American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White made history when they won gold for their routine at the Sochi Olympics. Davis and White are the first Americans to take the gold for their routine. They won the gold with a final score of 195.52, beating out the Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir by 4.53 who took the silver. The home team, Russia, took the bronze. Thanks to their flawless performance, the Americans added the gold to their collection of silver and bronze. This is redemption for Davis and White who took silver in the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 who were beat out by their rivals Virtue and Moir.
Although these two pairs compete against each other on the ice, they have actually been training together in the same Detroit complex for nine years now. The two teams even share their coach, Marina Zouvea.
Davis and White have been skating together for 17 years. They are actually both from the same town, Royal Oak, Mich. When they first began skating together White was nine years old and had already been in the sport for six months when he had to partner with newbie eight-year-old Davis. Like a typical nine-year-old boy, White was annoyed with Davis who could not even look him in the eye without being embarrassed. Their coach had to put a sticky note on White’s forehead so Davis would have somewhere to look.
Now, after 17 years of hard work they wear gold around their necks.
What makes Davis and White so flawless on the ice? Besides all of their talent and hard work, Davis and White have to preserve a special relationship on the ice to stay so perfect. Davis and White have a very “unique and different relationship,” as White describes it. Although Davis and White had to “fall in love” on the ice, they are not in love off of the ice. Even though they have mastered the art, 17 years ago it was awkward and confusing. Davis says that “we worked hard to maintain the appearance of love on the ice.”
Their performance was a nearly perfect one, as they were the favorites in this event, with their feet in perfect synchronization. At one point in their show, White spins across the rink holding Davis high in the air. The crowd roared for White and Davis as they finished their final performance on Olympic ice. Yes, these ice dancers are retiring after these Olympic Games are over. And what a career they have had together. This dynamic duo won the World Championship in 2011 and 2013, and has a medal of every kind from the Olympics.
After their performance, White fell to his knees, but not because he was physically exhausted; he had just given the best performance of his lifetime. Once they found out they had made history, the duo skated their victory lap with a bouquet in each of their hands and they each held part of the American flag.
Who knows what is in store for these soon-to-be -retired Olympic champions, but even if they go their separate ways, they will always be in each other’s lives supporting each other.
Keeley Gould is a second-year student majoring in English and minoring in journalism. She can be reached at KG787739@wcupa.edu.