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Canadian Marie-France Dubreuil, right, is put down by her partner Patrice Lauzon after she slipped and fell during their performance at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 19, 2006.

MARK BAKER

Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon didn't survive their best shot at Olympic glory, their dream dying when Dubreuil crashed to the ice.

Seconds from finishing their original dance at the 2006 Turin Olympics, and trailing the leaders by less than two points, Dubreuil fell out of their final lift, coming down hard on one hip. Unable to put any weight on her right foot, Lauzon gently glided her off the ice, and then hoisted his future wife into his arms.

She'd suffered a deep bone bruise. The two never skated the free dance.

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Dubreuil and Lauzon are making happier Olympic memories in Pyeongchang, finding success behind the boards as the coaches of the world's best ice dancers.

The top three teams in Monday's short dance – Canada's Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France, and Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue – are among the 17 dance teams they coach at Montreal's Gadbois Centre.

"It's interesting, because T (Virtue) and I were the last members to the school, and it was full of people you knew you'd be in this position with in two years, that we'd be in a dog fight for our lives to try and win an Olympic gold medal with, and how they welcomed you with open arms, and what fantastic people they were," Moir said. "We'd never seen that before in our career.

"That stems from the coaches, and the culture that Patrice and Marie-France and Romain (Haguenauer) created. They just don't put up with anybody who's not a team player. It's been probably one of the joys of our career to be involved in this."

Their training environment is reminiscent of their previous base in Canton, Mich., where they skated alongside American rivals Meryl Davis and Charlie White, and shared a coach in Marina Zoueva.

Virtue and Moir decided to go a completely different direction when they came out of retirement last season, moving to Montreal to train with Dubreuil and Lauzon, who are five-time Canadian champions and two-time world silver medallists.

Virtue and Moir have said it helps that Dubreuil and Lauzon, who married in 2008 and have a daughter Billie-Rose, are fresh off competing. They retired in 2007.

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In Monday's news conference with the top three ice dance teams, they were asked about sharing the coaches. Moir banged a hand enthusiastically in applause on the table. All three teams erupted in a loud whoop.

Hubbell cried when she spoke of her training mates and coaches.

"It was our coaches as well as our teammates who really inspired us by treating us like their competition," she said, with an embarrassed laugh about her tears. "We were asked (by the media) if we were going for bronze or if we're going for gold. And it was these skaters that really didn't let us think about ourselves any other way. It's been wonderful, and I love them all."

Papadakis – she and Cizeron are less than two points behind the Canadians going into Tuesday's free dance – said "it's not a coincidence" the Montreal school boasts the top three teams.

"We feel just very lucky to be a part of this school," she said.

The 43-year-old Dubreuil and Lauzon, 42, spent much of their own skating careers training in Lyon, France, where Haguenauer was one of their coaches. They recognized the need for an elite centre on Canadian ice.

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"Our team, our school, I think we've done a really good job with those three teams," Dubreuil said. "And they're all very different, and all fabulous people. I'm really proud of them."

Canada's Brian Orser, a world and Olympic silver medallist, has found similar success in coaching. He coaches Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu and Javier Fernandez of Spain, the gold and bronze medallists respectively in the men's singles event, plus Canada's world bronze medallist Gabrielle Daleman.

Dubreuil, Lauzon and Haguenauer split the coaching duties on Monday, each taking one of the top teams to shadow in the pre-skate preparations.

The one major mishap on the day came when the hooks at the neck of Papadakis's dress came undone, exposing her left breast.

The Olympic Games can be cruel, someone pointed out to Dubreuil.

"My Olympics finished in an ambulance. It's a little bit worse than a top coming off," she said. "Well, I don't know if it's worse, but at least they get to skate the free dance."

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included incorrect names for an American ice dancing pair. They are Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, not Madison Chock and Evan Bates.
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