Michiganians of the year


May 13, 2010http://detnews.com/article/20100513/SPECIAL02/5130328

Meryl Davis, Charlie White: Michigan's stars on ice


The Detroit News

They started the year as sparkling junior partners in U.S. ice dancing from whom big things were expected, sooner or later.

They ignored later.

Nurtured by the figure skating mecca Metro Detroit has become, Meryl Davis and Charlie White carried their Michigan-born dreams from the Bloomfields to garner the U.S. championship and silver medals at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships in Turin, Italy.

"I think a large part of what makes Michigan different from other states is something that we have used, and that's the great work ethic," White says.

"You know, sometimes you think you are down but you keep working," White says, "and I think that is something that both the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan have really learned. And I think that's something we've recognized because we have lived here our whole lives."

Adds Davis: "And the fact that we grew up in the Bloomfield area was just really helpful to our career. Having the Detroit Skating Club, there, growing up; it's just such an amazing facility, and the coaching.

"And then having world-class coaches like Marina Zoueva and Igor Shpilband right down the road, in Canton, we really lucked out.

"And growing up 10 minutes down the road from each other in Michigan, you know, we couldn't have been more fortunate. Having everything at our fingertips really has been one of the biggest assets to our success."

So much accomplished, and yet so much to accomplish for the duo, which represents both the state of Michigan and the University of Michigan to the world.

They are now touring with Stars on Ice, and they say they will continue to compete internationally and in the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo. They would enter the 2014 Sochi (Russia) Winter Olympics at ages 27 (Davis) and 26 (White), potentially prime years later in their careers.

"The last few years, leading up to the Olympics and the Worlds, we've put in so much hard work," White says.

"We're looking forward to taking that momentum that we have, and we're excited to keep competing and representing Michigan, both the school and the state."

"We have a lot of momentum and we intend on using it," Davis says.

"We have a lot we still want to accomplish on the ice and, you know, we'll see how we get there."

Gregg Krupa / The Detroit News

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May 13, 2010
Difference makers: Announcing the Michiganians of the Year


During this time of economic upheaval, there are individuals who are still making a difference for Michigan and its residents.

There are visible change makers, such as the rising automotive titan who helms a legendary company and transitioned it from red to black. The head of a nonprofit who wants to improve the educational landscape for Detroit schoolchildren. The former pizza executive with a goal of attracting jobs to Michigan. An ice-dancing duo bringing home Olympic silver. An entrepreneur creating a national contest to bring attention to art and west Michigan.

Then there are those who toil under the radar to improve the lives of others. The hairstylist who creates and donates wigs to children suffering from hair loss. A community activist working to eradicate negative stereotypes of Muslims. The Dominican nun whose center strives to improve the quality of life for senior citizens. A scientist trying to lessen the health disparities between African-Americans and whites.

For their passion and tireless efforts, The Detroit News salutes the women and men whom we call the Michiganians of the Year.


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