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March 4, 2010

Gold-, silver-medalist Olympic ice dancers reunite in Canton

The Detroit News

Canton Township -- The top two ice dancing teams in the world reunited today at the facility where they honed their skills that earned them Olympic medals.

About 30 township officials and well-wishers gathered at the Arctic Edge eager to welcome Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the London, Ontario residents who won the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics and Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the American pair who finished with the silver.

"It feels amazing," said White, 22. "I don't think we've come back down to earth yet."

The ice arena is decorated with banners and placards congratulating the two teams. The ice arena -- and the community -- received positive worldwide attention during the Olympics when announcers pointed out several times that the two teams train in Canton. For the skaters, it's back to work as both pairs prep for the World Figure Skating Championships, which begin in just over two weeks. For today however, the skaters relaxed a bit, posing with some fans and officials with their Olympic medals.

"It's great to be back and to be able to enjoy the experience with everyone who supported us," said Davis, 23. "To come back to the people who have helped us for so long has been amazing."

. The arena has been fielding constant inquires from people wanting to train at the site, said Jason Varlesi, director of sales and marketing.

"We've been fielding calls left and right," Varlesi said. "This is absolutely huge," Varlesi said. "Gold and silver -- it's a perfect world.

Moir and Virtue live in Canton when they're training. Both said they hoped their performances shows younger skaters what's possible with hard work and dedication.

"We're just happy to be able to share this moment with everyone who has given us such great support," said Virtue, 20.

Skating as well as they did and winning the gold medal in their own country was an "awesome" experience, Moir said. He admitted that at this moment it's difficult to gear up for the World Championships after winning gold at the Olympics.

But, he added, "We're very competitive people. We've never been world champions and that's the goal in the weeks to come.""> (734) 462-2191


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