They were born in Royal Oak, they live and train in Canton Township, they go to school at the University of Meeechigan, and boy can they skate! What is not to like about Meryl Davis & Charlie White?
Davis and White skated for Team USA in the team competition tonight, and won the ice dancing portion of the event, which brought Team USA from far back in the field into 3rd place. Team competition is a new Olympic event and combines a short and a long program in the four disciplines, men's, women's, pairs, and ice dance. The top ten skating countries in the world will compete for gold in this event.
I think that this is a great idea for a new event, because it gives skaters a chance to get a performance under their belt before the all important individual and pairs competitions begin. I think this will improve everybody's performances in the long run, by having this chance to get rid of the butterflies with a performance that carries a lot less individual pressure.
Now back to our Canton Township skaters. Davis & White skate at Arctic Edge of Canton. Arctic Edge, has literally become an internationally renowned training center for figure skaters all over the world. Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir of Canada train at Arctic Edge as well. They are the reigning Olympic Gold Medal Champions in ice dancing. Alex & Maia Shibutani round out the group from Arctic Edge. Alex & Maia are a brother and sister pair, and they are Ann Arbor Huron graduates.
So here's the skinny. These three ice dancing teams all stand a better than even chance of winning medals when the ice dancing competition begins sometime after this team competition, and if the stars were all to align perfectly, they could actually sweep the podium. Why do I make such bold predictions? I make these prognostications because they have actually done it before.
At the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships in Moscow, this trio of ice dancers from the Arctic Figure Skating Club, actually swept the podium, with Davis & White winning gold, followed by Virtue & Moir getting silver, and the Shibutani's grabbing bronze.
Realistically I see Davis & White winning gold, and a battle between Virtue & Moir, and the Russian pair of Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev fighting it out for silver and bronze. The Shibutani's are a wild card should someone falter.
It is really cool to have Michigan, and Canadian athletes, that train in Canton Township performing on the world stage with hundreds of millions of people watching around the world.
How can you not love this...