so it’s a really special moment that we couldn’t have dreamed it better,” she continued.

Madison Hubbell, Zachary Donohue WFSC Montpellier @ISU 1387875780

Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) compete in the Ice Dance Free Dance at the 2022 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Montpellier, France. @ISU

Madison Chock/Evan Bates’ innovative “space dance” to music by Daft Punk was highlighted by interesting lifts and intricate footwork. The lifts, spin and twizzles merited a level four and the two-time ISU Four Continents Champions netted 129.32 points and totaled 216.83 points to return on to the World podium six years after winning silver in 2016.

“I feel incredibly emotional. It was a dream to be able to share that podium with our training mates and to be back on the podium after what feels like a very, very long time (World silver in 2015, bronze in 2016). Lots of emotions,” Chock said.

“It was one of the best crowds we’ve ever skated in front of. I can’t remember such a full audience – maybe in three, four years – for an Ice Dance event. Obviously the enthusiasm for ice dance because of what Gabi and Guillaume (Papadakis/Cizeron) have achieved is so strong, and we’re so thrilled to take the ice and just bask in that energy, take it all in, and thrilled with the performances we gave to the audience today and yesterday,” Bates noted.

Madison Chock, Evan Bates WFSC Montpellier @ISU 1387875583

Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) compete in the Ice Dance Free Dance at the 2022 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Montpellier, France. @ISU

Two-time ISU European bronze medalists Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (ITA) came fourth with their emotional dance to “Atonment” and “Little Sparrow” on 209.92 points. 2021 ISU World bronze medalists Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) danced to “Long and Winding Road” to place fifth (202.70 points) while Lilah Fear/Lewis Gibson (GBR) moved up from seventh to sixth with their dynamic performance to “The Lion King” (198.17 points).  Olivia Smart/Adrian Diaz (ESP) came seventh, the best placement in history for Spanish Ice Dance.


The schedule of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2022 is as follows:

Wednesday, March 23:            Women and Pairs Short Programs, Opening Ceremony

Thursday, March 24:                Men’s Short Program, Pairs Free Skating

Friday, March 25:                     Ice Dance/Rhythm Dance, Women Free Skating

Saturday, March 26:                 Men’s Free Skating, Ice Dance/Free Dance

Sunday, March 27:                   Exhibition Gala


* Following the IOC recommendation, in order to protect the integrity of ice skating competitions and for the safety of all the participants of international ice skating competitions, the ISU Council based on Article 17.1.q) i) of the ISU Constitution, agreed that with immediate effect and until further notice, no Skaters belonging to the ISU Members in Russia (Russian Skating Union and the Figure Skating Federation of Russia) and Belarus (Skating Union of Belarus) shall be invited or allowed to participate in international ice skating Competitions including ISU Championships and other ISU Events (Full Statement to be read on ISU website).