Préaubert Takes a Classical Approach

Alban Préaubert

Alban Préaubert graduated from the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris Europe with an MBA in late May. His final submission was an essay entitled “Keys to Boost Media Interest in Figure Skating in France.”

But Préaubert is not quitting skating to obtain a job in his field. “My motivation to skate is still intact, especially because I am done with school,” he said. “Summer camp in Courchevel went perfectly. I never felt so good so early in the season, especially with the quad, which I hope will be more consistent in future competitions.

“I have no injuries and no real fatigue. I feel as if I am 20 again.” Préaubert turned 25 in September.

He returned to work with someone who had helped him in the past to craft the choreography for his free routine. “I was very pleased with the work I did with Pasquale Camerlengo in 2006, and I knew I would not be disappointed if I called him again,” said Préaubert, the eighth-ranked skater in the International Skating Union (ISU) World Standings.

“So I traveled to the U.S. and stayed for two weeks. The direction he is leading me in is totally new, but I feel at ease.”

His coach, Annick Dumont, suggested a classical theme for the free program. “I do love classical music, but I feel it has been over-used in the past,” he observed. “That explains some of the risky choices I made in the past. I always loved Schubert’s ‘Piano Trio in E Flat,’ especially in the movie ‘Barry Lyndon.’ We chose it and then asked some judges, technical specialists and officials from the French federation to monitor the program. We received good feedback.”

For the short he selected a jazzy piece called “Turtle Shoes” by Bobby McFerrin, which was choreographed by Romain Haguenauer in Lyon.

Préaubert said he is in favor of some of the technical changes that were instituted by the ISU this year. “In the short program my choice would have been to reduce the number of spins [from three to two] and to stay with two footwork sequences. But at least the base value of quads and the triple Axel have been increased, and that should reward risks taken.”

For the first time since the 2005-2006 season Préaubert will not compete at a Grand Prix event on home soil. Nonetheless, he is happy with his assignments, Skate Canada and Rostelecom Cup. “These two countries are the ones I cherish the most, so I am pleased to skate in Kingston [Ontario] and in Moscow,” he said.

“Of course Brian [Joubert] and Florent [Amodio] deserved the Trophée Bompard assignment because of their results last season. And the French federation did the right thing in selecting a newcomer, Chafik Besseghier [fifth at last year’s nationals], who otherwise would never have gotten a Grand Prix assignment.” This kind of sportsmanship is typical of Préaubert.

After winning four bronze medals at the national championships, Préaubert said his goal this season is to win the French national title. He is also hoping to medal at Europeans (his best result was fifth in 2009) and possibly improve his placement at the Winter Universiade, where he ranked third in 2009.

Originally published in December 2010