A great working relationship doesn’t necessarily make a great marital relationship. Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball learned that the hard way, as did Sonny and Cher. Now, Canadian figure skating team David Pelletier and Jamie Salé have announced their decision to end their marriage — although they plan to continue skating together in shows.
In a press statement on Friday, Salé, 33, broke the news that she and Pelletier have been separated for a year and a half. “We’ve had an incredible partnership for the past 12 years,” she wrote, “and we look forward to that mutual respect and commitment continuing both on the ice and as we parent our son, Jesse. While this is always a difficult decision, we still share two of the most important parts of our lives in common, and for that reason, we wanted [the divorce] to be amicable and by mutual agreement.”
“As a team, we have achieved many goals,” Pelletier said in his own media statement, “but no medal or accomplishment can compare to our son. He will always be our priority.” The couple has asked for privacy.
Rumors of the couple’s impending breakup have spread throughout their hometown, Edmonton, for the past several months. In April, the pair’s manager told the Edmonton Journal that they were still “very much together”.
Pelletier, 35, first met Salé in 1991, and they began skating together in 1998. Over the next four years, the pair won three Canadian Championships, three Skate America championships, a World Championship, and more. They also won the 2001 Lou Marsh Trophy, given annually to Canada’s top athlete. In 2002, the couple received gold medals at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City — after a scandal in which the French judge admitted that the leader of her federation had pressured her into awarding higher scores to the team’s Russian competitors.
After the 2002 Olympics, Pelletier and Salé went pro, winning additional competitions and touring with the long-running Stars on Ice live show. They were inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame the following year.
Pelletier divorced from his first wife to be with Salé. He proposed to her on Christmas Day in 2004, and they married in Banff, Alberta a year later. They plan to remain in Edmonton and share child custody of their two-year-old son, Jesse Joe Pelletier.
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