by Andrea Elizabeth
When I first took notice of the two brightest ice dancing teams the year before the Vancouver Olympics I thought Canada’s Virtue and Moir were the most talented ice dancers I’d ever seen. They have a natural fluid dance ability that is somewhat like Kurt Browning’s and Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. You can tell dancing is in their blood. But Davis and White soon got my allegiance for their story-telling, speed, and purity of movement and motive with their Phantom of the Opera and Bollywood routines, which qualities remind me of my favorite skater, Paul Wylie. I’ll grant Virtue and Moir Vancouver for their polish, but over the next four years Davis and White rose to greater things with their work ethic, and again, their purity.
Virtue and Moir’s Vancouver gold experience soured them. Over the next year you could tell they weren’t working as hard and she started wearing way too much eye make up. It became about seducing the audience. By the time Sochi came around, they had gotten their game back on, but their attitudes stayed behind. They have trained alongside Davis and White for almost 10 years, and had reportedly been friends, but their resentment at not getting gold again was downright mean-spirited. They showed no respect for Davis and White’s impeccable execution and contribution to the sport. They gave them no credit at all, but blamed their coach for not favoring them again, and the judges for not scoring fairly. They showed themselves to be very poor sports. And I noted a little pain in Meryl’s eyes in a post-gold interview when she referred to them as rivals without mentioning friendship. What a shame.
Congratulations, Davis and White! You deserve it for how you lift our spirits to a better place.