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Pechalat, Bourzat confirm participation in worlds

French ice dancers to make a run at first world medal

Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat will get a chance to skate in the country of their birth.
Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat will get a chance to skate in the country of their birth. (Getty Images)

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By Jean-Christophe Berlot, special to icenetwork.com
(03/25/2012) - French ice dancers Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat, who arrived in Nice two days ago, confirmed in a special television conference Sunday, March 25, that they would participate in the 2012 World Figure Skating Championships.

On Wednesday, March 14, during an intense training session, Péchalat injured herself and broke her nose. A day after the accident, doctors decided not to operate on Péchalat before worlds, instead opting to outfit the skater with a custom-made mask to wear as protection.

Péchalat did not wear that mask when she arrived in Nice, and she could even smile as she talked.

"As soon as I arrived in Nice," Péchalat explained, "I went to consult a surgeon to check out how my nose was after the trip. He told me that, functionally and esthetically, my nose did not need any surgical intervention. That was a real relief for me, and I feel quite positive," she said.

"People know that Nathalie is a fighter," Bourzat added. "We have never withdrawn from any championships for such a reason [as this]."

Péchalat and Bourzat are among the favorites for the podium in Nice. Although they are now based in Detroit and trained in Moscow for the three years prior to that, the fact that these worlds are taking place in their home country certainly added to the duo's motivation to skate.

"Along with the support of the French audience," Péchalat concluded, "We'll look after the brightest medal!"