The Duchesnays at an Exhibition in Berlin in 1989
|Former country(ies) represented
July 21, 1961 |
Paul Duchesnay (born July 21, 1961 in Metz, France) is a retired ice dancer who represented France for most of his career. With his sister Isabelle Duchesnay, he is the 1991 World champion and the 1992 Olympic silver medalist.
The Duchesnays started skating at an early age in Canada in pairs. Their first major success came at the 1982 Canadian Nationals, where they placed second in the junior competition. After a serious accident where Isabelle hit her head, they switched to ice dancing. Over time, the Duchesnays' skating became more innovative and revolutionary with help from 1984 Olympic champion Christopher Dean. After Skate Canada criticized their skating, they decided to leave the Canadian team. In 1985, they began skating for their mother's homeland, France.
The Duchesnays' 1988 Winter Olympics programs were considered unusual. Their free dance, a jungle-inspired dance set to drums, was not well received by judges and they finished 8th overall. Despite the judges' reactions, the Duchesnays continued skating in their unusual and innovative style. They placed third and second in the 1989 and 1990 World Championships, respectively. They won their only World title at the 1991 Worlds in Munich, Germany.
The Duchesnays were favoured to win gold at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. They won the silver medal behind Marina Klimova / Sergei Ponomarenko. The Duchesnays retired from amateur competition and competed professionally until Paul suffered a serious rollerblading accident in 1996.
In 1996, the Duchesnays were nominated for a Gemini Award in Best Performance - Performing Arts Program or Series for their performance in "The Planets".  Paul Duchesnay is now a coach in the United States.
Personal life 
Duchesnay was born to a French mother and Canadian father. He was born in France but his family moved to Aylmer, Quebec, Canada in 1962.
(ice dance with Isabelle Duchesnay)
External links