Grand Prix de France 2023 Commentary
In this week’s episode, we’re talking about the third stop of the 2023 ISU Grand Prix Series — the Grand Prix de France. (a.k.a. the formal coronation of Adam Siao Him Fa as a frontrunner for the World podium!)
It’s been a minute since we’ve seen a super close competition between two of the best in the game, but Ilia Malinin and Adam Siao Him Fa brought the fireworks for Algers, France. Both of them turned in incredible (if not World Championship quality!) programs — with Adam squeaking past Ilia by just 2 points!
Worth noting: BOTH skaters went over the 300 point mark! Plus, Ilia Malinin became the first man this season to punch his ticket to the Grand Prix Final.
This competition also gave us our first look at Yuma Kagiyama on the Grand Prix circuit this season — and what a wonderful return it was after almost a full season without him due to injury. He’s still leveling back up his technical content, but the pop in his jumps and his gorgeous glide across the ice was the class of the field.
Ice Dance Competition
To no one’s surprise, this competition was really between two well seasoned teams that are amongst the top in the world: Charlène Guignard & Marco Fabbri and Laurence Fournier Beaudry & Nikolaj Sorenson. Italy’s Guignard & Fabbri took the title with two strong, highly technical programs that put them in great position leading into their next Grand Prix, as well as the final.
Definitely one of the upsets of the competition belongs to the relatively new team of Lia Pereira & Trennt Michaud. The Canadians took gold over Italy’s reigning World bronze medalists, Sara Conti & Niccolo Macii.
Pereira & Michaud, fresh off their Skate America silver medal, all but locked in their trip to the Grand Prix final with their first big win!
The most volatile competition of the event! Isabeau Levito took her first Grand Prix gold here, but to everyone’s surprise was less than perfect in the long, with several uncharacteristic mistakes. Still a gorgeous short program, strong technical content, and fewer mistakes than most solidly scored the GP win she’s been seeking—as well as a ticket to the Grand Prix final.
The other two women on the podium, Nina Pinzarrone and Rion Sumiyoshi, both moved up significantly and took advantage of the moment when others faltered — with Rion even landing her first ratified quad toeloop in International competition!
We also saw the return of one of skating’s most beloved stars – Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi. She may have placed fifth, but she showed the power, precision, and passion that she’s known for — and we can’t wait to see more!