Today, Nov. 14, was supposed to be the second and final day of competition at the Trophée Eric Bompard in Bordeaux, France. This event, which is usually held in Paris, was moved to Bordeaux this year, which is five hours away from Paris. The terrorist attack that took place yesterday has left over one hundred dead and the nation in a state of shock and grief.
The mens, ladies, dance and pairs short programs all took place yesterday, leaving today as the defining day of the event with the free skates. Earlier it looked as if the ISU (International Skating Union) was going to continue with the competition as practices began to take place and organizers announced that the event would continue. Hours later, a statement was released from the ISU, announcing that the event has been cancelled. The ISU press release stated: “The Minister of Interior Affairs of France, Bernard Cazeneuve, and the Mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppe, have informed the French Figure Skating Federation (FFSG) that the competition at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating event ‘Trophee Eric Bompard 2015’ in Bordeaux has to be cancelled due to the state of emergency and national mourning days in France.”
Both US Figure Skating and Skate Canada have announced via Twitter that their delegations are safe. The US team includes Gracie Gold, Angela Wang, Max Aaron, pair skaters Marissa Castelli and Mervan Tran and ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue. US Figure Skating also released the following statement this morning after the announcement of the cancellation: “We fully support the decision of French authorities to cancel the remaining portion of the 2015 Trophée Bompard event in Bordeaux, France. U.S. Figure Skating is working with the ISU, the French Federation of Ice Sports and local authorities to ensure the quick and safe return of Team USA.”
The Trophée Eric Bompard is the fourth event in the ISU Grand Prix circuit. Points and placement from each of the Grand Prix events determines which skaters make it to the Grand Prix Final in December. With the cancellation of this event, it will be interesting to see how the ISU will decide how to fairly proceed with the Grand Prix this season.
Though many are disappointed that the competition will not continue, in light of the events that have taken place it seems appropriate, as we must recognize that an entire nation was rocked by these attacks and many lives were lost. Even the competitors have stated their sympathy. Canadian ice dancer Piper Gilles stated in a Tweet “Little update: We are all safe and sound and very sad about the attack on Paris. Skating seems so small compared to this…” This is certainly not the way that anyone imagined that the Trophée Eric Bompard would conclude, but when terrorists attack, it is always beyond what we imagine and all we can do from here is to send our love to Paris and believe that next year the event will commence once again in a nation that will have only grown stronger.