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Nathalie Pechalat


Nathalie Pechalat

Nathalie Péchalat
Péchalat and Bourzat at 2009 Skate Canada
Personal information
Full name Nathalie Péchalat
Country represented France
Born (1983-12-22) 22 December 1983 (age 30)
Home town Lyon, France
Residence Detroit
Height 1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)
Partner Fabian Bourzat
Former partner Julien Deheinzelin
Michael Zenezini
Coach Igor Shpilband
Former coach Anjelika Krylova
Pasquale Camerlengo
Alexander Zhulin
Oleg Volkov
Maxim Staviski
Muriel Zazoui
Romain Haguenauer
Anne Sophie Druet
Choreographer Pasquale Camerlengo
Ilia Constantin
Kader Belmoktar
Former choreographer Alexander Zhulin
Antonio Najarro
Mourad Merzouki
Julien Cottereau
Laurie May Ayivigan
Skating club Castres SG
Training locations Novi, Michigan
Former training locations Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Began skating 1990
World standing 4 (As of 2 November 2013)[1]
Season's bests 3 (2012–2013)[2]
3 (2011–2012)[3]
3 (2010–2011)[4]
6 (2009–2010)[5]
6 (2008–2009)[6]
ISU personal best scores
Combined total 194.39
2010 Worlds
Comp. dance 37.75
2010 Worlds
Short dance: 70.97
2011 Worlds
Free dance 104.05
2012 Worlds

Nathalie Péchalat (born 22 December 1983) is a French ice dancer. With partner Fabian Bourzat, she is the 2012 World bronze medalist, a two-time European champion (20112012), and a three-time French national champion (2009, 2011, 2012). They have won three medals at the Grand Prix Final (2009, 2010, 2011) and thirteen other Grand Prix medals, including two golds at Cup of China and two at Trophée Eric Bompard.


Early career

Nathalie Péchalat began skating at the age of seven, originally as a singles skater. At the age of ten, she switched to ice dancing after her coach, Anne Sophie Druet, suggested she was suited for the discipline and her son was looking for a partner.[7]

In March 2000, Péchalat's then-partner left her, and her coach at the time, Muriel Zazoui, suggested she team up with Fabian Bourzat.[7] The two did not get along well at first but gradually became friends.[8] In a 2011 interview, Péchalat said that she and Bourzat have different personalities but that he is the ideal skating partner for her: "He is very gifted. He works through feeling and inspiration. As soon as he feels a move, he can reproduce it and interpret it. He does not need to intellectualize." According to Bourzat, "Nathalie is always pulling the couple ahead and pushing us to work. She brings her extraordinary capacity to work. She always wants to do everything perfectly."[9]

Péchalat / Bourzat were coached by Muriel Boucher-Zazoui and Romain Haguenauer from 2000 to mid-2008 in Lyon, France. From 2000 to 2003, they also worked with Pasquale Camerlengo.[10] They skated as juniors for two years, winning two Junior Grand Prix medals, before moving to seniors at the beginning of the 2002–03 season.


Péchalat / Bourzat won bronze medals at the 2003 and 2005 Winter Universiade. They made their Worlds debut in 2004, finishing 20th, and their Europeans debut in 2005, placing 12th. The duo competed at the 2006 Winter Olympics, where they came in 18th.


In the post-Olympic 2006–07 season, Péchalat / Bourzat won their first senior Grand Prix medal, a bronze at the 2006 Skate America. They missed the 2007 Europeans after she injured her hand but were able to compete at Worlds, where they finished in 12th place.

In the 2007–2008 season, Péchalat / Bourzat won silver at both Skate America and the Cup of Russia, and qualified for their first Grand Prix Final, where they finished 6th. They were forced to miss the 2008 French National Championships after Bourzat underwent knee surgery for a torn meniscus,[11] but returned to the ice in time for the 2008 Europeans, finishing 5th. They were 7th at the 2008 Worlds.

In July 2008, Péchalat / Bourzat moved to Moscow to train under Alexander Zhulin, with whom they had spent a few weeks in 2007, and his assistant Oleg Volkov.[8][12][13] They said the move was difficult at first due to not knowing the Russian language and Moscow being a very expensive city to live in, however, from a skating perspective they felt it was a good move.[8]

2008–2009 season

Péchalat / Bourzat's 2008–2009 Grand Prix events were Skate Canada and the NHK Trophy. They made some changes to their programs following their 3rd place finish at Skate Canada,[14] and finished a close second at the NHK Trophy, winning both the original dance and the free dance. They did not qualify for the 2008–2009 Grand Prix Final. In December 2008, Péchalat and Bourzat won their first national title. At the 2009 Europeans, they were second in the free dance and fourth overall, missing out on a medal by less than half a point. They finished 5th at 2009 Worlds.

2009–2010 season

For the 2009–10 season, Péchalat / Bourzat were assigned to the Trophée Eric Bompard and Skate Canada as their Grand Prix events. They finished in second place, behind Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, in both events. These results qualified them for their second Grand Prix Final. Prior to the final, Bourzat suffered an ankle injury, but they were able to skate well enough to earn their first GPF medal, a bronze.[15] Following a second consecutive 4th place finish at Europeans and a 7th place at the Vancouver Olympics, Pechalat / Bourzat elected to return to their Circus free dance from the 2008–9 season. They then finished 4th at 2010 Worlds with new personal best scores in the compulsory dance, the free dance, and overall. They won the small bronze medal for the free dance.[16]

2010–2011 season

Péchalat / Bourzat began the 2010–11 season with wins at the Nebelhorn Trophy and the Finlandia Trophy; the former was their first international gold medal at any level. They initially used Amélie for their short dance but replaced it with Doctor Zhivago prior to the 2010 Cup of China, which they won by a large margin. They won their second Grand Prix title at the 2010 Trophée Eric Bompard. Their results qualified them for the Grand Prix Final, where they won the silver medal. They followed this by winning French nationals for the second time in their career. Péchalat / Bourzat went on to win the 2011 Europeans, finishing first in both the short dance and the free dance,[17][18][19] and breaking the 100-point barrier in the free dance for the first time in their career. It was their first ever medal at an ISU Championship. They produced France's fifth ice dancing European title.[20]

In mid-February 2011, Péchalat / Bourzat performed in galas in North Korea along with other international skaters. Bourzat said, "Traveling there was not a political act at all. We came as open-minded people, who wanted to discover and exchange."[21]

At the 2011 Worlds, Péchalat / Bourzat set a new personal best in the short dance and were in bronze medal position going into the free dance.[22] They dropped to fourth overall after Bourzat tripped and both fell during a step sequence.[12][23] Following the event, reports surfaced that Péchalat / Bourzat would move to Michigan to train with Anjelika Krylova and Pasquale Camerlengo.[12][24]

2011–2012 season

In May 2011, Péchalat / Bourzat confirmed their move to the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan for the 2011–2012 season.[25][26] They said that Camerlengo was the only coach they considered, based on their past experience of working with him during their time as juniors at Lyon,[10] as well as wanting to continue the technique they learned under Zhulin: "[Krylova] is exactly in Zhulin's footsteps as she perpetuates the basics and technique he taught us."[26] The French dancers remained on good terms with Zhulin and Volkov.[27] In Michigan, they trained three hours a day on the ice and then did off-ice training.[28] They lived close to the rink.[29] They also spent time during the summer in Lyon to work with choreographer Kader Belmoktar on their Egypt-themed free dance.[30]

Péchalat / Bourzat took up the new option of competing at three Grand Prix events and were assigned to 2011 Skate America, 2011 Skate Canada, and 2011 Trophee Eric Bompard.[27] Although Bourzat was ill with bronchitis, they were able to win the silver medal at Skate America.[31][32][33] They withdrew from Skate Canada due to Bourzat's bronchitis.[34] Their second place finish at the Trophee Eric Bompard, combined with their showing at Skate America, qualified them for their third straight Grand Prix Final. There, they set a new personal best score in the free dance and won the bronze medal. Their next competition was the French Championships, where they won their third national title.

At the 2012 European Championships, Péchalat / Bourzat were second after the short dance, but rallied in the free dance to win their second consecutive European title.[35][36] Péchalat sustained a broken nose in training on 13 March.[37][38] She said: "We just made a mistake during our twizzles, and I got knocked out."[39] She began wearing a mask but decided to delay an operation until after the 2012 World Championships.[39][40] On 25 March, Péchalat / Bourzat confirmed they would compete at the event and said surgery would not be necessary.[41] At the World Championships, they recorded a season's best score in the short dance[42] and a personal best score in the free dance on their way to winning the bronze, their first World medal.

2012–2013 season

Péchalat / Bourzat won gold at both of their events, the 2012 Cup of China and 2012 Trophee Eric Bompard, and qualified for their fourth Grand Prix Final, where they won bronze. On 9 January 2013, Bourzat sustained a partial tear of the adductor muscle of his right leg, resulting in the team's withdrawal from the 2013 European Championships.[43] Péchalat remained captain of the French team for the event.[43] The duo decided to compete at the 2013 World Championships, motivated in part by the desire to obtain two spots for French ice dancers at the 2014 Olympics.[44] They finished 6th at the event.

On 20 May 2013, at the French skating federation's suggestion, Péchalat / Bourzat announced a coaching change to Igor Shpilband in Novi, Michigan.[45][46]

Personal life

Péchalat has an older brother and two sisters. She obtained a BSc degree in sports management and later pursued graduate studies at Management School of Lyon.[7][47] While training in Moscow, she studied at the Finance University under the Government of the Russian Federation, a prestigious Russian university for economics and finance.[48] She intends to pursue a career in business after her competitive retirement, with a preference for a company involved in sports.[49] She was in a relationship with Czech figure skater Tomas Verner. (2009–2013)


(with Bourzat)

Season Short dance Free dance Exhibition
"The Little Prince and his rose":
  • Polka: Gaîté parisienne
    by Jacques Offenbach
  • Waltz: Sous le ciel de Paris
    performed by Yves Montand
  • Polka: Gaîté parisienne
    by Jacques Offenbach
Rolling Stones medley:
"Carnival in Rio" "Mummy and Pharaoh"
  • The Time of My Life
    (from Dirty Dancing)

Original dance
American country:
  • Thank God, I'm a Country Boy
    by Roy Rivers, Dolly Parton
  • It's not over now
    by Dale Watson
    choreo. by Laurie May Ayvignan, P. Narboux

Circus theme:

Circus theme:
  • La Notte di Favola
    by Nicola Piovani
  • La Marche des Gladiateurs
  • Jonglage
    by Maxime Rodriguez

Circus theme:
  • La Notte di Favola
    by Nicola Piovani
  • La Marche des Gladiateurs
  • Jonglage
    by Maxime Rodriguez
    choreo. by Julien Cottereau

Spanish flamenco:
  • Mi Buenos Aires Querido
    by Carlos Libendinsky
  • Escualo
    by Ástor Piazzolla
    choreo. by Laurie May Ayvignan
  • Four Seasons
    by Assen Merzouki
    choreo. by Mourad Merzouki
  • Samba: San-A-Samba
    by Rene Aubry
  • Rhumba: And I love Her
    by Jose Alberto
  • Salsa: From Chano
  • Slow foxtrot
  • Charleston
  • Quickstep
  • Swing Brother Swing
    by C. MacGill
  • If Can't Have You
    by E. James
  • Swing Brother Swing
    by C. MacGill
    choreo. by Pasquale Camerlengo
  • Babalu
    by Chano
  • Dance of the Soldiers
    by Red Army Choir
  • Hasta Siempre
    by S. Brave
  • Demasiado Corazon
    by Willy DeVille
    choreo. by Romain Haguenauer
  • Buddha Bar
    by Claude Challe
  • Elveda
    by Metin Arolat
  • Asla Vazgecemem
    by Tarkan
    version performed by unknown artist
    choreo. by Romain Haguenauer
  • La Historia di un Amor
    by Claude Challe
  • Spanish Waltz
  • La Historia del' Amour
    by Claude Challe
  • Buddha Bar
    by Claude Challe
  • The Sea
  • Katjuscha – Midnight in Moscow
  • El Condor Pasa

Competitive highlights

With Bourzat

Event 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
Olympics 18th 7th
Worlds 20th 19th 15th 12th 7th 5th 4th 4th 3rd 6th
Europeans 12th 11th 5th 4th 4th 1st 1st WD
Grand Prix Final 6th 3rd 2nd 3rd 3rd
GP Bompard 9th 8th 8th 5th 7th 2nd 1st 2nd 1st
GP Cup of China 7th 7th 1st 1st 1st
GP Cup of Russia 5th 2nd
GP NHK Trophy 2nd
GP Skate America 3rd 2nd 2nd
GP Skate Canada 11th 3rd 2nd WD
Finlandia 1st
Nebelhorn 1st
Universiade 3rd 3rd
International: Junior
Junior Worlds 8th 6th
JGP Final 7th
JGP China 2nd
JGP France 6th
JGP Japan 2nd
JGP Netherlands 4th
French Champ. 1st J. 1st J. 3rd 3rd 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st
Master's 1st J. 1st J. 2nd 3rd 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 1st
Team events
World Team 4T / 3P
GP = Grand Prix; JGP = Junior Grand Prix; J. = Junior level; WD = Withdrew; TBD = Assigned
T = Team result; P = Personal result; Medals awarded for team result only.

Earlier partnerships

(with Zenezini)

Event 1999–2000
JGP Norway 6th
JGP = Junior Grand Prix

(with Deheinzelen)

Event 1997–1998 1998–1999
JGP Hungary 5th
JGP Ukraine 12th 8th
JGP Slovakia 11th
JGP = Junior Grand Prix


External links

  • Official site
  • Additional website
  • IceNetwork
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