Seguin & Bilodeau Split
Bilodeau shocks everyone in the world by leaving Seguin, neither skater yet decided on next move.
Yesterday, the death of beloved men’s skater Denis Ten at only 25 years of age sent the skating world into mourning. All other things and events of the summer seemed unimportant, and it’ll probably feel like that for some time. Even though, hours later, another piece of news broke, one that, had it come out Wednesday, would’ve been considered the biggest shock of the summer so far.
At the beginning of the summer, we already knew we would be losing many of the skaters who had been at the top of the Canadian scene in the last quaddrennium, including two of the country’s top four pairs teams. But Julianne Seguin & Charlie Bilodeau seemed safe. They’d had a rough couple of seasons, struggling with injuries and errors, culminating in a failure to make the free skate at the World Championships, which even cost Canada their third berth at 2019 Worlds. But they’d talked about trying to come back from that, and even their choices of programs for this coming season. When the Grand Prix assignments came out, they were assigned to Finland and France, and potential medal contenders at both, especially after the withdrawal of Xiaoyu Yu & Hao Zhang from the latter.
Until yesterday, when the announcement came that they had broken up. Since then, the French-Canadian media has gotten quotes. They revealed it was Bilodeau who ended the partnership, apparently out of a belief the two of them had already met what potential they had with each other. Seguin didn’t see it coming any more than the rest of us, but doesn’t even seem to hold it against him.
That’s very forgiving of her indeed, but it’s actually his words that seem more stunning. Seguin & Bilodeau were a pair that had “it,” the certain chemistry and magic together where two skaters either have it or they don’t. When they were on, it was enchanting to watch them skate. It also made how much they’ve recently struggled all the more painful. They would each of them need a lot of luck to find that again with another partner.
And that’s if and when they start looking. They’ve instead talked about taking time to contemplate their options first, although Seguin spoken of possibly returning to the ice very soon. They would have to, to compete next season; there’s not much time left to find a partner. Although Seguin has also skated singles, so she could just do that. Bilodeau, who doesn’t want to rush things, might sit the whole season out.
This is now the third quaddrennium in a row where the post-Olympic season saw only one of Canada’s top pairs still competing, assuming Kirsten Moore-Towers & Michael Marinaro make it through the summer. They were already looking to establish themselves as the top Canadian pair, which would’ve been a battle, but now they’re the last ones standing, at least for the moment. Then again, in both cases, two of the skaters from the other top teams eventually came back with new partners, and they were the new top Canadian pairs. So if Seguin or Bilodeau can find someone in time, or even the season after next, history may well repeat itself there too.