Brian Joubert

Bio

Brian Joubert was born in Poitiers, Vienne to Jean-Michel and Raymonde Joubert; he has two older sisters, Sarah and Alexandra. He suffered a life-threatening illness at the age of 11 months, which led to the removal of one kidney.[5]

Joubert has been considered a heartthrob in his native country, France.[6][7] This reputation has been contributed by media appearances after his first victory at the 2004 European Championships and silver medal at the World Championships[8] and short relationship with former Miss France, Lætitia Bléger.[6][8] He later brought a lawsuit against Bléger for 40,000 Euros for insinuating that he was homosexual and that their relationship was arranged to hide this.[9] Bléger and two magazines that published her allegations were ordered by a French court to pay a total of 17,000 Euros, and to publish the court ruling in one of the two magazines.[10][11] He was later involved with Italian figure skater Valentina Marchei,[12] but the relationship eventually ended.

Joubert owns a bulldog named Blade[13] and raises tropical fish; these pets can occasionally be seen in television reports about his home life.[14] He is known as a motorcycle and car racing enthusiast.[6][15][16]

In March 2006, Joubert published his biography, Brian Joubert: le Feu sur la Glace (Brian Joubert: the fire on ice), in French.[17] A second book about him, entitled Brian Joubert sur papier glacé (Brian Joubert on paper ice), was published in February 2010.
[edit] Career
[edit] Early career

Brian Joubert began skating at the age of four with his sisters. Although he originally hoped to play hockey, Joubert became fascinated with the jumping aspect of figure skating.[6]

Joubert took part in few international events as a junior. His first major international competition was the 2000 World Junior Championships, where he placed 15th. The following season, he placed 4th at both his junior Grand Prix assignments, and later finished 14th at senior nationals, and failed to qualify for the French team for 2001 Junior Worlds. The president of the French Ice Sports Federation, Didier Gailhaguet, entered Joubert in the 2001 Top Jump competition, where he placed second.[18] Joubert turned senior following the 2000-2001 season.
[edit] Senior career
[edit] 2001–2006
Joubert at the 2004 Europeans

Joubert made his international senior debut at the 2001 Skate America, where he placed 9th. At French Nationals, he won the bronze medal, qualifying him for the 2002 European Championships. At the Europeans, Joubert surprised many by winning the bronze medal,[19][20] which earned him a spot on the 2002 Olympic team. Joubert was the youngest athlete to represent France at the Salt Lake City games[21] and finished 14th. He rose one spot to 13th at the 2002 World Championships the following month.

Joubert had better results in the 2002-2003 season. Following the withdrawal of Alexei Yagudin from the 2002 Skate America competition due to a hip injury, Joubert rose to the occasion and won the event. Combined with a fifth place finish at the 2002 Trophée Lalique, he qualified for his first Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, where he won the bronze medal. Joubert also won the French national championships that season, the first of six consecutive titles. He was the silver medalist at the 2003 Europeans and placed 6th at the 2003 Worlds.

In the 2003-2004 season, Joubert once again won a medal on the Grand Prix circuit. At the 2004 European Championships, he became the first Frenchman to win the event in 40 years[22] and the first non-Russian to win the event since 1996. He won his first World medal, a silver, at that year's World Championships.

The 2004-2005 season started well for Joubert; he won two Grand Prix medals and was the silver medalist at the 2005 European Championships, but dropped to 6th at the World Championships. Joubert fought back in 2005-2006, but had inconsistent results: he won two Grand Prix medals but did not qualify for the final, and won the bronze medal at the 2006 Europeans. Billed by the French media as a top medal contender for the Olympics,[8][23] Joubert finished a disappointing sixth at the 2006 Winter Olympics. He had a better showing at the 2006 World Championships, winning the short program and finishing with a silver medal behind Stéphane Lambiel.
[edit] 2006–2007 season

Joubert won every event he entered in the 2006-2007 season, including his two Grand Prix assignments, the Trophée Eric Bompard and the Cup of Russia, as well as the Grand Prix Final in Saint Petersburg. He then reclaimed his European title at the 2007 European Championships in Warsaw.

Joubert was injured while training in February 2007; the blade of his left skate slashed into his right foot during a triple lutz, an injury that required stitches to his tendon.[24] He returned to the ice only a few days later [25] but the injury did not fully heal until a few days prior to the 2007 World Championships, and he was unable to properly train lutzes and flips. Despite this setback, Joubert skated well enough in Tokyo to earn his first World title.[26] He finished 3rd in the long program, but had built up enough of a lead in the short program to win overall, with a then-personal best score of 240.85.[27] French daily evening newspaper Le Monde and French nationwide daily sports newspaper L'Équipe put him on the front page.[16]
[edit] 2007–2008 season

Joubert began the 2007-2008 season at Skate Canada, which he won. He was forced to withdraw from the Trophée Eric Bompard, his second Grand Prix event, due to illness.[28] Although he continued to suffer from fatigue for several weeks afterward, Joubert was able to win his sixth consecutive national title; at that point, he had won ten consecutive events over two seasons.[29] At the 2008 European Championships in January 2008, Joubert earned the bronze medal despite a fall on the triple axel in the short program and mistakes in the long program. In March 2008, he competed at the 2008 World Championships, where he was sixth after the short program but rallied to win the silver medal behind Canadian Jeffrey Buttle.[30]
[edit] 2008–2009 season
Joubert at the 2008 Trophée Eric Bompard.

In the 2008-2009 ISU Grand Prix season, Joubert finished 4th at the Trophée Eric Bompard, then won the Cup of Russia and qualified for the Grand Prix Final. He withdrew from this event before the long program due to a back injury,[31] and withdrew from the 2009 French Championships prior to the event. He replaced his first long program with a new one, the first time he had made such a change in the middle of a season.[32]

At the 2009 European Championships, Joubert scored a new personal best to take the lead after the short program, and finished second in the long program. His total score was high enough to win his third European title. At the 2009 World Championships, he led after the short program, but had problems on some of his jumps in the long program and finished third overall. He then made a coaching change prior to the season ending event, the inaugural World Team Trophy, where he finished second in the men's event; Team France finished 4th.
[edit] 2009–2010 Season
Joubert at the 2010 World Championships

In the 2009-2010 ISU Grand Prix season, Joubert again had a disappointing fourth place finish at the Trophée Eric Bompard, before winning the NHK Trophy for the first time in his career. The combined placements enabled him to qualify for the 2009–2010 Grand Prix Final.[33] However, he sustained a serious foot injury in practice in late November 2009. During a triple lutz attempt, his left blade sliced his right foot and cut to the bone – a similar injury to the one he had suffered in February 2007, but more serious than the previous time.[34][25] Surgery was required to repair tendon and ligament damage, and Joubert consequently withdrew from the Grand Prix Final[35] and from the French Championships in December. He was unable to resume normal training for several weeks.[36] Joubert returned in time for the 2010 European championships, where he set a new personal best score for the short program but faltered in the free skate, finishing third overall.

At the 2010 Winter Olympics, Joubert, considered by many to be a gold medal contender, skated poorly in the short program and wound up in 16th place at the end of the competition. "It's another disappointment at the Olympic Games. These Games have beaten me," Joubert told reporters. "I just can't do it at the Olympic Games. Every time it goes badly. I don't understand why. I can't explain why."[37] Forced to undergo a selection test in order to be sent to the World Championships, Joubert made an impressive recovery at that event. In the short program, he successfully landed a quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination and two additional triples, finishing third in that segment of the competition. He then landed two more quadruple toe loops in the free skate but made mistakes on some of his other jumps, finishing fourth in that segment and winning his fifth consecutive medal at Worlds, a bronze. Joubert later said that he was very proud of his performance; he added that he had been unsure whether he would be able to compete again and had achieved his main goal, which was to regain his confidence.[38]
[edit] 2010–2011 season

Joubert's assigned events for the 2010-2011 ISU Grand Prix season were the 2010 Cup of China and the 2010 Trophée Eric Bompard. He once again began the season with a fourth place finish at his first Grand Prix. Needing a win at the Trophée Eric Bompard to qualify for the Grand Prix final, Joubert had a difficult short program and withdrew prior to the long program because of gastroenteritis.[39] Joubert recovered in time to compete at the French National Championships, and won his seventh national title.[40]

Only seventh after the short program, Joubert was first in the free skate to win the silver medal at the 2011 European Championships, his tenth medal at the competition. This equaled the record set by Ulrich Salchow and later matched by Karl Schäfer for most medals by a singles skater at the Europeans;[41] both Schäfer and Joubert won their medals consecutively. Joubert later said he feels less pressure with Amodio's emergence, "It's good for me; [the media] are no longer focused on just me.".[42]

Joubert injured his left knee during the season, and by the time of the 2011 Worlds, he was receiving injections in an attempt to manage the pain.[42][43] A mistake on his quad jump, meant to be part of a jump combination, left Joubert in ninth place after the short program. In the free skating, Joubert cut his hand on his skate blade and required medical attention afterward, but skated well nonetheless to finish fourth in that segment, moving up one spot to eighth.[44] Although it was the first time he'd finished off the podium at Worlds since 2005, Joubert stated that he was very happy with his free skate, referring to it as the most emotional of his career. He added that it felt good to finish his season with such a performance.[45]

In a post-season interview, Joubert said that the 2010-11 season had not turned out as he'd hoped, but that he still had a strong record throughout his career. He added that "perhaps I was burned out after so many years. I was also worried about my left knee. I put pressure on my hips more and more to compensate for the pain I was feeling". Following the season, Joubert consulted different specialists about his knee injury and was told he would be unlikely to fully recover his normal strength if he underwent surgery; he therefore decided on a strict diet and specific exercises to restore his musculature balance.[46]
[edit] 2011–2012 season

Joubert's assignments for the 2011-12 Grand Prix season are the 2011 Cup of China and the 2011 Trophée Eric Bompard.[47] He is also expected to compete at the 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy.[48] He will continue working with choreographer David Wilson.[46]
[edit] Skating technique

Joubert is known for his strong jumping ability. He has landed the quadruple salchow jump in competition and has a consistent quadruple toe loop jump. Since 2001, he has landed more than 100 quadruple jumps in international competitions.[citation needed] At the 2006 Cup of Russia competition, Joubert landed three quadruple jumps in his free skate: two toe loops (one in combination) and a salchow.[49][50] Joubert has stated in interviews that he considers quadruple jumps to be important for the future of figure skating as a sport.[51]

Joubert is the only European skater who has performed three quadruple jumps in a free program, and as of 2011, the only skater to have done so under the New Judging System. Although the triple lutz is normally consistent for him in practice, he has twice cut his right foot while picking in for the jump.[52][53]

According to the Japanese TV program "Miracle Body", Joubert's abdominal muscle is very strong, and he does not lose centrifugal force at the time of a turn. His muscular strength of the foot was compared to that of a track-and-field athlete who can run 100m in ten seconds. A sports science physician of the University of Poitiers said Joubert jumps at the best angle possible for quadruple jumps.[14]

Early in his career, Joubert was criticized for the lack of variety in his spins, but he has since worked on his spins with Swiss skater Lucinda Ruh and he is usually able to receive good levels on his spins.

Profile

RepresentsFrance
Height 5'10"
Level Senior
Birthday September 20, 1984
Birth Place Poitiers
Home Town Poitiers
Training Town Poitiers
Club Club France F.F.S.G.
Coach Veronique Guyon
Choreographer(s) Antonio Najarro
Website http://www.brian-joubert.com/

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