Deanna Stellato-Dudek, retired for 15 years, is oldest Grand Prix figure skating champ

Deanna Stellato-Dudek, Maxime Deschamps
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Canadian Deanna Stellato-Dudek, the 2000 World junior silver medalist who retired from figure skating in 2001 due to injuries, then came back in 2016, became the oldest skater to win a Grand Prix event at age 39.

Stellato-Dudek and pairs’ partner Maxime Deschamps won Grand Prix France and qualified for December’s Grand Prix Final, the most exclusive event in the sport taking the top six per discipline.

They totaled 185.84 points between two programs in France, beating French national champions Camille Kovalev and Pavel Kovalev by 5.99 despite a fall on a throw triple loop in both the short program and free skate.

GRAND PRIX FRANCE: Broadcast Schedule | Results

Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps prevailed two weeks after taking runner-up at Skate America, where she became the oldest skater to make a Grand Prix podium.

Their rise coincided with the absence of the world’s top pairs this fall. All Russians are banned due to the invasion of Ukraine. No Chinese pairs are entered in the Grand Prix Series. Russian and Chinese pairs took up the top five spots at the Olympics.

Stellato-Dudek, who is older than 2002 Olympic champion Sarah Hughes, retired from skating after several hip injuries, a year after taking silver at junior worlds (four spots ahead of Sasha Cohen, who is also younger than Stellato-Dudek).

More than a decade later, Stellato-Dudek was a director of aesthetics at a plastic surgery office in her native Chicagoland. While on a work retreat, she was asked to write down what she would do if she knew she couldn’t fail.

Return to figure skating, she wrote. That led to a comeback in pairs with 2014 Olympian Nathan Bartholomay. They finished third at the U.S. Championships in 2018 and 2019, after which she began the process of switching nationality to Canada and partnered with Deschamps, who previously had eight different partners, according to Olympics.com.

Come the next Winter Games, Stellato-Dudek will be 42 and older than any Olympic figure skater since World War II, according to Olympedia.org.

Earlier Saturday, Loena Hendrickx became the first Belgian skater to win a Grand Prix and the oldest Grand Prix women’s champion in a decade.

Hendrickx, the world silver medalist and the lone skater across all disciplines in France to have made an Olympic or senior world podium, totaled 216.34 points, distancing South Korean Kim Ye-Lim by 21.58 points. Hendrickx, 23, ranks third in the world this season by best score behind Japanese Mao Shimada (a junior) and Kaori Sakamoto.

Adam Siao Him Fa became the first Frenchman to win a Grand Prix since Brian Joubert in 2009, rallying past Japanese Sota Yamamoto and Kazuki Tomono with three quadruple jumps in his free skate.

Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri won the ice dance, as expected. The Italians totaled 207.95 for their first Grand Prix title after second- or third-place finishes in their last seven Grand Prix starts, including the 2018 Grand Prix Final. They rank second in the world by best score this season behind Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier.

The Grand Prix moves next weekend to Sheffield, England, headlined by Americans: world pairs’ champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, two-time U.S. champion Bradie Tennell and world junior champion Isabeau Levito.

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2022 Grand Prix Final figure skating TV, live stream schedule

Ilia Malinin
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The Grand Prix Final, the most exclusive figure skating competition of the season and a preview of March’s world championships, airs live on Peacock and E! this week.

The top six per discipline from the six-event fall Grand Prix Series gather in Turin, Italy, at the Palavela, the 2006 Olympic venue. It’s the first Grand Prix Final in three years after the 2020 and 2021 events were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. qualified skaters in all four disciplines for the first time since 2007, led by the world’s top-ranked man. Ilia Malinin, who turned 18 last Friday, has been the story of the season, becoming the first skater to land a quadruple Axel in competition.

Malinin, the reigning world junior champion, won both of his Grand Prix starts and posted the best total score among all fall events, edging world champion Shoma Uno of Japan. Malinin and Uno will go head-to-head for the first time this season at the Final.

Isabeau Levito, a 15-year-old world junior champion, is the youngest American at a Final since Caroline Zhang in 2007. She qualified in fifth place. The favorites are Japan’s Mai Mihara and Kaori Sakamoto and Belgian Loena Hendrickx.

The U.S. also qualified two pairs’ teams — world champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier and Emily Chan and Spencer Howe — and two ice dance couples — three-time world medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates and Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker.

For the first time, the Final has no Russian skaters. They are banned from international competition due to the war in Ukraine. For the first time in 25 years, there are no Chinese skaters. China’s top pairs’ teams did not compete in the fall Grand Prix Series.

Grand Prix Final Broadcast Schedule
All TV coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

Day Event Time (ET) Platform
Thursday Pairs’ Short Program 1:20-2:15 p.m. Peacock
Men’s Short Program 2:35-3:20 p.m. Peacock
Friday Pairs’ Free Skate 11:35 a.m.-12:40 p.m. Peacock
Rhythm Dance 1:50-2:45 p.m. Peacock
Women’s Short Program 3:05-3:50 p.m. Peacock
Saturday Men’s Short Program* 6:30-7:30 a.m. E!
Men’s Free Skate 7:30-8:30 a.m. E!, Peacock
Women’s Short Program* 8:30-9:30 a.m. E!
Free Dance 1:40-2:40 p.m. Peacock
Women’s Free Skate 3-3:55 p.m. Peacock
Sunday Highlights* 4-6 p.m. NBC

*Delayed broadcast.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde sweeps Beaver Creek World Cup races

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Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde held off Swiss Marco Odermatt for a second consecutive day to sweep World Cup races in Beaver Creek, Colorado, this weekend.

Kilde won Sunday’s super-G by two tenths of a second over Odermatt, one day after edging Odermatt by six hundredths. France’s Alexis Pinturault took third as the podium was made up of the last three men to win the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing.

This season’s overall figures to be a two-man battle between Kilde, the 2019-20 champion, and Odermatt, the reigning champion, and could come down to March’s World Cup Finals. They’ve combined to win the first five of 38 scheduled races.

The top American Sunday was River Radamus, who finished an impressive 16th given his start number was 57. Radamus’ best event is the giant slalom.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle, the Olympic super-G silver medalist, and Travis Ganong, who was third in Beaver Creek last year, both skied out.

The men’s World Cup heads next weekend to Val d’Isere, France, for a giant slalom and slalom.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

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