Papadakis and Cizeron to skip all events until World Championships

Four-time world champion ice dancers say they do not want to risk being denied re-entry to Canada if they travel to compete in Europe

By ZK Goh

Ice dance world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron will not take part in any international events this season until the World Championships in Stockholm in March.

The Montreal-based duo have announced they will miss both the French national championships in December and January's European Championships, set for Zagreb, in part due to ongoing uncertainties relating to travel restrictions when re-entering Canada.

Papadakis and Cizeron have not competed since this year's European Championships in January, when they suffered a surprise defeat to Russia's Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov. They had been assigned to this year's Internationaux de France Grand Prix in Grenoble, which was later cancelled.

If they return at the Worlds in March, they will have spent 14 months away from competition.

Avoiding being "stranded in Europe"

Speaking to French media, Cizeron – who was diagnosed with and later recovered from the virus in the summer – said that the possibility of not being allowed back into Canada was a factor in the pair's decision.

"We did not feel like being stranded in Europe or being separated," he said.

Papadakis added: "We told ourselves that the most reasonable thing to do is aim at the World Championships which is the most important competition of the season."

While the four-time world champions have not skated competitively since the Europeans in Austria, they showed off part of their new free dance routine – a flamenco – in a recent online show hosted by their skating club in Montreal.

"We wanted to stop being disillusioned with cancelled competitions," Cizeron added. "We prefer to be focussed on training in Montreal until the World Championships."