Interview Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri

9 september 2023 - Lombardia Trophy

Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri had the best season of their career in 2022-2023. With a European title and a silver medal at Worlds at 33 and 35, they could have considered retirement. However, the Italians decided to pursue their career for at least one more year. As usual, their first competition of the season was the Lombardia Trophy.


Solène: How did you feel on the ice?

Charlène: It was the first competition of this season. We felt really good and confident. Our physical preparation was good. I didn’t feel tired at the end of the program.

Marco: That’s good, especially since the Lombardia trophy is early this season, and we finished last season late, mid-April.


Solène: Did you take any break during the off-season?

Charlène: We took a two-week holiday to Cambodia and Vietnam after the World Team Trophy.

Marco: It was really nice but too short! We love skating, but we were happy to go someplace that had nothing to do with it.


Solène: You chose two songs for your rhythm dance, Holding Out for a Hero (Bonnie Tyler) and Take a Look at Me Now (Phil Collins). What can you tell us about your program?

Marco: It took us some time to decide which direction to take regarding 80s music. We felt that there were two possible directions: a rock one and, let’s say, an aerobic/dance one. The direction that we chose is a mix of the two types. There is rock but with different rhythms.


Solène: You seem to be having fun skating it!

Charlène: Actually, a lot more than we thought we would at the beginning! We were not very enthusiastic about the theme at first. We tried to do something different with the pattern, but it was not easy with the samba steps. It was a lot of work, and we are satisfied with this program now. The midline is very much in the 80s style.


Solène: Your free dance is on the soundtrack of the movie “The Theory of Everything”. Can you tell us about it?

Marco: We had considered using that music for a free dance a few years ago, but ultimately chose “Atonement” instead. We skated to a very different type of music last year, quite dark, and we always want to do different things. For instance, a few years ago, when we were skating to a very serious tango for the rhythm dance, we chose “La La Land” for the free dance to have very different styles between our two programs. We loved our free dance last year, but it needed a lot of construction and interpretation work from us as it did not feel natural at first. This year, we wanted to skate more naturally and freely.


Solène: Have you seen the movie?

Marco: Yes, and we cried a lot! We watched it a few years ago and rewatched it this year to work on the program.


Solène: When we last saw you in Japan in the spring of 2023, you were not sure you would continue competing. What made you decide to do it?

Marco: Last season, we achieved everything we wanted. We have always thought and said we wanted to finish our skating career at our peak. Last year was terrific, and we did not feel very tired. The stress level, however, was very high during the entire season. We knew we had an opportunity to get great results, and we didn't want to lose that, so that gave us a lot of stress. We didn't want to finish our skating career on such a stressful note. We are changing how we think about the competition and not focusing too much on the results. Of course, we will care about the results, but that will not be the primary goal. We want to enjoy the season.


Solène: How surprised are you that Madison & Evan and Piper & Paul are continuing to compete?

Marco: We are not really surprised. We didn’t talk about it with them, but I think our situations are quite alike. We are all about the same age and at the same stage of our careers. Madison and Evan reached the top and probably want to enjoy it one more season. Piper and Paul had a difficult season last year, so I imagine they didn't want to end their career with that. We all have our own good reasons to continue. We waited a long time to get these results, so we also want to enjoy it!


Solène: What’s your next event?

Marco: The Shanghai Trophy. They invited us, and it's right in the middle between the Lombardia Trophy and our first Grand Prix in Angers, so that’s perfect for us.


Solène MATHIEU - Skate Info Glace