2 April 2012

Happy Birthday Stéphane Lambiel!

Today is Stéphane Lambiel birthday, and we wish him life will bring him a wonderful future and will fulfil his dreams.

Taking a stroll down memory lane is not typical for Stéphane, but what about having a look back at his career?

"I'm twenty seven but I feel like I'm ten," the King of Spins says to Reut Golinsky. "Hopefully in ten years when I look back I will have no regrets; I haven't had any so far," Stéphane added. 

The Little Prince remembers the standing ovation in Calgary after his free program. It was 2006, and Stéphane  won his second world title. "That was probably the most incredible standing ovation in my life. I was the last to skate... I didn't know that Brian (A/N: Joubert) had skated well, but I knew I couldn't make any mistakes, because one mistake would be a disaster..."

Stéphane also remembers his first costume: "It was turquoise. The first costume has a strong meaning for me. When you go on stage you need to get into character, and the first thing to help you develop that character is your costume".

Lambiel says he was always inspired by Spanish music. "I probably felt comfortable with it; it was me, my music. Today I am more open to new styles, but before I had this vision of something Spanish," Stéphane says. "It's true I have had many Spanish programs and I still love Spanish vibes."

Stéphane is famous for his beautiful spins and people call him "The King of spins", but he never made a trademark of them. "Sometimes I'm a little bit disappointed that people only talk about my spins. OK, maybe these are good spins but I never focused on spins, I never wanted anyone to emphasize my spins; I worked on everything!" the Little Prince confesses to Reut Golinsky.  "Maybe it's the element which is the easiest to notice. But I think it's not only spins. I hope not! It's very frustrating... I mean, I'm happy when someone says: "I love your spins", that's not a problem. It's just that I don't like it when they only remember the spins. Sometimes it feels like I can only do spins."

I know, I'm only a little blogger in the sea out there, but belive me Stéph, it's not like we remember only your spins. (And yes, they really are good spins!) We remember also your choreographies, your elegance and grace, your tears in Turin when you won the silver medal at the Winter Olympics... It's just a nickname! What should Kevin Reynolds say, then? The Canadian skater is called "The King of quads"...

Stéphane remembers having his first Official Fan Club when he was still unkown and aged 14. It was 1999 and his parents got divorced. His mother had to start working to earn money to pay for his skating lessons. His uncle had an idea: some people from his village, Saxon, got toghether and helped paying for the figure skating season.
"It started as a small group, friends and neighbors, and every year it got bigger and bigger," he remembers. "It doesn't exist anymore. We had our last reunion last autumn and we closed it. The idea of this club was to follow my competitions, but what you need to understand is that they were not skating fans, they were people from the village who were supporting me to be able to skate; they were supporting my career. For them it was great to go to competitions and to see my progress; how I improved, my results. That doesn't mean that those people won't follow what I do now, but this part of their support has no purpose anymore."

About his turning professional, Stéphane says that it was not a physical problem that made him do it. "If I wanted to compete I would compete. But I don't want to compete! The reason is not physical. It was physical back when I had to stop (A/N: in 2008), a serious problem with my hip when for a year I couldn't find a solution," Lambiel says. "But after Vancouver... The decision I took when I was 12 was "until Vancouver", it was until 2010 with or without a medal. When I've stopped after Vancouver it was because I was done with competitions."
And if the nickname "King of spins" bothers him a little, the nickname "Little Prince" doesn't so much. "I think I'm still a child and I hope I will have a young mind forever. Maybe that's why it doesn't bother me?"

And why it should bother him? It was worse for Brian Joubert who was called "Blacksmith"! Indeed, some years ago, critics divided skaters in noble/aristocratic skaters and non noble/aristocratic skaters. Useless to say that with his favourite book being "The Little Prince" and his grace and elegance in skating, Stéphane was among the firsts, with Plushenko, the Tsar, and Alexei Yagudin. Among the latters we can remember the same Joubert, but also Kevin Van Der Perren, skaters of great power but less grace. Don't misinterpret me, it's not a criticism, I love them both and I've always found this division more funny than offensive. With the new judging system, hower, the division wouldn't be valid anymore.


  1. A direct link to the source will be appreciated.

  2. Stéphane wish you A Great Birthaday and that life would allow you to achieve what more can you wish for. Nice interview

  3. Absolute Skating, you're right! It got deleted while I was editing the post. I didn’t realize it. I'm so sorry. I put it back immediately!