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Canadians Gilles and Poirier took ice dancing silver at the worlds of figure skating

Canadians Gilles and Poirier took ice dancing silver at the worlds of figure skating

MONTREAL – It's still awash in interest from Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier.

Standing on center ice at the Bell Centre, the Canadian ice dancing duo saluted to the cheers of their audience after putting on a stunning performance that ultimately earned them silver medals on Saturday at the World Figure Skating Championships.

“I haven't fully digested it yet. It still feels like we haven't gotten there. To be able to stand there at the end and embrace all of our friends and family who have been here for us,” Gill said. Experiencing that moment with us was something we could only dream of.

For Gilles and Poirier, it was a “full moment” as they remember competing in their first world championships on home soil in London, Ontario. In the year 2013.

“Ten, 11, 12 years later, we have a completely different moment,” Gill said. “But it is still something very special, and now we are closer to the top of the podium.”

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

As they watched the marks appear, Poirier had a surprised look on his face.

“I was exhausted. We really gave it everything we had for this performance,” he said as laughter circulated around the Bell Center press room.

They finished with a total of 219.68 points and worked their way to the top of the podium after placing third in rhythm dancing on Friday.

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It is their third medal at the worlds. They took bronze in 2021 and 2023 – just months after Jill had surgery for ovarian cancer.

The performance was not enough to unseat defending champions Madison Schock and Evan Bates of the United States.

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

“It was a combination of (exhaustion), relief that it got done, relief that it went well, joy that it went well, and joy that we were able to share a really special moment with this audience and enjoy it.” “All their energy and love,” Poirier said.

Chock and Bates, the 2022 Olympic champions, took gold with a season-best total of 222.20 after taking first place in rhythmic dance.

They have become the most decorated American ice dancers in the world with five medals but are unsure if they will build on that tally and compete next season.

“We have a lot to celebrate and a lot to evaluate before we move on to another season,” Chuck said. “It's not out of the realm of possibility but we're also not getting ahead of ourselves.”

Gilles and Poirier, both 32, weren't sure how long it would be before they hung up their blades, too.

“When we feel like we don't want to go to the rink every day, I think that's when you won't see us anymore,” Gill said.

Italians Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri won the bronze medal (216.52).

Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Laga of Saint-Hubert, Que., took fifth place after a beautiful program titled “Roses” by Jean-Michel Blais.

They scored a personal best of 208.01 points despite Lajoie suffering 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 that, it was the cherry on top,” Lajoie said.

Later on Saturday, American Ilya Malinin won the gold medal with a record-setting performance in the men's singles.

The 19-year-old hit six quadruple jumps to earn a free program world record score of 227.79, taking his total score to 333.76.

He beat two-time defending world champion Shoma Ono of Japan, who dropped to fourth place (280.85).

Japan's Yuma Kagiyama won silver (309.65) and Frenchman Adam Siao Him Fa won bronze (284.39).

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

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

This was the first time Montreal had hosted the event since 1932. The city was supposed to host the 2020 tournament but the COVID-19 pandemic halted the competition.

Boston will host the competition in 2025.

More about Sorensen

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

Sorensen and Fournier Beaudry withdrew from the Canadian Championships in January after USA Today reported that an American figure skating coach and former skater had accused Sorensen of sexually assaulting her in 2012. The case is currently being investigated by Canada's Office of the Sports Integrity Commissioner and has been investigated. These allegations. It was not proven in court.

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USA Today reported Saturday that Sorensen's complaint attorney, Nancy Hogshead, said another complaint has been filed against Sorensen with OSIC over comments the ice dancer made on March 6 that she says amounted to “retaliation” against the complainant.

“When something like this comes out in the media, the damage has kind of been done, and I think that was the intent more than anything else,” Sorensen said of the allegations at the time.

Sorensen declined the opportunity to comment on the matter on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2024.

Daniel Rainbird, The Canadian Press

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