Local article--Post Olympics

February 28, 2010

White family treated to a silver-lined Olympics

The 2010 Winter Olympic games will always contain a silver lining for the White family.

Charles and Jacqui White of Bloomfield Hills watched with exhausting excitement, patriotic pride and a pinch of nervousness as their son Charlie, along with his partner Meryl Davis, skated Monday evening in the free dance segment of the Ice Dancing competition.

While Charlie and Meryl's quest for an Olympic championship ended some six points shy of a gold medal, the longtime Ice Dancing duo skated away with silver after a brilliant performance. For Charles and Jacqui, that was reward enough as they shared Charlie's memorable moment from rinkside in Vancouver.

“I had a definite feeling of pride,” said Jacqui Wednesday evening before heading out to watch Olympic ski jumping. “I wasn't as nervous as I was at the U.S. Nationals because they were so well-trained and I felt confident that they were going to do very well in the free dance. I felt good, maybe a little nervous, but not as much as I thought.”

Charlie, who graduated from Birmingham Roeper in 2005, and Meryl, who graduated from Birmingham Groves that same year, have been together since 1998 and are the longest tenured U.S. Ice Dancing team.

They've soared through the ice skating ladder and are now the two-time reigning U.S. National champions, having defended their crown last month in Spokane, Wash. Their performance at the U.S. Nationals allowed them to qualify for their first ever Olympic games.

And they certainly didn't let the Olympic pressure get to them.

Skating with poise, energy and confidence, White and Davis were consistent through all three phases of the Ice Dancing competition. The University of Michigan students were second after their Original Dance showing and heroically maintained that position after the final Free Dance competition late Monday evening.

White and Davis were the first pair on the ice in the final grouping, and put the pressure on all the other teams with a dazzling dancing display to the ‘Phantom of the Opera.' The routine included an amazing balancing act where Meryl was perched on the back of Charlie's stretched-out leg while he was skating backwards. Their score of 107.19 was a career best and put them in first place at the time.

White and Davis eventually were overtaken by home-country favorites and fellow training partners at Canton's Arctic Figure Skating Club in Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Virtue and Moir became the first Canadian's to claim Ice Dancing gold, and it marked the first time in Olympic history that North American Ice Dancing teams claimed Olympic gold and silver.

“Meryl and Charlie have worked hard and trained hard for a long time. They do it because they love it,” said Jacqui. “Even if they had not won any medals I think they still would have been satisfied because they did the best they could possibly do. They were just so happy.

“The atmosphere that night was very electric, mainly because it was a predominantly Canadian audience. They were so proud of their Canadian skaters, yet they were very supportive of Meryl and Charlie's performance.

“The energy of the place was great and it was a very appreciate audience which knew a lot about skating,” she said. “Yes, all that training and sacrifice paid off and it makes it a really satisfying accomplishment. It was a lot of fun.”

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