Brian Joubert was thought to have retired after his fourth Olympics in Sochi, but the French figure skater made major changes to those plans.
Joubert, the 2007 World champion with a best Olympic finish of sixth, wants to continue his career as a Russian, in pairs skating, according to Russia’s Sport-Express.
Joubert, 29, plans to team with Russian Katarina Gerboldt, 25. Gerboldt is also a former singles skater, placing sixth at the 2009 European Championships. In pairs, she was seventh at last season’s Russian Championships.
The newspaper said Joubert’s decision to align with Russia was at least partially influenced by advice from French-born actor Gerard Depardieu, who was granted Russian citizenship in January 2013.