Gabriella Papadakis, Guillaume Cizeron win figure skating worlds ice dance, break record

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From an adoring home crowd to their faces on trash cans, it was an unforgettable week for French ice dancers Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. They capped it with the best ice dance performance in history.

Papadakis and Cizeron followed their Olympic gold with their fifth world title, posting the highest score ever to close the world championships in Montpellier on Saturday.

“In Beijing, we were really going there to compete and to get the gold, and that was our goal,” Cizeron said. “Here, I think we saw it more as a celebration of our journey, of our school, of the sport.”

Papadakis and Cizeron broke their own records for the rhythm dance, free dance and total score, tallying 229.82 points, which was 2.84 more than the previous high they set at the Olympics.

They distanced silver medalists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue by 7.43 points, the third-largest margin of victory since the new scoring system was implemented in 2005. Madison Chock and Evan Bates took bronze, completing a podium of three dance couples that train together in Montreal that all produced personal bests.

FIGURE SKATING WORLDS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Papadakis and Cizeron now own the three biggest margins of victory and are one world title shy of the dance record set by Liudmila Pakhomova and Aleksander Gorshkov in the 1970s. Not that they focus on numbers.

“True story, when we’re in the kiss and cry and the score comes up, we have no idea what it means,” said Papadakis, whose dad owns the Big Fat Greek Gyros food truck in Austin, Texas. “We look at the coaches to ask if it’s good or not.”

Before their free dance, Cizeron felt chills from the screaming audience, which was largely absent at the Olympics. He had difficulty holding back tears. Papadakis said it was a once-in-a-lifetime event to compete at the top of their game at a home world championships, where their faces were everywhere.

“We’ve seen ourselves on trash cans; we’ll take it as a compliment,” Cizeron said. “Hand sanitizer, water bottles, a tramway, many bathrooms. … Our coach Marie-France [Dubreuil] said, ‘You know you’ve made it when your face is on a bottle of water.’

“We would rather have it on a bottle of Champagne.”

Nobody in the world field has beaten the French in more than seven years. Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, the Olympic silver medalists and only couple to beat the French since the 2018 Olympics, weren’t at worlds due to the Russian ban.

The U.S. won at least one dance medal for a seventh consecutive time and, for the first time since 2016, earned two medals. Overall, American dance couples grabbed 17 medals in the last 17 years, with the last gold in 2013.

Hubbell and Donohue, the Olympic bronze medalists, earned their fourth world championships medal (all silver or bronze) in their final competition before retirement. Hubbell had said her goal was to not cry until after the performance, but she couldn’t even make it through the morning practice without full sobs of happy tears.

“I wasn’t handling it super well,” she said. “I wasn’t going to search for the emotion of it being my last time and instead celebrate what I’ve been able to become over the last 22 years. I couldn’t be happier with what we did on the ice.”

Chock and Bates picked up their third world medal, and their first in six years.

“It certainly hasn’t been an easy path getting back onto the world podium,” Chock said. “I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way because I feel like we were meant to take this journey.”

The U.S. earned a medal in every discipline at worlds for the first time since 1967, thanks in part to Russia’s ban and China sending no skaters. The U.S. has never won a medal in all four disciplines at an Olympics since dance debuted in 1976.

Next year, the U.S. is expected to have the maximum three entries in all three disciplines at a worlds for the first time since 1982, pending confirmation of pairs’ spots after Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc‘s withdrawal due to injury during the free skate.

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U.S. men’s gymnastics team named for world championships

Asher Hong
Allison and John Cheng/USA Gymnastics
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Asher Hong, Colt Walker and world pommel horse champion Stephen Nedoroscik were named to the last three spots on the U.S. men’s gymnastics team for the world championships that start in three weeks.

Brody Malone and Donnell Whittenburg earned the first spots on the team by placing first and second in the all-around at August’s U.S. Championships.

Hong, Walker and Nedoroscik were chosen by a committee after two days of selection camp competition in Colorado Springs this week. Malone and Whittenburg did not compete at the camp.

Hong, 18, will become the youngest U.S. man to compete at worlds since Danell Leyva in 2009. He nearly earned a spot on the team at the U.S. Championships, but erred on his 12th and final routine of that meet to drop from second to third in the all-around. At this week’s camp, Hong had the lowest all-around total of the four men competing on all six apparatuses, but selectors still chose him over Tokyo Olympians Yul Moldauer and Shane Wiskus.

Walker, a Stanford junior, will make his world championships debut. He would have placed second at nationals in August if a bonus system for attempting difficult skills wasn’t in place. With that bonus system not in place at the selection camp, he had the highest all-around total. The bonus system is not used at international meets such as world championships.

Nedoroscik rebounded from missing the Tokyo Olympic team to become the first American to win a world title on pommel horse last fall. Though he is the lone active U.S. male gymnast with a global gold medal, he was in danger of missing this five-man team because of struggles on the horse at the U.S. Championships. Nedoroscik, who does not compete on the other five apparatuses, put up his best horse routine of the season on the last day of the selection camp Wednesday.

Moldauer, who tweeted that he was sick all last week, was named the traveling alternate for worlds in Liverpool, Great Britain. It would be the first time that Moldauer, who was fourth in the all-around at last fall’s worlds, does not compete at worlds since 2015.

Though the U.S. has not made the team podium at an Olympics or worlds since 2014, it is boosted this year by the absence of Olympic champion Russia, whose athletes are banned indefinitely due to the war in Ukraine. In recent years, the U.S. has been among the nations in the second tier behind China, Japan and Russia, including in Tokyo, where the Americans were fifth.

The U.S. women’s world team of five will be announced after a selection camp in two weeks. Tokyo Olympians Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles are in contention.

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Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024
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The 2024 Olympic marathon route will take runners from Paris to Versailles and back.

The route announcement was made on the 233rd anniversary of one of the early, significant events of the French Revolution: the Women’s March on Versailles — “to pay tribute to the thousands of women who started their march at city hall to Versailles to take up their grievances to the king and ask for bread,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said.

Last December, organizers announced the marathons will start at Hôtel de Ville (city hall, opposite Notre-Dame off the Seine River) and end at Les Invalides, a complex of museums and monuments one mile southeast of the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, the rest of the route was unveiled — traversing the banks of the Seine west to the Palace of Versailles and then back east, passing the Eiffel Tower before the finish.

The men’s and women’s marathons will be on the last two days of the Games at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). It will be the first time that the women’s marathon is held on the last day of the Games after the men’s marathon traditionally occupied that slot.

A mass public marathon will also be held on the Olympic marathon route. The date has not been announced.

The full list of highlights among the marathon course:

• Hôtel de ville de Paris (start)
• Bourse de commerce
• Palais Brongniart
• Opéra Garnier
• Place Vendôme
• Jardin des Tuileries
• The Louvre
• Place de la Concorde
• The bridges of Paris
(Pont de l’Alma; Alexandre III;
Iéna; and more)
• Grand Palais
• Palais de Tokyo
• Jardins du Trocadéro
• Maison de la Radio
• Manufacture et Musées
nationaux de Sèvres
• Forêt domaniale
des Fausses-Reposes
• Monuments Pershing –
Lafayette
• Château de Versailles
• Forêt domaniale de Meudon
• Parc André Citroën
• Eiffel Tower
• Musée Rodin
• Esplanade des Invalides (finish)

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