Ice Dancers Win Bronze


On January 13, Lithuanian ice dancers Allison Reed and Saulius Ambrulevičius won bronze medals at the European Figure Skating Championships in Kaunas at Žalgiris Arena. The Lithuanian pair received 122.64 points for their free dance, and scored 203.37 points in total, which is a new personal best for the Lithuanian couple. Italians couple Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri won gold medals, while the silver went to Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson from the UK. This was the first figure skating competition of this calibre hosted by Lithuania.

This is the first time since 2006 that a Lithuanian couple has won medals at a figure skating competition of such a level. Eighteen years ago, Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas also finished third at the European Figure Skating Championships.

On January 12, the couples performed a rhythm dance, after which the 20 finalists were announced, including two Lithuanian duos. The other Lithuanian couple, Paulina Ramanauskaitė and Deividas Kizala, finished 16th, with 154.85 points, their best result in the European championships.

The couple, who won the European bronze, have so far been unable to represent Lithuania in the Winter Olympics because Reed is a US national and has already been denied Lithuanian citizenship. President Gitanas Nausėda rejected Reed’s request to be granted Lithuanian citizenship by way of exception twice. It prevented the couple from competing at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The President’s Office justified the decision by saying that the ice dancer has not demonstrated special merits to Lithuania.

But the bronze medal at the European championship might just be the merit the president is looking for. Or at least many Lithuanians hope so, as calls to grant Reed Lithuanian citizenship spread on social media following the pair’s bronze triumph.