December 3 (SPOILERS)
Marina & Gwendal have easily qualified for the Grand Prix Final in Kitchener, Canada, taking place in two weeks, thanks to their victories at both Trophee Lalique and NHK Trophy.
They had a very good start of the season with Trophee Lalique, where their new routines received very good reactions from the audience and more importantly, from the judges. Their flamenco/tango OD was the most characteristic one of the field and earned them a 6.0 from the Polish judges; their new FD, named "Liberta-Anthem to Liberty", was a great success as well, as the artistic marks were all 5.9s with a 6.0 from the French judge.
Two weeks later, Marina & Gwendal were in Japan for the NHK Trophy, which is one of their favorite competitions. They were not as assured as in Paris, but still won gold easily, despite a small fall from Gwendal during the free dance.
Marina & Gwendal have therefore qualified for the Grand Prix Final, and will be competing with the following teams:
Fusar-Poli & Margaglio (ITA)
Bourne & Kraatz (CAN)
Chait & Sakhnovsky (ISR)
Dubreuil & Lauzon (CAN)
Drobiazko & Vanagas (LTU)
The Grand Prix Final format requires that every team skates their original dance and two different free dances. Marina & Gwendal have decided to bring back "Carmina Burana", the routine that made them become European & World champions two seasons ago.
In order to practice this routine as much as they need to, Marina & Gwendal will not be competing at Nationals this week, but will take part in the gala. They are currently training in the USA and will come back to France on Saturday.


November 15
On to Lalique! Marina & Gwendal are entering their first competition of the season, the Trophee Lalique in Paris, today.
Here is their schedule:
Thursday, November 15 (7.00 p.m.): compulsory dance (blues)
Friday, November 16 (9.00 p.m.): original dance
Saturday, November 17 (4.00 p.m.): free dance
Sunday, November 18 (2.30 p.m.): gala
They will unveil their new programs there: their original dance coreographed by professional dancers from Madrid, Spain; and their free dance, named "Liberta", coreographed by Bruno Vandelli (for more info read the November 4 news).
Go to
photo links to view the very first pictures of this program and appreciate the new costumes!
(I didn't link to everything due to lack of time, but just go to and type "anissina" in the search box and you will get tons of pictures, including from their summer practices)
Also in the news, Marina & gwendal are now being helped by Natalia Dubova, especially on the compulsories.

November 4
Marina & Gwendal's music choices for this season have been unveiled:
Original dance: "Malagua" and "Tango de Guell"
The original dance has been coreographed by Antonio Najarro and Pascal Gaona. It is a flamenco-tango-flamenco, "Malagua" being used twice.
Free dance: "Non Merci" by Jean-Claude Petit ("Cyrano de Bergerac" soundtrack) and "Canone Inverso" by Ennio Morricone ("Making Love" soundtrack)
The music will also have snippets of Martin Luther King's speech "I have a dream".
Though the music was taken from the Cyrano soundtrack, Marina & Gwendal are not interpreting the story, they are just using the music. The theme for this free dance is freedom. It was coreographed by Bruno Vandelli who is the head of the International Dance Center of Cannes and the coreography will be innovative and contemporary. Gwendal will be the subjected one in the program, and Marina will represent freedom.

August 30
Marina & Gwendal are currently training in Villard-de-Lans and will be doing a show there tonight! They are working hard on their new dances which will be unveiled at Trophée Lalique in November. For more info on M&G's schedule for next season, go here.

Marina & Gwendal are featured in both the 2002 Figure Skating Calendar and in J.Barry Mittan's art of figure skating calendar. The first one has a photo collage of M&G skating to "Beethoven's last night" on the October page. J.Barry Mittan's calendar features M&G on the cover and on the month of March.

March 18
Marina & Gwendal are competing at the World championships in Vancouver this week. For more info, visit this sites through the week:
Official site
Skate Canada site
Aaron's page
Ice page
Andrea's page

For detailed results: Icecalc

For live screen captures:

TV schedules in Europe:
The Figure Skating Corner
Silje's schedule
In the USA:
Heather's schedule
In Canada:
CFSA website

March 11
At the gala of the Top Jump competition last week, Marina & Gwendal presented a new original dance on which they have been working since Europeans. After placing second in the original dance in Bratislava and being criticized for not having enough difficult steps in the dance and for not quite catching the mood of the quickstep, M&G decided to change it. The new dance is very much improved, much more dynamic than the first one and with more difficulty, and also more in the mood of ballroom dancing (which is what the judges want). They have kept Nat King Cole's "More" as a slow section in the middle, and have chosen a new, fast music (which I couldn't recognize) for the start and end of the dance. They will present this new dance at Worlds next week.

February 28
Marina & Gwendal had to withdraw from the Grand prix Final earlier this month due to Marina's back injury which occured shortly after the European championships. The Italians Fusar-Poli & Margaglio won the event, in front of Russia's Irina Lobacheva & Ilia Averbukh. M&G still plan to compete at the World championships in Vancouver (March 19-25). In a recent interview (February 27 on "Itelevision"), Marina ensured that her back was okay and that she was in good form and ready for these championships.

Some "old news" now: M&G lost their European title to Italians Fusar-Poli & Margaglio. After being tied in first place after the compulsories, then placing second in the original dance (with one of their best OD performances of the season), they took a bad and surprising fall at the end of their free dance, which put them in third place in this dance, and second overall. After what was a fantastic free dance so far, M&G both fell during the circular step sequence; as this step sequence is a required element in the FD, added to the fact that it took them a long time to recover from the fall, their marks were as low as 5.2, which is far from their usual level. "I don't know what happened. It was not a technical problem, we've worked on this dance so hard.", said Gwendal. "I'm disappointed because of the fall", said Marina, "but it's only Europeans. It's not Worlds, it's not the Olympics."

January 7
M&G unveiled a new exhibition routine to Art Company's "Susanna" at the Eisgala in Garmisch. The routine was coreographed in the USA at the end of December by Alexander Zhulin. As Gwendal said, they "wanted to start the new year with a smile", so this is a fun number, very different from "Danse mon Esmeralda" or "Time to say Goodbye". It includes new moves and also old lifts from their "Ahla Leila", "The Man in the Iron Mask", and "Carmina Burana" routines. Screenshots of this program have been added to the photo album!

M&G received an award from France 2 (French Television channel)! It is called the Sports trophy and this award was given to the 14 best French champions of the year. Congratulations to them!

Marina & Gwendal won their sixth National title in Briançon. They skated to "Beethoven's Last Night" in the free dance with new costumes. Marina had a golden dress and Gwendal wore a very simple black outfit with a beige scarf. They did some minor mistakes but received another 6.0 in artistic impression.

December 10
A&P were judges for the 2001 Miss France election yesterday! Gwendal said they tried to be fair and objective as they had experienced unfairness with some judges in the past...:-) They were very elegant: Gwendal in a black tuxedo and Marina in a very beautiful dark blue dress. I've taped it so I'll put some screen captures on the site soon!

December 9
Well, it's been a long time since I didn't update this and a lot has been happening.:-)
So, here are the news in chronogical order.
Trophee Lalique: A&P started the competition well by winning the compulsory dance, the Tango Romentica, by a big margin. But they had troubles in their original dance again, where they only placed 2nd behind the Russians Lobacheva & Averbukh. Gwendal lost his balance on a turn because he arched his back too much, and Marina had troubles on the diagonal step sequence. "We are disappointed with the performance. But we're happy that we got good presentation marks", the team said. In the free dance, A&P went to win their fourth Lalique Trophy with a flawless performance to "Beethoven's last night". The routine was skated much better than at Skate Canada and they received a 6.0 from the French judge, along with five 5.9s for presentation. "There is room left for improvement", Gwendal said, "but we're happy we skated it better than at Skate Canada and that the audience liked it".
NHK Trophy: A&P skated first in the compulsory dance, the Rhumba, and skated it beautifully to win this part of the competition. Once again, they were not perfect in their original dance, going out of synchronisation on a step sequence and looking tired at the end, but the performance was better than at Lalique and Skate canada and they were awarded first place from all judges. They kept that place in the free dance, skating even better than they did at Trophee Lalique.
Grand Prix Final news: A&P have qualified for the Grand prix Final which will take place in February in Japan. The other teams that will compete there are:
Fusar-Poli & Margaglio (ITA)
Lobacheva & Averbukh (RUS)
Drobiazko & Vanagas (LTU)
Chait & Sakhnovsky (ISR)
Winkler & Lohse (GER)
ARD Gala on Ice: this gala took place in Germany on December 6. A&P were one of the highlights of the show, skating to "Danse mon Esmeralda" and their free dance.

November 5-19

News from Skate Canada
Here are news from Skate Canada. Thanks a lot to Michele Peltier for her great reports!

  • Compulsory dance

The compulsory dance was the rhumba. Marina & Gwendal took the lead with a strong performance.
More info from Michele Peltier:
"The CD and OD practice took place at 08:00 this morning. The first dance that they practiced was the CD. For this competition, the CD is the Rhumba. I really like this dance, especially the sections with the wide steps. They looked very confident on the ice during the practice and did a great job.
Costumes: Gwendal wore black trousers and a black cumberbund with a grey shirt. The shirt was made of material/fabric that resembles satin (i.e. it had a sheen to it). Marina's dress was primarily black and red. The right side of the bodice has grey sequins. The left side is red. The skirt part was made of two inch strips of material. You'll know what I mean when Beth has a chance to download today's batch of pictures.
Today's hair report (Hey, I'm a Yank and you know how taken we are with hair styles! ;-) ) Gwendal: No change. Marina: The top section was pulled back into a pony tail and the ends were curled.
The second dance practiced was the OD. For this, Gwendal put on a sequined vest that coordinated with Marina's costume. The first section of the dance (the foxtrot) was skated to Nat King Cole's "More". The second section (the quickstep) was skated to "Dancing Fool" (I definitely heard the words, "I'm a dancing fool.")
Now for the BEST part... After a break, the actual competition commenced with the CD. They wore the royal blue costumes used for the OD (version 1) at Trophee Lalique last year! :-) The Rhumba was skated beautifully. Here are the scores broken out by judge:


5.4 5.7 5.7 5.5 5.5 5.6 5.5 Technical

5.6 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.8 5.6 Timing and Expression

1. Anissina & Peizerat (or as the Daily Schedule has him listed; Piezerat)
2. Chait & Sakhnovski
3. Grushina & Goncharov"

  • Original Dance

Marina & Gwendal were not at their best, and many articles say that Chait & Sakhnovky "should have been first", and indeed, two judges put C&S in first place. Even Gwendal said that "the Israelis deserved to be in first place". In fact, there was an obvious mistake on the step sequence, some people say that it was Gwendal who made the mistake and some people say it was Marina, so we won't know exactly what happened!:-) Still, A&P are in first place. Their original dance is a quickstep and a foxrot. Their music selections are Nat King Cole's "More", and "Dancing Fool". The 5-time ballroom dancing World champion, Mickael Stylianos, helped them coreographing this dance(he was the one who coreographed Grishuk & Platov's quickstep in 1995).
Here is Michele's Friday review:
"Let's backtrack to the morning OD/FD practice. The skaters opted to practice their OD's so we did not see the lift again. I guess our pictures will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon's FD practice. I picked a good seat to view the practice. I sat four rows from the boards. A short time later, Muriel came into the arena and sat in front of me in the first row. Needless to say, I had a great camera angle when M & G came to the boards. :-)
Costumes: Gwendal wore a black cut-away tuxedo/formal wear with tails and a white shirt. The buttons on the shirt are large rhinestones. Marina wore a knee length dress that was made of a chiffon like material. The colors on the dress were graduated. The bodice was lime green graduating to blue-green, then blue, then blue-green again and finally green at the bottom. The straps on the dress were encrusted with rhinestones. We all noticed that when they play M & G's music, the other skaters cleared the way for them; they move to the boards. They went through the straight line step sequence twice; no problems with unison. Post practice, Marina signed a LOT of autographs for the Canadian kids.
OD Competition:
Costumes: Top half of the dress is black. The sleeves of the dress have black sections of material on the illusion fabric. Below the waist, the dress is blue, graduating to blue green and then yellow at the bottom. Gwendal wore the same black cut-away tuxedo worn during the practice session.
Hair report du jour: Gwendal-No change. Marina-During practice, it was similar to yesterday. She had it styled in a French twist for the competition.
Scores for A & P:

Composition 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.6 5.5 5.6 5.6

Presentation 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7

 Scores for Chait & Sakhnovky:

5.5 5.4 5.5 5.7 5.4 5.7 5.6

5.6 5.6 5.6 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.8

The dance: Keep in mind, that I am viewing it through the camera lens. M & G's OD looks more technically difficult than the ODs of the other dance teams competing here. As you already know, there was a problem with the straight line step sequence. It looked to me like Gwendal caught a toepick. There was an audible gasp from the audience when this happened. He did not recover as quickly as he did when he made the mistake at Worlds, so their unison was quite off. Hence the comment from Paul Martini that "they were so far apart that you could have driven a truck between them." I did not see any other problems.
Chait and Sakhnovski: Quickstep section skated to "Sing, Sing, Sing" (Is it just me or is this song the "Carmen" of ice dance?). The foxtrot was skated to "Bir mit du schoen" (my apologies in advance to all of our German subscribers; I probably messed up the spelling of that song). The last section was "Sing, Sing, Sing" again. Their dance was skated with as much speed as M & G's but was less technically difficult. They did an EXCELLENT job on their straight line step sequence. When the dance concluded, I fully expected to see a repeat of the OD at Worlds in terms of the placement.
I'm assuming that M & G opted to count this as the non-scoring event of the three. If Gwendal was going to make a mistake, then I'm glad he did it here and got it out of his system.
Miscellaneous: I noticed that all three teams that Muriel trains began their programs with the foxtrot and music by Nat King Cole. The Japanese team of Rie ARIKAWA & Kenji MIYAMOTO performed their quickstep to the music from Disney's "Jungle Book". I can't remember the name of the song but some of the words are "Ooby do, scooby do, I want to walk like you, talk like you and learn to be someone like you." Maybe they should add a line, "ice dance like you". They're part way there...they were outfitted in M & G's OD jive costumes from the Nagano Olympics. I coerced Beth into taking a picture on her digital camera so you all could see for yourselves. Dubreuil & Lauzon began their foxtrot to N.K.C.'s "Love". No recycled costumes for them.
Results from the OD:

 1. A & P
2. Chait & Sakhnovski
3. Dubreil & Lauzon (they moved ahead of Grushina & Goncharov)
4. Grushina & Goncharov
5. Wing and Lowe (one section of their dance was to the Charleston, which was not a overwhelming choice for most of the teams)
6. Lefebvre & Lanning
7. Handra & Sinek
8. Humphreys & Baranov
9. Kulikova & Markov (he moved his bow tie to his hair before they went into the K & C area, quite a fashion statement! ;-) )
10. Kauc & Bernadowski
11. Arikawa & Miyamota

The Lift: Although they did not practice the FD today, we saw a photo from day one of practice. The photographer had an entirely different view then our feet first one! Marina is in the same position as the MITIM reverse lift. Gwendal is facing Marina with his hands on her thighs (his fingers are pointing outwards). Marina's hands are around Gwendal's neck. Gwendals thighs rest on Marina's knees for support. His left leg is crossed over his right leg. Beth took a digital picture of the photograph so hopefully you will have a better view when she finishes downloading."

  • Free dance & Gala

Here is Michele's review from the free dance practice:
"Costumes: They wore the same costumes as the previous FD practice session onday one. Gwendal had a bit of a problem with one of the white pieces of silk that's attached to his cutaway. He finally came over to the boards and just ripped it off. After the practice, he again removed the black jacket to reveal the white shirt portion which is sleeveless and has a back keyhole opening (meaning he must slip it over his head to put it on). Emma has a fewshots of the 'strip' routine as she jokingly refers to it.
Daily Coiffure report: Marina-No change. Gwendal-French twist ;-)
Marina had a fall during the warmup but Gwendal immediately pulled her back up. Emma, Christie, Beth, David and I all shot pictures of 'the lift' in rapid succession. All you heard in our sections was the whirring sound ofthe film auto rewinders. When the practice concluded, Marina left the ice quickly and Gwendal signed about four autographs. There were loads of littlekids in the arena, all clamoring for autographs. I can understand why theymade the hasty exit.
Music: We think we've pieced together (from memory) the music sequence from the Transiberian Orchestra's "Beethoven's Last Night":
1. Moonlight Sonata (slow section)
2. 9th Symphony (fast section)
3. Instrumental version of 'Ode to Joy'
4.Vocal section with female voice
5. 9th Symphony"
And here is the starting order for the free dance (last group only):
Chait & Sakhnovsky
Anissina & Peizerat
Grushina & Goncharov
Dubreuil & Lauzon

And now, here is Michele's review from the free dance and the gala:
"The free dance began at 12:00. A & P were in the third group of skaters that also included CHAIT & SAKHNOVSKI, GRUSHINA & GONCHAROV, and DUBREUIL & LAUZON. I did not see Marina stumble during the warm up segment. The first team that skated was C & S. They skated to themes based on Paganini (sp?). Galit lost a piece of her skirt (the skirt was strips of chiffon material) halfway through the performance. We anxiously watched the remainder of the program wondering if they would skate over it. Fortunately, they were able to avoid it for the remainder of the program. The girls that pick up the items thrown on the ice saw it and picked it up before Marina and Gwendal skated. Marina and Gwendal got in their starting position that represents Beethoven at the piano (Gwendal is actually sitting on Marina's knee), the music began but it was their OD music andnot the FD music. Marina laughed it off but I don't think Gwendal was amused. After I photographed the opening moves, I put the camera away and watched my first A & P performance without a camera in front of my face. Emma was seated next to me and did photograph the FD. Keep you eyes posted for messages from her announcing pictures. This was the first time that we saw the FD in it's entirety. This FD is more subtle than Carmina Burana, which I would classify as powerful and dramatic. It has a light and airy quality to it. Obviously, it is still in it's infancy, but I liked it a lot. We called Gwendalover to the boards while he and Marina were skating to the Kiss and Cry area. Emma had made a lovely card using gold coloured paper (of course) and one of her photos. All of the A & P fans from the message list signed the card with a gold pen thinking that silver might remind them of Helsinki. ;-) We also bought a large bouquet of flowers for Marina. I had bought Gwendal a T-shirt (sorry folks, it wasn't black) at the inaugural Formula One race at Indy and Marina another SLC Olympic pin with a skater on it. All of these items were presented to Gwendal (we didn't want him returning to France with nothing in his suitcase ;-) ) on behalf of his and Marina's fans.
Lifts: The teams are allowed 5-7 lifts during a free dance. I was watching and taking notes at the same time, but I counted five lifts.
1. Marina has her leg over his shoulder. This was not like the final pose from last year's OD.
2.One of Marina's knees is bent and one leg is straight. She is at chest level. I wondered if this was the one referred to as the "Tulip Lift".
3.One small unremarkable lift.
4.The new reverse lift. Here is amendment number three to my earlier posts…Gwendal is NOT balancing on Marina's knees! He must have one strong set of abdominal muscles (refer to the waterskiing picture in the latest issue of Patinage) to hold that position.
5.Marina ends up draped upside down over Gwendal's back.
Dance spins: I counted two.
1.One where his leg is up (similar to the one in R & J)
2.One where Marina is in a camel position.
They had a bit of a synchronization problem during the footwork sequence. This came late in the program after the vocal piece and during the second section of the 9th symphony. There were no 6.0's for this FD.
Music: For those who have a copy of the TSO "Beethoven's LastNight", check a female vocal section that has the words "could this night last forever?" This is the piece that I referred to yesterday.
Costumes: The costumes are the same as the ones used for practice.
Here's what Gwendal had to say about the program: "They wanted to change their way of skating but not the style. They wanted to do something modern but keep the romanticism and passion."

Gala: The `Parade of Champions" began at 15:00 and includedthe fourth through first place skaters/teams. The skate order was the dance, ladies, pairs and then men. After the third place man (Matt Savoie from the USA) performed, guest skaters Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz skated their OD. Marina and Muriel watched from the area where the judges had been seated. We then saw a demonstration of a synchronization team from Canada called "Black Ice". After a brief intermission, the gala continued with all the silver medallists. Having scrutinized all the tapes from last season and noting that prior to the GPF, Marina and Gwendal always skated to MITIM for their exhibition number in order to practice it for the A and B FD format used at the GPF; I assumed that they would skate to CB. I would finally get to see it live. Well, just like COI in Spokane, I was foiled again…they skated to DmE. I have now given up all hope of seeing it live, just like I have given up ever trying to make it through the entire Louvre. ;-) The announcer called Marina and Gwendal back for an encore and they obliged. It looks like they were in position to do the straight line step sequence from lastseason's OD, but when the music began, once again, it wasn't theirs. Even I was starting to wonder if they were being sabotaged. Then again, maybe the person in charge of the music was not familiar with the operation of a CD player. They never got the music started so M & G ended up doing the reverse lift from CB. Alexei Yagudin had the same problem with his encore. He was standing right in front of us waiting for his music to begin. He looked at us, shrugged and said, "I'll just skate without my music" andbegan the encore. Let me preface this next part with the statement that I do NOT dislike Bourne & Kraatz. I have my favorites, but I do not hate the other teams. After Yagudin concluded his encore, they called all the skaters out for a final bow. Typically, when they call out the various skating disciplines, the gold medallists are the ones to lead the others out on to the ice. However, today Bourne and Kraatz lead the other ice dancers around the rink. I was personally annoyed at this as I felt it was a slight to Marina and Gwendal. I don'tthink it was right for B & K to come out with the skaters who had competed. After all, they didn't bring the other guest skaters (the synchro team) out for a bow. I will now get off my soapbox and stop ranting."

November 2
The competition at Skate Canada is starting today with the compulsory dance. Here is the starting order:
1. Humphreys & Baranov (GBR)
2. Wing & Lowe (CAN)
3. Kauc & Bernadowski (POL)
4. Arikawa & Miyamoto (JPN)
5. Lefebvre & Lanning (CAN)
6. Grushina & Goncharov (RUS)
7. Lefebvre & Brunet (FRA)
8. Chait & Sakhnovsky (ISR)
9. Handra & Sinek (USA)
10. Anissina & Peizerat (FRA)
11. Kulikova & Markov (RUS)
Isn't that the perfect draw?;-)
A&P practiced their original dance and free dance yesterday. Links to photos and reviews have been added to the
articles and photo links section.
Latest news about their programs: their Original dance is a quickstep and a foxrot, and yes, their free dance is Beethoven.
Here are more links to Skate Canada pages:
Laurie's page
Skate Canada discussion board at FSWorld

November 1
A&P will start their season this week with Skate Canada! Here is their schedule:
November 2: compulsory dance
November 3: original dance
November 5: free dance & gala
Lobacheva & Averbukh of Russia have withdrawn from the event, so A&P's main rivals will surely be Chait & Sakhnovsky of Israel.
For more info, don't forget to visit these 2 sites throughout the week:
Official Skate Canada site
Andrea's Ice World
Lenny Faustino's reports
And of course I will try my best to keep you informed!

October 22
According to Patinage Magazine and L'Equipe, Marina & Gwendal will skate to "Beethoven in rock" in their free dance this season (So, the rumors were true! ). The music is from a rock opera about Beethoven's life. The program will show Gwendal as Beethoven and Marina as his muse (the Italian comtess Guicciardi). Their selections include the Symphony No.9 with a female voice. The program was coreographed by Shanti Rushpaul, Torvill & Dean and Ludmilla Vlassova and will include a new reverse lift.

The A&P interview at is finally online!! Go here to learn more about them (the interview is 5 page long!).

September 10
Blades on Ice news confirmed that Marina & Gwendal are going to skate to a rock opera by Beethoven. The routine has been coreographed by Christopher Dean and Tatiana Tarassova has given some help on the technical side too.
By the way, the September/October issue of Blades on Ice is already sold out! Just tells how popular Marina & Gwendal are...

September 6
Marina & Gwendal are on the cover of the October issue of
Blades on Ice! The cover is an awesome picture of Marina & Gwendal in the costumes they wore for their COI opening number this year. The magazine also has an interview of M&G.

Marina & Gwendal will take part in a charity show in Boulogne-Billancourt (near Paris) on September 22. The show will also feature top French skaters like Abitbol & Bernadis, Vanessa Gusmeroli and Stanick Jeannette. You can order tickets here.

August 30
Well, finally, the first rumors about Anissina & Peizerat's music for next year's free dance! Marina & Gwendal may skate to music by Beethoven. MarieM has posted on
FSW that their music is a Beethoven piece that sounds like a rock opera. Read the whole thread here . There are no news about their original dance yet.Their new programs will be unveiled at Skate Canada at the beginning of November. Be patient!

August 19
It's time to buy your 2001 figure skating calendar(s)! Two very good calendars are available on the Internet, and both of them include pictures of Marina & Gwendal.
J.Barry Mittan's art of figure skating calendar includes small photos of Marina & Gwendal on the October page. The Figure skating calendar includes two photos of Marina & Gwendal (and they are the only skaters to be featured twice!), a Carmina Burana photo (March), and a photo from their latin OD (November).

Marina & Gwendal will be skating with the rest of the French team at the St Gervais Grand prix Gala on August 26! For more info about the event, visit this website. They also participated in two shows this month: on August 11 in Villard de Lans, and on August 4 in Beziers. The Beziers show, "les arènes de la glace", was an original one as it was an outdoor show, in a place that usually hosts corridas. Marina & Gwendal skated to "Carmina Burana" and "Danse mon Esmeralda" there - and got standing ovations of course!

July 29
According to the
Torvill & Dean homepage, Marina & Gwendal have just finished working with Christopher Dean on their new routines. No news about the music yet, though!

July 14
Marina & Gwendal have left their usual training town Villard-de-Lans and are now in the USA for a short time. They will be training with Tatiana Tarassova who will make them work on some technical points (Murielle Boucher Zazoui is still their coach).

Due to a schedule conflict between Trophée Lalique and Cup of Russia, some skaters have changed their Grand Prix Assignments. Marina & Gwendal have not changed their assignments (they are still competing at Skate Canada, Trophée Lalique and NHK Trophy), but their competitors have: Lobacheva & Averbukh have been moved to Skate America, therefore the main competitors for Marina & Gwendal will now be the Lithuanians Drobiazko & Vanagas.

July 8
I just received the latest issue of "Patinage Magazine". As always, Marina & Gwendal are featured many times:
- introduction, page 5
this photo and this one from Masters Miko, page 7
- article on Masters Miko, page 20
Carmina Burana photo from Masters Miko, page 28
French team photo, page 31
- article on the French Team tour, page 32
(all pictures scanned by me, copyright Patinage Magazine, not to be used without permission from Patinage Magazine)
The magazine also confirmed that on August 4, a French team gala will take place in Béziers.

July 3
According to
Blades on Ice, Marina & Gwendal will endorse Colonial Travel, an American travel agency, for one year, which means that they will be featured in some print advertisements and they will promote the company.

During the French Open of tennis, Rolland-Garros, a very popular tennis tournament in France since almost every part of it is televised, Marina was in the crowd! She was shown on TV twice, with the other celebrities invited. She was especially attending the match opposing Safin and Norman (and it looked like she was cheering for Safin - who is Russian!).

Marina &Gwendal will compete in Skate Canada and Trophée Lalique this fall, and probably in NHK Trophy as well. Their main competitors at Skate Canada will be Lobacheva & Averbukh and Chait & Sakhnovsky, and in Trophée Lalique they will be competing against Lobacheva & Averbukh again, and the Germans Winkler & Lohse. Some of the skaters invited to NHK Trophy are Drobiazko & Vanagas, Winkler & Lohse and Grushina & Goncharov.

Marina & Gwendal will now be working on new programs for next season. They will enter the season as European & World champions, so of course there will be added pressure. Furthermore, they have been told by many people that their usual dramatic style can't work anymore and that they need a change this year. True, Marina & Gwendal will be criticized if they go for another dramatic routine. In an interview, Ilia Averbukh said: "they are good, but they've been doing the same things for 3 years and one day the judges will notice that". In the French broadcast of the Masters Miko, Annick Gailhaguet (a very famous coach in France, wife of the French Skating Federation's president), who was commentating with Nelson Monfort, said that Marina & Gwendal will try a totally different style for next season's free dance. Murielle Zazoui, their coach, said this at Worlds: "We always have to go forward, to surprise people each time, to make them dream, to try new things. But we can't change their personnalities: Marina is dramatic, Gwendal is romantic, and people like them this way."

Marina & Gwendal have finished touring with Champions on Ice. Although they joined the tour later than the other skaters, on May 12, they really enjoyed it. They skated to "Dance my Esmeralda", the English version of the song from the famous French musical "Notre-Dame de Paris", and in some cities they chose to perform a three-minute version of their "Carmina Burana" free dance. Their opening number was Santana's "Smooth". They found that the COI tour was much more fun than the French team tour. Indeed, Marina & Gwendal had been touring in France in April and May, skating to "Danse mon Esmeralda", "Time to Say Goodbye" and "Carmina Burana", and the tour was kind of exhausting for them as they were the leaders of the team.

On April 27 and 28, Marina & Gwendal competed in the first "Open de France", the Masters Miko. They helped the French team beating the Russian team, skating to an emotional "Danse mon Esmeralda" routine and received four maximum 6.0 marks, beating Lobacheva & Averbukh who skated to the same free dance as at Europeans. In the original dance, M&G skated to the last two parts of their Latin combination, while Lobacheva & Averbukh skated to "Tutti Fruti", their jive for the 1997/1998 season.

Marina & Gwendal were sponsoring the 44th International Exposition of Flowers in Cagnes-sur-mer (not far from Nice!), which took place in April, 13-24.