For the second time in as many years, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron struck gold at a World Championships, and, in Boston, they iced the victory with a record-breaking score in the free dance. The reigning World champions scored 118.17 points for the free dance, and wiped out the record set by Meryl Davis and Charlie White at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
“We didn’t expect these high marks at all,” Papadakis said of their combined score of 194.46. “We were really able to give our very best tonight. It took us a moment at the end of our program to realize what we have achieved. I still can’t believe it. I just want to catch this moment and enjoy it.”
Papadakis and Cizeron used the ice as a canvas, and created a work of art with their “To Build a Home” program, that was more than just an athletic feat — it was a masterpiece; a demonstration of how two people can work together to become one and yet still remain individuals. The audience showered them with a raucous standing ovation.
“It was such a special moment, such an incredible feeling. The crowd was awesome,” Cizeron said. “I want to congratulate both other dance teams for skating so well. It was really an honor to compete against you.”
Skating last and immediately after the champions, America’s Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani created a similar stir. In their “Coldplay” free dance, the siblings threw caution to the wind and exposed their hearts on their sleeves.
“It’s so incredible, it’s been such a journey for us we’ve been working hard this whole year and we‘re so excited to have skated clean at a home World Championships,” Maia Shibutani said. “It is a huge honor. We‘re very happy.”It was the first time they had stood on a World podium since their debut in 2011. They claimed silver with 188.43 points overall.
Silver medalists a year ago, Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates maintained their standing after the short dance to capture the bronze medals. The duo earned 185.77 points, a career high score for the 2015 U.S. champions. “It’s been a long, hard season for us and we’re so happy that we could put out our best free dance at World Championships,” Chock said.
Bates added: “It was wonderful to skate here in front of the home crowd. The audience really helped us to pour our emotions into the program. It was our best performance this season.”
Leapfrogging over a pair of Canadian teams, were Italy’s Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, who finished just off the podium for the second straight season. The 2014 World champions were nevertheless encouraged by a career best score in the free dance and overall.
“It’s exactly what we needed because yesterday we didn’t skate our best in the short dance,” Cappellini said. “I have to say that perhaps the motivation that we got from the frustration of yesterday was a really big fuel today — we really wanted to leave it all out there on the ice. We said that no matter what let’s not control it, let’s not hold back from the beginning to the end, and when the music stops, we can just pass out.”
Kaitlin Weaver and Andrew Poje of Canada dropped to fifth after making a mistake on their opening twizzles, while teammates Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier plummeted to eighth after an unsteady performance. Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue moved up to sixth, while British champions Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland finished in a career best seventh place.