Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White waltzed away with the gold at the close of the 2013 Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, Japan on Dec. 7, besting training partners and chief rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir after a virtual bonanza of world record-setting skates and setting the stage for a battle royale at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.
Davis and White of the U.S. entered the free dance just .07 point ahead of reigning Olympic champions Virtue and Moir of Canada. Both pairs set new world records with their respective Dec. 6 short dances, with Virtue and Moir initially besting the original mark set by Davis and White at the 2013 World Championships, 77.59 to 76.17. But the new record didn't stand long, as Davis and White hit the ice moments later and set yet another new high water mark of 77.66.
The Dec. 7 free skate saw yet another record-setting pair of efforts, as Virtue and Moir skated to a combined total of 190.00 before Davis and White again bettered their mark with yet another new world record. The Americans' final combined score of 191.35 was just enough to secure them their fifth consecutive Grand Prix Final win.
Although they finished well behind the top two couples with a final mark of 169.11, Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France claimed the bronze.
Davis and White's friendly rivalry with Virtue and Moir will be a major story line at the Sochi Games. Ice dancing action is set for Feb. 16 and 17.