How three ice dance teams from Michigan are preparing for finals
How three ice dance teams from Michigan are preparing for finals
Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron AFP Getty Images
20 February, 2018, 18:33
It was a triumphant final Olympics for Virtue and Moir, who also helped Canada win gold in the team event earlier in the Pyeongchang Games. A medal is certainly a lock for Virtue and Moir, but not a gold medal. The free programs of national champions Patrick Chan, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, and Virtue and Moir were likely their last competitive skates on Canadian soil - and we got to see them here at Thunderbird. "It's a big part of being tested competitors, and we push each other and we push the limits". "It's a really deep field and we have to really be on our game. Sitting in the other chairs, I don't think I really did realize how much Meryl and Charlie brought out of us".
Before they pop the champagne, the pair will do all they can to connect with their fans back home. She calls Moir the best ice dancer ever, and it's hard to argue - especially with someone who knows him so well.
They toned down one sizzling lift for the Olympics that saw Virtue launch herself backwards onto Moir's shoulders, her legs are wrapped around his neck, her hands cradling his head. It didn't take long for us to figure out we missed having that objective, that we missed having a goal to be striving towards. Team Canada has medal contenders in every discipline and for the team figure skating events - and they all have their sights set on gold.
They were almost unstoppable last season, winning the world championship as if they had never been away, but were upset by Papadakis and Cizeron at the Grand Prix Final in December.
"That's something we are really proud of", said Moir. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) won silver at Gangneung Ice Arena, while Alex and Maia Shibutani (USA) took bronze. "We'll probably make an announcement in the coming days, but for us we just want to enjoy this right now and let the dust settle and figure out what's next".
- Martin Fourcade has become the first athlete to win three gold medals at the Pyeongchang Olympics after helping France to a first-place finish in the biathlon mixed relay. The building that has a capacity of about 12,000 was half-empty when the short dance began. They settled for the silver despite winning the free skate. They were the first-ever Canadian couple to carry the flag into the opening ceremonies.
Despite their show-stopping samba-rhumba-cha performance to the Rolling Stones and the Eagles' Hotel California a second ice dance title is by no means in the bag for Scott and Moir as Papadakis and Cizeron could well overtake them if they produce their best free dance.
Maia and Alex Shibutani, the siblings who helped the USA win team bronze, are making their second Olympic appearance.
Virtue had to put up for years with chronic pain in her legs - she underwent two surgeries in 2008 and 2011 to treat compartment syndrome - and after the loss in Sochi they left the sport for two years.
The Canadians thought it would be their final Olympic performance, having made a decision to retire from competition.
"It was awesome to finally have that Olympic moment because four years ago in Sochi we left with a lot of experience, but still yearning to have that really special moment on Olympic ice that we've grown up watching". "It was wonderful to deliver what we did today at our first Olympics". "We are confident, we are ready and we are strong".
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