Olympic ice dance champions Papadakis and Cizeron taking year off

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Olympic ice dance champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron announced on Monday they are taking a year off from competition.

The French couple, who won the Olympic title in Beijing in February, also won a fifth world title in March. They will now miss the 2023 world championships in Saitama, Japan.

"We decided to take a little break from competition, to take the time to rest and to concentrate on shows and gala tours," Cizeron said in an interview with AFP and French sports daily L'Equipe.

The announcement puts in doubt the couple's future involvement in high-level competition.

"The only thing we're sure about is that we won't do next season. For everything else, all the doors are still open," Papadakis said.

"It wasn't really a difficult decision to take. It was difficult to confirm it (in our minds) because we have never taken this sort of decision," Papadakis said.

"At the same time, I think it was clear that both of us needed to rest and that we won't resume competition in the autumn."

The couple were a class apart in Beijing, finally winning gold after their chances four years earlier in Pyeongchang, South Korea, were derailed when Papadakis suffered a costume malfunction during her routine and they finished in the silver medal position.

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