Team Riedell Skaters Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier to Headline Canadian Team at ISU World Championships

Written By: Riedell | March 8, 2023

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, who have skated together in ice dance since 2011, are two of the most famous Canadian figure skaters participating at the ISU World Championships. This year’s competition takes place March 20–26 in Saitama, Japan. 

It will be the first major competition for the pair since Gilles underwent an appendectomy and they had to bow out of the Canadian Figure Skating Championships and the Four Continents Championships to recover.

Gilles/Poirer, a dynamic duo on Team Riedell, have taken their passion for ice dance to new heights thanks to their trust in the performance and reliable quality of Riedell skates.

Gilles/Poirier won their first Grand Prix Final gold medal at the Turin Final in 2023 and were having a career-best season prior to Gilles’ appendectomy. 

In 2022, Gilles/Poirier easily won both segments at the Canadian Championships in Ottawa. Despite this, Team Canada placed fourth in the Beijing Olympics, and Gilles/Poirier finished in 7th place, causing them to briefly contemplate retirement during their off-season. By mid-July, they decided to continue, but the late start prevented them from competing in Challenger events before the Grand Prix.

Gilles/Poirier won their second Grand Prix gold medal at the 2022 Grand Prix of Espoo with a 17.03-point margin over the silver medalists and qualified first for the Grand Prix Final. They went on to win their third consecutive Skate Canada International title by 6.52 points over Fear/Gibson, setting the stage for their successful 2023 season.

Since the early days of their partnership, the pair found success. 

Gilles/Poirier won bronze at the 2012 Canadian Championships, gold at the 2012 U.S. Classic, and silver at the 2013 Canadian Championships. 

Gilles became Canadian in December 2013, making the pair Olympic-eligible. Unfortunately, Poirier was injured and the duo finished fourth at the 2014 Canadian Championships, missing Olympic selection. They won silver at the 2014 Four Continents Championship behind Gilles’ former partner Donohue and his new partner Madison Hubbell. 

Gilles/Poirier won silver at the 2014 Skate Canada International and 2014 Trophée Éric Bompard Grand Prix, qualifying them for the 2014–15 Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, where they placed fifth. 

They finished sixth at the 2015 World Championships and silver at the 2016 Canadian Championships. At the 2016 World Championships, Gilles/Poirier introduced a new routine that included a move called the March, which the ISU adopted as a pattern dance.  

Gilles/Poirier won bronze at Skate Canada International, 2016 Trophée de France, and 2017 Canadian Championships. Gilles/Poirier placed fourth at Skate America and Rostelecom Cup Grand Prix 2017.

They qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea by winning silver at the 2018 Canadian championships. They finished eighth at their first Olympics and sixth at the 2018 World Championships. 

They won the 2018–19 Grand Prix season’s Nebelhorn Trophy, then won bronze at their first Grand Prix event, the 2018 Skate Canada International, in spite of suffering a fall. They won another bronze at the 2018 Internationaux de France. 

At the 2019 Canadian Championships, Gilles/Poirier placed second overall, missing first place by only 1.47 points. Gilles/Poirier won the 2019 Four Continents Championships bronze medal, their first since 2014. 

They won gold in their first Grand Prix. Their second event, the 2019 Rostelecom Cup, earned them a silver medal and a return to the Grand Prix Final after five years. Gilles/Poirier finished fifth at the Grand Prix Final in Torino, matching their 2014 finish. 

Gilles/Poirier were the 2020 Canadian Championships favorites. Despite Gilles’ hair catching on Poirier’s jacket in the free dance, they won their first Canadian national title. Gilles/Poirier won silver at the 2020 Four Continents Championships in Seoul. The pandemic canceled the World Championships and Skate Canada International, where they were scheduled to compete. 

Gilles/Poirier started on the Grand Prix at the 2021 Skate Canada International, winning their second consecutive gold medal. At the 2021 Internationaux de France, they took the silver medal. They qualified for the Grand Prix Final but it was canceled due to Omicron variant restrictions. 

The 2021 Canadian Championships were likewise canceled. Gilles/Poirier were named to the Canadian team for the 2021 World Championships, held in Stockholm without an audience due to the pandemic. They won bronze, only .36 points behind the silver medalists. 

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier have skated together for over a decade, forming one of Canada’s most dynamic and successful pairs. Their perseverance and resilience have strengthened their bond and determination to win the 2023 ISU World Championships. 

As they head to Saitama, Japan, they are focused on giving their all and delivering a performance that showcases their artistic and technical excellence. and eagerly await their next skating adventure. Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier will continue to captivate audiences with their passion and grace on the ice.