Ice Network

The Inside Edge: Pairs skaters say 'I do' in droves

Duhamel, Marcotte tie knot; Berton, Brubaker wed in Wisconsin ceremony
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With Bermuda providing a picturesque backdrop on their wedding day, world pairs champion Meagan Duhamel and Bruno Marcotte exchange vows. -Rowell Photography

Meagan Duhamel and Bruno Marcotte were married June 5 at the Reefs resort in Bermuda. The ceremony, in front of a small group of friends and family, took place on the beach. Guests included Duhamel's pairs partner Eric Radford, Mervin Tran and coaches Richard Gauthier and Nick Young.

"We wanted to keep things as small and personal as possible," Duhamel said a few days before the ceremony. "We have 24 guests, just our immediate family. I knew if I did a wedding in my hometown, in Montreal, it would be big. I never dreamed of having a big wedding. By going away, it was easy to keep it small and personal."

The barefoot bride wore an off-white gown with a deep v-neck and pearl-embroidered lace panels. She carried a bouquet of pink and salmon flowers. The groom wore a white jacket over blue Bermuda shorts.

"I found a picture of a dress on Pinterest, and I asked the lady who makes my skating dresses if she could reproduce it for me," Duhamel said. "She makes a lot of ballroom dresses. It's just down to my ankles. I originally wanted a color, pink or blue -- I wanted to do everything for my wedding that was non-traditional -- but Bruno insisted that I have something close to white. I'm not a very fancy person; I'm not very picky. I wanted something I could wear on the beach."

Duhamel's wedding ring has rose gold leaves on the band that fold into the leaves on her engagement ring. Marcotte's ring is half black and half silver. Duhamel, a vegan, selected a vegan lemon cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream icing.

Marcotte coached Duhamel and Radford to the world pairs title in March. He and Duhamel have been dating for five years, almost as long as her partnership with Radford.

"I got two perfect men in my life at the same time," Duhamel said.

Marcotte said he knew he wanted to marry Duhamel when the couple was on vacation in Hawaii two years ago.

"We share so much in common, more than skating. We share a lot of different passions about things in our life," Marcotte said. "We always kept a very professional life at the rink; a lot of people didn't know we were dating. We always had a good relationship, but when we went to Hawaii, our relationship took a different level. I think I knew before, but that confirmed everything. It was 10 days of pure happiness."

To recall that special time, Marcotte bought a ukulele a few weeks before the wedding.

"I never played any instrument," he said, laughing. "I said, 'I'm going to learn the ukulele and I'm going to play a song at the wedding.' The song is a tribute to us, and how we love each other."

Berton-Brubaker

June 5 must have been an auspicious date for pairs skaters, as two others were married on that day. Former European bronze medalist Stefania Berton and two-time U.S. pairs champion Rockne Brubaker tied the knot outdoors at Lake Lawn Resort in Lake Delavan, Wisconsin. It appeared to be a perfect day.

"It's a small lake -- a really nice area," Brubaker said a few days before the event. "I'm very excited. We've been looking forward to this day for quite some time. [The planning] has all been pretty easy, pretty smooth, so we've been able to enjoy it."

Brubaker's brother, Collin, was the best man; other groomsmen included skaters Ryan Bradley, Jon Nuss, Travis Nuss and Steven Elefante. Evan Bates, Charlie White and David Santee also attended, and joined the other guys in a round of golf the day before the ceremony.

Brubaker said all of Berton's bridesmaids were from Italy, including Lorenza Alessandrini and maid of honor Chiara Balsamini.

"We're keeping it pretty small," he said. "The rest is pretty much family. I have a fairly large family and she has about 15 people coming from Italy."

Because we spoke before the wedding, Brubaker hadn't yet seen the dress.

"I've heard it's absolutely stunning," he said. "I'm sure she's going to look amazing."

By the way, Berton's former pairs partner, Ondřej Hotárek, is said to be wedding his longtime girlfriend, 2014 world ice dance champion Anna Cappellini, later this month.

Brezina engaged

Michal Březina, the 2013 European bronze medalist, and Israeli champion Danielle Montalbano have announced their engagement. Březina said the proposal was a surprise.

"We were dating for almost 2 1/2 years before I proposed to her," he emailed. "Well, I didn't plan on it, but we got engaged in Montauk, (New York). I've never been there, so I asked her if she would like to go take a ride there. I totally felt in love with the lighthouse and the place itself, so I decided to ask her there."

The couple hasn't set a date, but Březina says that the wedding will likely be early in the summer of 2017. 

"I'm really excited about the event and I feel really happy that I found Dani," he said. "I think we complete each other."

Jimmy Ma injured

In less happy news, Jimmy Ma suffered a level 2 sprain to his left ankle on June 1. He was doing a program run-through when a triple loop jump went awry.

"I already landed the jump," he said. "It was one of those really wonky landings and I really wanted to save it and continue the program. I tripped on my heel. I've fallen like this before and I know how to save myself. I tried to catch myself on my left foot, and my whole body just landed on my left ankle. I may have a couple of torn ligaments and maybe a small fracture."

Ma is on crutches for a few more days, and hopes to be back on the ice in a week or two. He is frustrated to be missing training at this time of year.

"I'm pretty bored at home," he said. "I can't be away from skating for that long. It's hard just sitting idle at this crucial part of the training season. I wasn't upset about the pain, but I was really upset that I had to stop for a couple of weeks. All the jumps are starting to be really good; my programs were really coming together."

Ma's coach, Elaine Zayak, told him to take the injury as a sign that he needed a break.

"I was like, couldn't they have said that in a less painful way? Like on a billboard?" Ma said.

Rohene Ward choreographed Ma's new short program, set to "Tsunami" by DVBBS and Borgeous. Jeff Buttle did the free skate, to Praeludium and Allegro by Fritz Kreisler, Chopin nocturne and Vitali's "Chaconne in G minor."

"It was a joy to work with those two," Ma said about the choreographers.

He was going to debut the programs at the Broadmoor Open, but those plans have obviously changed. Ma still hopes to compete somewhere this summer and show off not only new programs but new jumps: a triple axel, and either a quad toe or quad salchow.

"I just started working on quad sal and it feels very natural to me," he said.

Shows overseas

Cast announcements for several impressive shows in Asia have been pouring out.
 
Denis Ten's show Salem takes place June 20 and 21 in Kazakhstan. The cast includes Stéphane Lambiel, Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, Joannie Rochette, Jeremy Abbott, Elena Radionova, Qing Pang and Jian Tong, Elladj Baldé, and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani, among others. "Salem" means "hello" in the Kazakh language.

In China, Xue Shen and Hangbo Zhao's Artistry on Ice shows, taking place July 8-12, will star Meryl Davis and Charlie  White, Adelina Sotnikova, Javier Fernández, Kurt Browning, Lambiel, Carolina Kostner, Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, Johnny Weir, Han Yan, Li Zijun, Karen Chen, Wenjing Sui and Cong Han, and more.

Lucky fans in Japan can see Mao Asada, Patrick Chan, Rochette, Kostner, Ashley Wagner, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, Buttle, Abbott, Adam Rippon, Takahiko Kozuka, Pang and Tong, Akiko Suzuki, Nobunari Oda, Misha Ge and more in Asada's THE ICE. The shows take place in late July and early August.

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