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

Deanna Stellato-Dudek, Maxime Deschamps

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

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

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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Coco Gauff into French Open quarterfinals, where Iga Swiatek may await

Coco Gauff French Open

Coco Gauff swept into the French Open quarterfinals, where she could play Iga Swiatek in a rematch of last year’s final.

Gauff, the sixth seed, beat 100th-ranked Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 7-5, 6-2 in the fourth round. She next plays Swiatek or 66th-ranked Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko, who meet later Monday.

Gauff earned a 37th consecutive win over a player ranked outside the top 50, dating to February 2022. She hasn’t faced a player in the world top 60 in four matches at Roland Garros, but the degree of difficulty is likely to ratchet up in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

Swiatek won all 12 sets she’s played against Gauff, who at 19 is the only teenager in the top 49 in the world.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

Also Monday, No. 7 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia dispatched 36th-ranked American Bernarda Pera 6-3, 6-1, breaking all eight of Pera’s service games.

Jabeur, runner-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year, has now reached the quarterfinals of all four majors.

Jabeur next faces 14th-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia, who won 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-5 over Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo, who played on a protected ranking of 68. Haddad Maia became the second Brazilian woman to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal in the Open Era (since 1968) after Maria Bueno, who won seven majors from 1959-1966.

Pera, a 28 year-old born in Croatia, was the oldest U.S. singles player to make the fourth round of a major for the first time since Jill Craybas at 2005 Wimbledon. Her defeat left Gauff as the lone American singles player remaining out of the 35 entered in the main draws.

The last American to win a major singles title was Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought matches the longest in history (since 1877) for American men and women combined.

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U.S. earns first three-peat in Para hockey world championship history

Para Ice Hockey
International Paralympic Committee

The U.S. trounced rival Canada 6-1 to become the first nation to three-peat in world Para hockey championship history.

Tournament MVP Declan Farmer scored twice, and Josh Misiewicz, David Eustace, Jack Wallace and Kevin McKee added goals. Jen Lee made eight saves in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, on Sunday.

Farmer, who had nine goals in five games for the tournament, also scored twice in Paralympic final wins over Canada in 2018 and 2022 and the last world championship final against Canada in 2021. Farmer, 25, already owns the career national team record of more than 250 points.

The U.S. beat Canada in a third consecutive world final dating to 2019, but this was the most lopsided gold-medal game in championship history. The U.S. also won the last four Paralympic titles dating to 2010.

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