They deserved it! Eleven (I can't get over that number!) consecutive trips to the World Figure Skating Championships and to never have even medaled in the previous ten just astounds me. The pure ability to continually persevere for all these years is just amazing.
Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder of France not only picked up their first World Championship medal this past week, it was gold! Their program, set to the beautiful sounds of Michael Nyman's score from the "Piano" soundtrack was amazing. I just love how they speak to one another in sign language (if you haven't seen the movie...do!) throughout the program and the deep edges they use in their footwork...breathtaking.
The future for this team is unclear...they hinted this past week that this could be their last World Championships. Isabelle, the oldest competitor in the entire competition, as well as her partner, have been competing since before some of the competitors were even born.
Whatever path they choose, this moment will certainly be remembered! This was their statement about their free dance on their website:
"It's a message of empathy towards them, who supported us for so many years, for those who believe in us... They gave us a certain strength and it's with joy and our biggest satisfaction that we have offered them a Marseillaise here in Goteborg.
These World's were "royal": an extraordinary organization, a magnificent site with a grandiose ice rink and a Wow! audience. Each competition, be it ice dance or the other events, were rewarded with a packed arena full of enthusiasm and an energy that gave us wings! People are really nice and you, our fans (no doubt not all of you) were here for us... In spite of all this, the competition was beautiful and difficult (especially for the free dance where there was a palpable tension backstage), we had a program with no mistakes and we won the gold... it was royal! So much emotion and especially beautiful moments and wonderful memories for the future..."