Full name: Alexander Patrice Chevalier
Country of origin: Great Britain
Occupation: coach; assistant to Malcolm Redgrave
Hometown: Nottingham, England
Skating accomplishments: 3-time British National medalist (one silver, two bronze); 1974 European Championship medalist (bronze)
Coaching since: 1993
Students: Jamie Bowen (USA); Simon Westbrook (GBR)
Birthdate: May 30, 1951
Height: 5' 5"
Hair color: light brown, greying at the temples
Eye color: brown
Physical description: Alex is very short, and wears lifts in his shoes to add a couple of inches. He walks with a pronounced limp because of the leg injury that ended his skating career, although the cane he carries is mostly an affectation. Despite his physical shortcomings, women often find him attractive, perhaps because of his distinctively soft, purring voice.
Family: mother, Priscilla Chevalier; son, Caelan O'Connor (from first marriage--born 1972); daughter, Jeanette Chevalier (from second marriage--born 1982); third wife, Roberta Fleming Chevalier (novelist); stepdaughters Sandra Chevalier (born 1985) and Denise Chevalier (born 1987)
Personality: A departure from the often stolid public image of the British, Alex is casual, easygoing and humorous, with a presence that sets people at ease. He likes to tease, but always kindly. Although he outwardly seems to lack firmness with his students, his quiet persistence as a teacher becomes evident over time. Despite his limp, he is active and energetic, with a robust spirit which his weathered body cannot always keep up with. He never complains about his limitations, but he deeply misses being able to skate as he did when he was young.
Hobbies/interests: The early end to his skating career gave Alex a lot of time to develop other interests before he began coaching. He is highly skilled at sleight of hand, often performing small magic tricks for the amusement of his students. He enjoys a good game of cards or chess, and he plays the violin and piano. A noted dog fancier, he has three Belgian Malinois, former show dogs who are now pets and are involved in canine therapy. Percy, Marguerite and Chauvelin are all named for characters from "The Scarlet Pimpernel", a story Alex favors because of his English-French heritage.
Personal history: Growing up in a community of larger and much tougher boys, Alex endured a great deal of teasing for his short stature, which kept him from doing well at their games. At the age of nine, he was encouraged by his teacher to try skating--a sport in which his small size could be an advantage. He felt that skating was for girls, but deciding he couldn't be teased any worse than he already was, he gave it a try. To his surprise he loved it, and the course of his life was set.
Alex became an excellent skater, but he was always a lesser talent in the British skating juggernaut of the 1970s, coming in second to such men as Malcolm Redgrave and Tom Ashdown. He did medal at several events, but won only a few smaller ones. However, he accepted his place in the pecking order early on; he was happy simply doing what he loved. At last he retired from competition in 1981 to join the ice-show circuit, where he expected to go on skating for years--but only six years later, in 1987, a car accident ended his skating career completely. His right knee was severely damaged, resulting in a partial paralysis in his leg that left him with a permanent limp.
After a few months of rehabilitation, he continued to find work within the sport, with the British skating federation and other employers. When a brief stint at managing a rink brought him from behind a desk and back among other skaters in 1993, he decided it was time to try his hand at coaching.
For ten years, he worked mostly with junior and little-known skaters. Then, in January of 2003, while working as an analyst for EuroSport, he caught up with old friend and competitor Malcolm Redgrave. Tiring of his own career's slow pace, he suggested he should become an assistant to the overly busy Malcolm--and a deal was struck, bringing Alex to Ambrose.
Alex is currently in his third marriage. The first one lasted less than a year when he was twenty; it was a brief passion with an older woman--his coach at the time, Maureen O'Connor--which they both admitted was a mistake. After Maureen passed away in 2003, Alex learned that he was the father of her son Caelan, whom he then developed a close relationship with.
Alex had remarried in 1978, and after retiring from competition, his daughter Jeanette was born to his second wife Tess. In 1990 they divorced as well, although they remained friends. In 1991 Alex met American novelist Roberta Fleming, a divorcee with two young daughters; they married in 1992, and he adopted her girls. His own daughter spent much of her youth with her mother, but she adores her father, and has strong ties to her stepsisters. A college student, she has moved to Ambrose--where she is being courted by Alex's part-time student, Simon Westbrook.
Also a member of the busy Chevalier household is Alex's mother Priscilla, or "Old Priss", a battle-axe of a woman who was infamous at the rink in Alex's competitive days. She came to live with the family after having surgery for a broken hip in the summer of 2003.
In his youth, the children who teased Alex for his short stature gave him the mocking nickname "Alexander the Great". This name has stayed with him, used affectionately by friends.
Alex is of French descent; his father was a French businessman who settled and married in Britain. He speaks French fluently, but his accent and first language are English.
After his divorce from Maureen O'Connor, Alex went through several coaching changes. Finally he worked with Malcolm Redgrave's coach, Andre Grigoriev, from 1977 until 1981 when he retired from competition.
Alex met his current wife, Roberta Fleming Chevalier, while she was doing research for a skating-themed romance novel called "Heart Tracings".
Every few months, Alex, his girls and his dogs visit the hospital to entertain patients, usually children. He sometimes invites skaters from the rink as well.