Philippe at Ice Classics 2008
17 February 1972 |
|Olympic medal record|
|Men's figure skating|
|Competitor for France|
Philippe Candeloro was born in Courbevoie, in France, the youngest of four children. His father, Luigi, was a mason, and, a few years after Philippe's birth, built a family home in the Parisian suburb of Colombes.
Candeloro's early tastes ran more to action heroes than athletics, he too began to foster an interest in sports. At first, he liked swimming and elastic springboard. In 1979, at age seven, Candeloro began taking weekly skating lessons. He displayed natural talent, taking to the ice with flair while his friends fell. During one of his first lessons, trainer André Brunet noted Candeloro's potential and invited him to increase his skating practices. At first, he participated in the village's hockey team but quickly veered into figure skating. He stole one of his first pairs of skates. His mother paid for them when the theft was discovered.
Within a few years of beginning his skating career, Candeloro found himself on the fast track with the French figure skating federation. He was invited to the summer skating training camp at Font-Romeu, which would become an annual event for him. When he was 10, the French Federation offered him a place at the prestigious national training center in Paris, INSEP. Candeloro refused this invitation, opting instead to continue training in Colombes with Brunet. At the age of 16, he left school to concentrate full time on his training.
By sixteen, Candeloro was receiving attention from both the French Federation and the international skating community. He participated in the closing ceremony at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. He began to work with choreographer Natacha Dabadie, and a trip to the 1992 Olympics seemed imminent. However, in October 1991, only months before the Games, he broke his leg and was forced to leave the national team and Olympic training squad.
1994 offered Candeloro another chance. He was invited to rejoin the national team and competed in the Olympics that winter. He exceeded all expectations in Lillehammer, winning a bronze medal. The surprise victory launched Candeloro onto the world stage.
After the Olympics, Candeloro became a favorite on the exhibition circuit, becoming an audience favorite in the American Champions on Ice tour and other events. In France he attracted sponsorships and television and print publicity.
In competitive circles, Candeloro's star rose and fell. He had consistently strong showings at the World Championships, at Europeans and on the Grand Prix circuit, but never managed to win a title outright. While his artistry and originality were highly praised, he was criticized for having less than polished technique on his jumps and spins.
By 1998, however, Candeloro fought his way back to the top of the skating world with his "D'Artagnan" programme. His performance at Europeans, for which he earned a 6.0 for artistry, compelled the French Federation to send him to the Olympics again. He marched in the opening ceremonies at Nagano. In the competition he earned another bronze medal.
Following the 1998 Olympics, Candeloro turned pro and appeared in a wide variety of tours and professional competitions. In the USA he was a popular fixture with Champions on Ice; in Europe he founded the successful Candel Euro Tour. He most recently appeared in the "Holiday on Ice" tour, and is now starting a new career as a sports journalist. He also appeared on television as Captain Sheng in a Disney television special based on the cartoon Mulan. Michelle Kwan played the title role.
During the 2006 Olympics, Candeloro stirred controversy by commenting that Olympic champion Shizuka Arakawa was "worth a bowl of rice" after rising to win the gold medal from third place. French public television later apologized to the Japanese ambassador to France, Hiroshi Hirabayashi, who didn't even know of the comment, in a statement, "We were taken back by the comment." However, this apology drew the Japanese media's attention to his comment.
In February 2008 he started his farewell tour through France. The show "Hello and Goodbye" is a medley of all the classic characters he portrayed.
Candeloro is known to be a big fan of Japanese female figure skater, Mao Asada, and calls himself her godfather on ice.
As a competitive skater, Candeloro was easily recognized by his energetic style and unique choreography. He usually portrayed specific characters on the ice, and constructed his long programmes' music, costumes and choreography around each concept. His most well known long programmes include "Conan", "The Godfather" (1994 Olympics), "Lucky Luke" (1996), and "Napoleon" (1997). In 1998, Candeloro portrayed D'Artagnan composed by Maxime Rodriguez. His programme included a mock swordfight with intricate footwork that covered the entire length of the rink.
Professionally, Philippe has created programs depicting Braveheart, George of the Jungle, The Matrix, and a Spanish flamenco dancer. His signature move, in which he spins and drops to his knees on the ice, is banned in amateur competition. Candeloro developed the spin accidentally when he slipped to his knees during a scratch spin.
Candeloro's focus on artistry began early in his career, when he was bothered by the fact that figure skating is often considered a feminine sport and feared ridicule from his friends. Indeed, one of his first programmes involved combat between an Indian and a cowboy.
Candeloro is married to ballet dancer Olivia Darmon, with whom he has three daughters: Luna Nizza, Maya Estella and Thalia Soleya. He was introduced to Olivia by the choreographer of his 1994 Olympic program, Natasha Dabadie. He speaks several languages besides French, including English and Italian.
In 2008, Candeloro was involved in the development of a namesake rose, the Philippe Candeloro rose with famous rose breeder Lyonnais Jean-Pierre Guillot.
|CS International de Paris
Trophée de France/Lalique
|CS Nations Cup||4th|
|CS NHK Trophy||1st||1st||2nd||3rd||7th|
|CS = Part of Champions Series from 1995–1996 (later Grand Prix)
WD = Withdrew
- Candeloro n’exclut pas « une saison blanche », L'Humanité
- Kulik of Russia Rides His Quad to Figure-Skating Gold, New York Times
- A gallery of stars Series: World Figure Skating Champions Tour, Michelle Jones, St. Petersburg Times, 31 March 1995
- Candeloro expects to be in medal hunt again, USA Today, 04.E, 12 February 1998
- Baptême de la rose Philippe Candeloro
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Philippe Candeloro.|