Detroit Freep Worlds article

Jeff Seidel: Meryl Davis, Charlie White -- world figure skating champions (again) and more

LONDON, Ontario — Charlie White was skating sideways, his feet pointed in opposite directions, squatting down, forming a human platform, and Meryl Davis stood on him, with her skate digging into his thigh.
She leaned back, smiling with her arms spread, as Davis soared across the ice.
And if you could freeze one moment in time, that was it. Just sit back and appreciate it. Like a piece of art.
Then, it hits you: Seriously? How is that even possible on ice skates?
That’s what they do. They make the seemingly impossible seem so easy.
And when it was done, after they went to Canada and beat Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the 2010 Olympic gold medalists, on their own turf, in their hometown arena, after they poured their hearts and souls into a program that blended athletics into art, they collapsed to the ice.
Exhausted. Thrilled. Relieved.
World champions.
“I think that, not only winning, but putting out a performance that we were really thrilled with and really proud of makes it that much more enjoyable,” Davis said today, after she and White won the ice dance at the World Figure Skating Championships with 189.56 points.
Virtue and Moir, who were born in London but train with White and Davis at the Arctic Edge in Canton, finished in second with 185.04 points.
“Charlie and Meryl are great skaters,” Moir said. “We know they are strong. They have their attributes that are amazing. We are both pushing the sport.”
Davis and White have won other titles — this is their second world championship in three years — but they have reached a new level. They have continued to grow and mature. They are older. More confident. More connected.
And with today’s triumph, they have declared themselves the team to beat at next year’s Sochi Olympics.

A team all the time

A word here about the other competitors in this field.
After the short dance, eight of the top 10 teams were from the Detroit area.
Virtue and Moir had little chance to take first after falling behind by 3.25 points after the short dance. But they skated beautifully Saturday. Their sexy, intense, smoldering dance left the crowd screaming and roaring. It was like a national love fest.
“That was probably one of the highlights of our career,” Moir said.
Afterward, Davis and White met with the media in the mixed zone.
“We are so grateful to the crowd,” Davis said. “We are well aware this is Scott and Tessa territory. The level of respect and enthusiasm that we got from the audience was thrilling.”
It is so fascinating to watch Davis and White give interviews.
When Davis is talking, White has his eyes locked on her, nodding his head in total agreement, as if the words are coming out of his mouth.
And when White is talking, she does the same thing. Smiling and nodding in total agreement.
They are like a married couple that has been together for so long they know what the other one is thinking.

Road to Russia

Davis and White are now set up perfectly for next year’s Sochi Games, where they will give the U.S. its best chance to for a medal in figure skating, the glamour sport of the Winter Olympics.
But there is something more.
Without a doubt, they will be the face of American figure skating.
Sponsorships are expected to start rolling in.
They already have one with Kellogg’s.
Can’t you just see Tony the Tiger: “They’re grrrreat!”
Davis is the quiet, petite brunette from West Bloomfield.
White is the fun loving, bushy-haired, kid next door from Bloomfield Hills.
They have been together since grade school, and they exude warm, polite, hometown, Midwestern family values.
America does not have a great female figure skater, at least not one who figures to be a dominant force at the Sochi Games.
And America does not have a great male skater, who will walk into Sochi as a medal favorite. Right now, the favorite will be Patrick Chan, who is from Canada and won the men’s title Friday night. But he did train at the Detroit Skating Club for three weeks before the world championships, so Detroit will claim him. But America won’t.
And the U.S. does not have a pairs team of note, either.
So the Sochi Games will come down to this: Davis and White against Virtue and Moir.
Just like it was here at the world championships.
Two teams from Canton.
Making the impossible look so easy.


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