Meryl Davis & Charlie White went into the free style program of the ice dancing competition with a slim 2.5 point lead over the reigning gold medalists, Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir. While both teams train together at Canton's Arctic Edge, they represent different countries, and are both competing for the same chunk of gold. Michigan's own Davis & White were trying to become the only American ice dancers ever to win gold at the Olympics, and Virtue & Moir were trying to repeat.
To say there was pressure coming into today's skate would be putting it mildly. They were the gold medal favorites, and these Olympics have been rather unkind to the favorites. It is not an easy thing to win gold against the best skaters in the world, and it is even more difficult when you are the team everyone is chasing.
Well it didn't get any easier by the time Virtue & Moir had left the ice, in fact, it got dramatically more difficult. The Canadian team of Virtue & Moir, with nothing to lose, skated flawlessly, and not only set a personal best score, but they set the highest free dance score ever to be awarded in an international ice dance competition.
Davis & White took to the ice knowing that they would have to skate the performance of their lives. They knew that they would need a personal best score as well. They needed to be perfect, maybe better than perfect.
It has been said that the truly great stars give their best performances when they are on the biggest stages, during the biggest of moments. That is what defines the truly great ones. That is what separates the greats, from the greatest. That is what creates lasting legacies.
Well Meryl Davis & Charlie White, who had worked and trained together for 17 years, to get to this one single performance, showed the world that they are two of the greatest. They created a legacy for themselves that may go unmatched for many years, if not decades to come.
They skated out on that ice, and put on a show that has never been matched. They not only achieved their personal best score, they actually beat the world record score that Virtue & Moir had just laid down. They didn't back in to this gold medal. They didn't take advantage of a poor performance. They beat the defending champions, after they had just laid down their best performance ever, and that is what must make this so satisfying, and so special for them.
What makes this so great for us fans, beside the fact that they are from Michigan, and that they train in Canton, is that they are so humble, and down to Earth. They are so easy to like. They are gracious, and thankful for all of the help and support they have received along the way, and they mention it every time they get a chance.
When asked how it felt to be the first Americans to win a gold medal at ice dancing, White said, “We are so honored to be able to represent the US, they give us so much support, and they've done everything for us, we feel like we're repaying them by giving them a gold medal.”
In my mind, they repaid all of us who have been rooting for them, by going out there and creating absolute magic on that ice.
Congratulations Meryl & Charlie!!!