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Philippe Candeloro (born February 17, 1972) is a French figure skater who medalled at the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics.
|Philippe Candeloro - 1998 Olympic in Nagano||Philippe Candeloro Free Program Godfather|
|Philippe Candeloro 1994 Worlds LP||Philippe Candeloro 1997 Euro Championships|
- Candeloro is married to 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.
- Speaks several languages besides French, including English and Italian.
- Candeloro stole one of his first pairs of skates. His mother paid for them when the theft was discovered.
- One of Candeloro's early exhibition programmes, "Living in America," was criticized by some Americans because he wore an American flag robe and threw it down onto the ice. He solved the problem by handing the robe to someone on the sidelines instead of tossing it.
- His signature move, in which he spins and drops to his knees on the ice, is banned in amateur competition.
- Appeared as Captain Sheng in a Disney television special based on the cartoon Mulan. Michelle Kwan played the title role.
Philippe Candeloro was born in Courbevoie, in French, 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.
Colombes, which hosted several events of the 1924 Paris Olympic Games, still boasted many sporting facilities in the 1970s. Although 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.
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. With renowned choreographer Natacha Dabadie he began to infuse his programmes with even more spark and originality, and a trip to the 1992 Olympic Games 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 Olympic Games that winter. He exceeded all expecations 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 was a bonafide celebrity, attracting 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, and he could not always keep up to the technical level of other skaters such as Ilia Kulik.
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 6.0's for artistry, compelled the French Federation to send him to the Olympics again. He marched in the opening ceremonies in Nagano. In the competition he once again shattered expectations with an outstanding performance to earn 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.
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." Ironically, 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.
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 choreogaphy 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 from The Three Musketeers. His brilliantly choreographed 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.
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.
Sparkassen Nations Cup on Ice--4th
French National Championships--1st
Trophee Lalique (Grand Prix)--2nd
French National Championships--1st
NHK Trophy (Grand Prix)--7th
- List of Olympic medalists in figure skating
- World Figure Skating Championships
- European Figure Skating Championships