Lia Pereira, left, and Trennt Michaud, of Canada, compete in the pairs free skate program during the Skate America figure skating event in Allen, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)(AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
(AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

Pereira and Michaud win gold at Grand Prix de France, Fournier Beaudry and Soerensen earn silver

Lia Pereira and Trennt Michaud finish on top of the pairs podium at the Grand Prix de France in Angers on Saturday. Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen clinch silver in the ice dance competition.

This is the third of six events in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series before the Final in Beijing during December.

Pereira and Michaud finished with an overall score of 194.67 in the pairs program. They upset favourites and reigning ISU European Champions, Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii of Italy (189.46). France’s Camille Kovalev and Pavel Kovalev finished with the bronze medal (172.88).

On Friday, Pereira and Michaud led the short program and achieved a new personal best with a score of 65.97. Skating to “River” by Bishop Briggs, the Canadian’s laid down a strong short program that was highlighted by a set of triple toes, a triple twist, throw triple loop and three level-four elements.

“We’re really proud of our skate today,” Pereira said. “We try to take every new competition as a learning experience and to push ourselves to skate better and better each time. 

In the ice dance competition, 2023 Canadian Ice Dance Champions Fournier Beaudry and Soerensen posted an overall score of 205.15 to secure the silver medal. Their dramatic dance to “Notre Dame de Paris” was highlighted by beautiful lifts and a level-four dance spin.

“We are just so happy again to be able to perform this free dance in front of an amazing crowd,” Soerensen said. It’s a program that really showcases our strengths and we just enjoyed so much. It was really a joy to be able to catch the moment and build on that momentum that this free dance gives us emotionally.” 

Italy’s Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri and France’s Evgeniia Lopareva and Geoffrey Brissaud retained their positions from the free dance to capture gold (214.54) and bronze (190.82), respectively. The duo of Marie-Jade Lauriault and Romain Le Gac finished fifth (182.61).

On Friday, the Canadians put together a relatively clean rhythm performance. Skating to a Top Gun theme, they successfully executed their twizzles and put together a season-best score of 80.98.

“We had a lot of fun out there today and it was a bit of a turnaround from Finland (Finlandia Trophy) where we didn’t skate our best,” Soerensen said. 

In the men’s competition, Stephen Gogolev finished seventh overall with a score of 228.74.

The Grand Prix de France is the third competition in the annual International Skating Union Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. Next up, figure skaters will head to the Cup of China from November 10-12, 2023 in Chongqing. 

READ: Canadian pairs and ice dance team win gold at Skate Canada International

Last weekend, Canadians had a strong showing at Skate Canada International, securing gold in both the ice dance and pairs competition. Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps won the pairs gold medal in Vancouver for their second gold medal from the ISU Grand Prix Series, but first at Skate Canada. Meanwhile, competing in their first event this season, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier won ice dance gold for the fourth year in a row.