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Isabelle Duchesnay

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Olympic medal record
Representing  France
Figure skating
Silver medal – second place 1992 Albertville Ice Dance
Isabelle Duchesnay
The Duchesnays at an Exhibition in Berlin in 1989
Personal information
Country representedFrance
Former country(ies) representedCanada
Born (1963-12-18) December 18, 1963 (age 55)
Aylmer, Quebec, Canada
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[1]
Former partnerPaul Duchesnay

Isabelle Duchesnay (born December 18, 1963 in Aylmer, Quebec, Canada) is a retired ice dancer who represented France for most of her career. With her brother Paul Duchesnay, she 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 eighth overall.[2] 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.[3][4] They won the silver medal behind Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko. The Duchesnays then 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".[5][6] Isabelle Duchesnay wrote a book, Notre passion (Sports pour tous), in 1992.[7]

Personal life

Duchesnay was born to a French mother and Canadian father.[3] She married British ice dancer Christopher Dean in 1991;[3] they divorced in 1993.


(ice dance with Paul Duchesnay)

Event 1982–83 1983–84 1984–85 1985–86 1986–87 1987–88 1988–89 1989–90 1990–91 1991–92
Olympics 8th 2nd
Worlds 12th 9th 6th 3rd 2nd 1st
Europeans 8th 5th 3rd 3rd 2nd
Skate America 1st
Nebelhorn 2nd
French 1st 1st 1st 1st
Canadian 4th 4th 3rd


  1. ^ Sports Reference Archived 2015-01-09 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Swift, E.M. (7 March 1988). "So Much For Originality". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ a b c Janofsky, Michael (14 February 1992). "ALBERTVILLE; Duchesnays Try to Make Just as Striking an Exit". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Swift, E.M. (24 February 1992). "Theater Of The Absurd: After making the bizarre the norm, the Duchesnays went conservative and lost". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ "1995-1996 10th Gemini Awards". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 15 May 2006. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "The Planets". Bullfrog Films, Inc.
  7. ^
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Isabelle Duchesnay
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