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French Roundup: James Gets Citizenship; Joubert Training All Out

Vanessa James received some good news for Christmas: French officials will grant her citizenship. James received notification on Tuesday, just hours before the French Olympic committee officially named her (and partner Yannick Bonheur) to the Olympic team for Vancouver.

Born in Canada (Scarborough, Ont.) 22 years ago (she was born on Sept. 27 1989), James held a British passport. She was GBR national champion in 2006 and placed 27th at the 2007 ISU Junior World Championships before moving to France.

"We are both excited and thrilled by the news," Bonheur told IFS. Today, they are flying to Indianapolis to train there until the Europeans.

Meanwhile Brian Joubert is training all out in an effort to be ready for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Sidelined by surgery to a ligament on a toe, he missed nationals but has been named to the country's Olympic team.

Last Monday, he ran through his whole short program which included a quad, but adapted the program. In the original choreography he performs a triple Lutz as the solo triple but skipped that element in the run-through. He has practiced the jump, but is being cautious to avoid another injury. Joubert has been landing the eaiser triples and is working his way back to successfully landing the triple Lutz.

In his free program he is planning on executing two triple Lutzes and one or two triple flips (depending on how he feels on the ice and if he is attempting one or two or even three quads).

Last Tuesday, as he i headlined a Christmas gala in Courchevel (which is scheduled air on French TV on Sunday, Dec. 27).

In other news, it appears that Gwendoline Didier might appeal the decision, which was made last week to send French skater to compete in the ladies discipline at Europeans.

Didier placed third last weekend at Franch nationals in Marseilles, behind Léna Marrocco and Maé-Bérénice Meité.

As both Marrocco and Meité do not meet ISU regulations, which stipulate a skater has to be 15 years of age by July 1st in order to participate in ISU Championships (Marrocco just turned 14 on Nov. 13 and Meité is 15 since Sept. 21), Didier could have been selected for the European Championships. In the past, skaters have won court cases such as this one.


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