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“He went into the locker room…”: Gabriella Papadakis denounces the toxic climate of figure skating

Gabriella Papadakis has taken a step back from her sporting career.

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“He went into the locker room…”: Gabriella Papadakis denounces the toxic climate of figure skating

Gabriella Papadakis has taken a step back from her sporting career. Away from competitions since her coronation at the 2022 world championships, the skater returned - in a long interview given to France Info Sport - to the “unhealthy” climate established - when she was still a child - in figure skating. Especially when traveling.

“There are certain things that I don’t want to talk about, but, for example, everything that has happened in recent years with the Sarah Abitbol affair…” she confides. “Even though afterwards it was wonderful. It also allowed me to come out of denial. Suddenly, I said to myself: Oh yeah, actually, it was a climate. It was so normalized that I didn't realize it. In fact, little by little, you grow up, time passes, and you hear stories like that. You tell yourself that it's not so normal after all. And maybe I have more after-effects than I thought.”

Also read: Papadakis-Cizeron: “It’s an end, but not the end”

“These are not isolated acts, nor isolated people,” she then adds, to support her point and her feelings. “It’s a climate. Me, for example, when I went on tour, I was between 16 and 18 years old. We were going on tour with Gilles Beyer (who was accused of rape by Sarah Abitbol)! Who was drunk, who made comments to us all day and who came into the locker room when we were changing. We laughed about it because we didn't know what to do. There was no other way out. Everyone thought it was normal, and everyone acted like it was normal. So yes, it’s a climate. Another time, for example, and I don't even know if I was an adult, a TV commentator (told me) that he would like to be in bed with me, then made other comments like that, on my body. What hurts me the most is not the actions themselves, but the way it is normalized.”

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