The showdown for Olympic gold began today, February 16, 2014, between ice dance rivals, Meryl Davis and Charlie White and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. The two teams train together, share the same coach and have been competing against each other for years.
Today it was Davis and White’s turn to shine. Meryl Davis and Charlie White skated with incredible speed and unison, it was as if they were floating on the ice. It is their time and they know it, and they are ready. They set another new world record of 78.89 in their short dance today. Davis and White are in the lead by 2.56 points and in perfect position to capture the gold.
When asked how Meryl Davis felt about their performance she responded,"Excellent is a word to describe it. I felt like I was in a dream. Everything is coming together," Meryl told the media.
Canadians, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, are the reigning Olympic champions and they are back, contending for another gold, but this time it seems as if it may be out of reach. Davis and White have been on a winning streak for the past two seasons and Virtue and Moir are fighting to get back on top.
Tessa Virtue struggled in the team event with her twizzles, and yet she was flawless today. Virtue and Moir skated a strong and energetic short program that finished with Scott doing a little dance of his own in excitement, yet the judges were not as pleased and Virtue and Moir did not receive the highest score of their season.
“If we can go out there and do it again tomorrow, that would be a dream come true, no matter what medal we get. But we like our chances,” Scott Moir said to the media after their skate.
Speculation is already circulating on why Virtue and Moir did not get a level four (which is the highest level) on their Finnstep, which will have to be looked into. Virtue and Moir will have to fight for each element if they hope to defeat Davis and White.
Perhaps the most surprising moment of the day came when Russians, Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov, overtook their countrymen, Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev, along with the Italians and are currently in third place. Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov came in second at the European Championships, but other than that they have yet to win any major international events. This rising team is now in a great position to capture the bronze.
Tomorrow, February 17, the ice dancers will take to the ice for their free skates which will conclude the ice dance event; medals will be awarded and rivalries will be settled, at least for the moment.
Ice Dance short program standings:
1. Meryl Davis/Charlie White USA - 78.89
2. Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir CAN - 76.33
3. Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov RUS - 73.04
4. Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat FRA - 72.78
5. Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev RUS - 69.97
6. Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte ITA - 67.58
7. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje CAN - 65.93
8. Madison Chock/Evan Bates USA - 65.46
9. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani USA - 64.47
10. Nelli Zhiganshina/Alexander Gazsi GER - 60.91
11. Penny Coomes/Nicholas Buckland GBR - 59.33
12. Sara Hurtado/Adria Diaz ESP - 58.58
13. Pernelle Carron/Lloyd Jones FRA - 58.25
14. Julia Zlobina/Alexei Sitnikov AZE - 58.15
15. Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri ITA - 58.14
16. Victoria Sinitsina/Ruslan Zhiganshin RUS - 58.01
17. Isabella Tobias/Deividas Stagniunas LTU - 56.40
18. Alexandra Paul/Mitchell Islam CAN - 55.91
19. Tanja Kolbe/Stefano Caruso GER - 54.43
20. Danielle OBrien/Gregory Merriman AUS - 52.68
21. Cathy Reed/Chris Reed JPN - 52.29
22. Alisa Agafonova/Alper Ucar TUR - 49.84
23. Xintong Huang/Xun Zheng CHN - 48.96
24. Siobhan Heekin-Canedy/Dmitri Dun UKR - 41.90