Golden couple to split

The Canadian figure skaters who won the world’s heart at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics are getting a divorce.

David Pelletier and Jamie Sale

David Pelletier and Jamie Sale

The Canadian figure skaters who won the world’s heart at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics are getting a divorce.

Olympic gold medallists Jamie Salé and David Pelletier said Friday they plan to divorce after four-plus years of marriage. They will continue to skate together.

Salé and Pelletier were married Dec. 30, 2005. Among the guests at the wedding were skating stars Brian Orser, Jennifer Robinson and Kurt Browning. Salé and Pelletier have a son, Jesse, born in 2007.

“We’ve had an incredible partnership for the past 12 years and we look forward to that mutual respect and commitment continuing both on the ice and as we parent our son,” Salé said in a statement.

“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 it to be amicable and by mutual agreement.”

Salé, of Red Deer, and Pelletier, of Sayabec, Que., climbed to international fame at the 2002 Games.

The defending world champions finished second to a Russian couple. French judge Marie Reine Le Gougne later admitted her role in a marks-trading conspiracy with a Russian counterpart that left Salé and Pelletier with the silver.

Salé and Pelletier were later awarded gold medals.

The couple later turned professional and skated with Stars on Ice. They also worked as broadcasters during the Vancouver Olympic Games.

They first skated together in the summer of 1996, but it did not lead to a partnership. Pelletier was looking for a partner again in 1998 and coach Richard Gaulthier suggested Salé.

Pelletier travelled to Edmonton and the pair clicked.

”The first time we grabbed hands, it was just great,“ Pelletier said later.

Salé moved to Montreal to skate with Pelletier the next month. Later, Pelletier would separate from his wife as he and Salé became a couple.

Salé and Pelletier will continue to live in Edmonton and share custody of their child. They have been separated for the last 18 months.

“As a team, we have achieved many goals, but no medal or accomplishment can compare to our son,” Pelletier said in a statement. “He will always be our priority.”