Sunday, September 21, 2014

J'adore Joubert: Happy 30th to the French Quad King

Yesterday, Sept. 20, Brian Joubert celebrated his 30th birthday. The 2007 World Champion and 6-time World medalist was known throughout his long career for his athleticism and consistency for landing quads. I would be remiss if I didn't also point out that he is also known among skating fans for his good looks :) The 8-time French National Champion and three-time European Champion was also known for performing staccato, straight-line footwork sequences that were highly reminiscent of 2002 Olympic Champ Alexei Yagudin.

This past Olympics in Sochi, even though Joubert may have been past his competitive prime, I was impressed with how well he skated and felt he was way undermarked. I'm not arguing that he should have won a medal, but the fact that he skated well and finished 13th was unjustified. Other skaters who made far more mistakes placed higher. This may have been a case where the judges were "sending him a message." In other words, the judges were telling him that it was time to retire, or that his time had passed. It makes me cringe to think that figure skating is a sport where judges can "send a message" through scores, instead of giving marks that accurately reflect what happened on the ice.

Still, for Joubert, who has had three disappointing Olympic experiences prior, he had to have felt satisfied with finally skating well in Sochi. That competition was more for himself than it was for anything else, and his fans, such as myself, really enjoyed watching him turn in two respectable performances to cap off his individual career. (Rumor has it that Joubert is now taking up pairs skating! I will be interested to see how that pans out. I wish him luck! I know he has solid individual skating skills; whether or not he's skilled at lifting and throwing is yet to be seen, but will be fun to watch!)

Here is a look-back at two of Joubert's best skates: His James Bond short program at the 2006 Worlds (he finished second in the competition to Stephane Lambiel), and his 2007 Worlds Freeskate in which he won the gold medal. I have to say that I'll miss seeing Brian on the competitive singles scene, since he's been around for almost as long as I can remember, but fortunately we can always look back fondly on the awesome athletics that he performed back in his heyday. Enjoy!

2006 Worlds SP:

2007 Worlds FS:

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