Double heartbreak

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:11 AM ET

Breaking up is hard to do. Especially when you have to do it twice, on and off the ice.

Canada's top international pairs team - since Jamie Sale and David Pelletier won gold at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games - has split.

Anabelle Langlois and Patrice Archetto are no longer a pair.

"First they broke up as boyfriend and girlfriend," said Jan Ullmark of the duo which moved to Edmonton's Royal Glenora club to train under Ullmark when Sale and Pelletier turned pro.

Ironically, it was almost the same day that Sale and Pelletier announced their engagement that Langlois informed her partner there was going to be no happily-ever-after in their future.

"When you've been together four or five years as a couple, it definitely has an effect," said Ullmark of the on-ice performance of the two in an event which features throws and death spirals and huge dependency on your partner, a reason so many of them become partners in life as well.

Fifth in the world two years ago, the two finished third at Canadians 10 days ago and failed to qualify for this year's Worlds in Moscow.

THAT WAS THE END

That was the end for the pair. But the end for the couple came on New Year's Day.

"Anabelle, on the first day of the year, broke up with me. It started right there," said Archetto.

"She had some issues and ended the relationship. From then on I started to think of myself. I didn't want it to end. It's hard to go on with training and and see her every day. To still go on skating would have been too hard on me.

"To be in love and see her every day and watch her go out with somebody else ... I couldn't do it. It was too tough to do it for just a few weeks."

Archetto, who says he plans to become a firefighter, completed the course before pairing with Langlois and extending his skating career.

He says he's not going to stay in Edmonton.

HAD ENOUGH

"I have nothing left here," he said. "I have no more partner and no more girlfriend."

There's more involved, says Ullmark.

"Pat is 32 years old and he's had enough. Anabelle is 23 and she feels she's not done and wants to find a new partner."

Langlois isn't sure where her future will be.

A lot of that will be determined by the new partner, if in fact she can find one.

"I'll quit and go back to school if I can't find somebody better than Pat," she said. "I think Pat has been ready to retire for a long time.

"I think it's been harder for Pat these last two years to handle our disappointments because of his age.

"I adore skating and have a lot more patience.

"A lot of it is personal. It's been hard for me to train with somebody who doesn't want to be skating and doesn't have the same place in his heart for skating as me."

And you think it's easy being a figure-skating coach?

"Coaches don't have to deal with this in any other sport," said Ullmark.

He says you never know which way it's going to go.

"Jamie and David had their ups and downs, too, their breakups and separations," he said.


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