Day 11 of the Sochi Winter Olympics saw coach Marina Zoueva's athletes bring home some serious hardware: namely, the gold and silver medals in the ice dancing competition.
Charlie Davis and Meryl White became the first Americans ever to win Olympic gold for ice dancing, after claiming silver in the 2010 Vancouver games. On the opposite end of that equation are Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the defending Olympic champions who had to settle for silver in Sochi after tasting gold in Vancouver.
Here's the rub: Virtue and Moir and Davis and White are not merely storied rivals, a pair of teams who have dominated their sport in recent years, but they also train together under Zoueva in Michigan.
According to a Feb. 18 report from The Associated Press the silver medalists spoke out about the split allegiance their coach has been forced to adapt.
The Associated Press noted that in speaking pair held not a tone of complaint, but rather one that conveyed matter-of-factness.
"We sometimes felt like [Zoueva] wasn't in our corner," Moir said. "We had some odd things happen this year. We expected Marina to be on our team and work with us like in Vancouver."
According to the report, the pair insisted that they were understanding of why their coach spent as much time as she did with Davis and White, and said that she handled the sticky situation well.
"We tried everything. It felt a little bit like we were in quicksand because (the American pair) were getting away from us," Moir told the Toronto Sun. "I think Marina listened to us and we kind of reshaped some of our program. But she’s an artist as well, so she wanted to stay true to her vision."
Still, Moir noted that they had taken pause to re-evaluate their relationship with their coach on multiple occasions in the past year, and did reach out to her on "countless occasions" to reassert that they would not be happy with a silver medal.
Though silver may not have been their ultimate goal, the Canadians did tell the press that they were certainly not disappointed with it once they had won silver.
According to the report, the pair said they were thrilled with how well they skated in the night's tilt against their rivals and training partners.
The Toronto Sun also noted Moir's statement that they had no regrets about sticking with Zoueva and were not seeking to blame her for their loss.
“She’s given us a lot of great things in our career,” he said. “This wasn’t a failure; this was a successful Games for us. We don’t look back on this and think we made a mistake by not switching coaches, for sure."
"We couldn't have asked for more about our performances," Virtue said to the Associated Press. "It's nice to be satisfied and content with our job. We've managed to create the Olympic moment."
Moir and Virtue have not yet made a formal announcement of their future plans, but many expect that they will be retiring from competition.