- Category : Ice Dancer
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Wishes 1
Gwendal Peizerat (born April 21, 1972 in Bron, France) is a French ice dancer. With Marina Anissina, he is the 2002 Olympic champion, the 1998 Olympic bronze medalist, the 2000 World Champion, and a six-time French National Champion.
Peizerat started skating at age four when he and his sister, then six, followed their parents to the skating club at the rink. His father was the general secretary of the French skating federation and his mother was in charge of the skating club in Lyon. He went into ice dancing straight away. He was coached by Muriel Boucher-Zazoui since the age of six and throughout his entire career. She paired seven-year-old Peizerat with his first partner, French skater Marina Morel, who was the same age as him; Morel and Peizerat skated together for fourteen years. They won bronze at the 1990 World Junior Championships and then silver the following year. Morel retired in 1992 so Peizerat responded to a letter he had received a few months earlier from Russian World Junior champion Marina Anissina, who chose him after watching competitions on video.
Anissina arrived in Lyon in February 1993 and wanted to take him to Russia but his family objected. She settled in France, focusing intensely on skating and insisting her partner, who was dividing his time between skating and his education, be equally focused on their career. Their first year together was difficult; they had major quarrels and came close to splitting up. Nevertheless, their coach Muriel Boucher-Zazoui immediately felt it was a promising partnership, saying "They are like fire and ice".
Anissina and Peizerat won the 1998 Olympic bronze medal and 1998 and 1999 World silver medals behind Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsyannikov. The Russians retired due to injury and Anissina and Peizerat then developed a rivalry with the Italians Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margaglio. The French won the 2000 European and World Championships. In 2001, Anissina and Peizerat won European and World silver behind the Italians but surged past them in 2002 to reclaim their European title and become the Olympic Champions. At the 2002 Olympics, they led after the compulsory dances and the original dance. Their free dance, Liberty, mixed music with sections from the famed freedom speech by Martin Luther King Jr.; a 5-4 split of the judges' panel had them in first place in this segment ahead of Irina Lobacheva and Ilia Averbukh, and they became the first French ice dancers to win the Olympic gold medal.
After the Olympics, Anissina and Peizerat ended their competitive skating careers. The two continued skating together for many years in shows around the world. Both have also worked as choreographers.
They skated for the club Lyon TSC. Their signature move is a "reverse lift", wherein Anissina lifts Peizerat off the ice, rather than vice versa. This set the two apart from other dance couples, as most lifts in ice dance involve the man lifting the woman.
In 2010, Gwendal Peizerat was elected regional councillor on the list of the Socialist Party in the Rhone Alpes region and was subsequently appointed Councillor Delegate in charge of sports in the Regional Executive headed by Jean-Jack Queyranne.