Dancing to the Tune of Silver: Virtue and Moir Settle for Silver in Ice Dancing
By Smoke Stark
Defending Olympic gold medal champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir went into the ice dancing finals knowing that this was their Olympic swan song, as they are set to retire at the end of the skating season. First, however, they had to defend their championship. The only serious threat to their reign had come from their rivals all year, Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States. After the short program Virtue and Moir were sitting in second place, hot on the heels of their rivals from the States. The second day of the two-day competition had arrived and the Canadians were locked and loaded to capture the title again. The long program is seen as Virtue and Moir’s bread and butter, a clear way to vault themselves into the top spot on the podium. They did just that. A beautiful and flawless long program saw them set a world record in figure skating as the whole world was watching with bated breath as only one pair remained to skate; that pair was Davis and White.
Throughout the skate, it was clear that the American duo was on their game. To casual viewers and figure skating enthusiasts alike, it had seemed that even though the Americans had done a great routine in their long program, they were far from matching the gauntlet that was thrown down by Virtue and Moir mere moments before, then came the scores. Davis and White had somehow beat Virtue and Moir’s world record. A stunned Canada has been looking for answers to what happened. Reports have surfaced over the past few days of a backdoor agreement between the Russian and American judges to give the Russian figure skating team the gold medal for the team skating event in exchange for the Americans getting the gold in the pairs’ ice dancing competition. According to tweets from former Finnish skater Petri Kokko, a creator of a main trick the Americans used, he did not understand the judging that was going on at the Sochi games. He also tweeted that the Americans did not perform his signature move even close to what it should have looked like. Couple that with the fact that their own coach has publicly come out to say that she does not know how judges score competitions anymore, and you have the making of another scandal in the world of figure skating. Much like the games in Salt Lake City, where Canadian skaters Jamie Soleil and David Pelletier were robbed of their gold medal (which was eventually awarded to them), judging was at the core of the controversy. We may never know who really deserved the gold at the Sochi games, but one thing is for sure, figure skating again has a very black eye for such a beautiful sport.