It was obvious the NBC primetime telecast Monday night of the Sochi Winter Olympics would dedicate its last hour to ice dance. History once again was made by Team USA’s extraordinary Olympic athletes, Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
They became the first Americans to win a gold medal in the ice dance discipline. The U.S. scored its first medal, a bronze, in 1976. That year was the first time ice dancing was introduced at the Winter Games. Silver medals were awarded later to the U.S. in 2006 and 2010, coincidentally the latter by Davis and White.
Earlier in the broadcast it showcased an up close and personal look at the rivalry of the Canadians, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, and the American ice dancers. Viewers were treated to a look at their figure skate training facility in Michigan.
Other Team USA ice dancing couples were featured first in the hour portion. These included the Shibutani siblings skating to a rhythmic Michael Jackson medley, and Madison Chock and Evan Bates to the breath-taking “Les Miserables” soundtrack.
France’s Natalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat skated to “The Little Prince” children’s tale. The Russian pair of Elena Ilinykh and Nikita and Katsalapov, who would later capture the bronze, channeled their inner Bolshoi Ballet to Tchaikovsky’s famous “Swan Lake.”
The eventual silver medalists, Virtue and Moir of Canada, were equally as stunning in their free skate program. It was Davis and White’s interpretation of the story and music from "Sheherazade" that literally mesmerized the crowd at Iceberg Skating Palace and millions of television viewers. They received a record-breaking score of 116.63 and the gold medal.