Bermudian Vanessa James and her partner Morgan Ciprès overcame a wobbly start to claim the gold medal at the International Skating Union Grand Prix in Grenoble in southeastern France last week.
The pair, who represent France, won the pairs title but did so the hard way after a faulty short programme left them with plenty to do in the free skate to keep their glory bid alive.
James and Ciprès clinched a second grand-prix title of the season after scoring 140.53 points, performing to Wicked Game and The Last Feeling, in which they produced a triple twist, triple toe-double combination, throw triple flip and salchow, as well as a level-four lift, spin and death spiral.
Their performance was not flawless as James doubled the triple salchow.
However, it proved to be enough to secure the title and their place at next week’s ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Vancouver, Canada.
“We’re both happy with the fight, especially after a disappointing short programme,” James told International Skating Union.org.
“We’re very proud to have our second gold medal at a Grand Prix.
“We just have more work to do mentally and try to skate even better than at Skate Canada. It’s nice to have made these few mistakes here to learn from them and be perfect for the next competition.”
Ciprès added: “We’re really happy to win this competition. It’s the first time for us to win two Grand Prix in the season and to go to the Grand Prix Final.
“We have a lot of work to do for these next two weeks.”
Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea, of the United States, had to settle for silver — their first at this level — while overnight leaders Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii, of Russia, were awarded the bronze at the sixth and final event of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series held from November 23 to 25.
The top six qualifiers in each discipline will advance to the showpiece final to be held in Vancouver from December 6 to 9.
James, whose father Kevin is Bermudian, was born in Ontario, Canada but lived in Bermuda until the age of ten when her family moved to Virginia.
During her time on the island, James, 31, attended Mount St Agnes Academy.
Her twin sister Melissa is also a figure skater.
James and Ciprès have been competing together since 2010 during which time they have appeared in many figure skating competitions and have won several medals, including a memorable bronze medal at the prestigious world championships earlier this year.