Detroit News article


London, Ontario — Oh, is the Olympic year going to be fun.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White won their second world title on Saturday afternoon, adding even more spice to a rivalry with Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir that is already the best thing going in figure skating.
Not only did the five-time U.S. champions complete a perfect season, which included victories over the Canadians at the Grand Prix Final and Four Continents, they beat the Olympic champions in their hometown, where Virtue and Moir are, as the public address announcer said, "local skating icons."

"It's certainly special for us to be a part of, being able to go back and forth like we have since the last Olympics," White said. "Without them, I definitely wouldn't be to the point I'm at. Having such talented rivals as them at the rink every day and seeing how great they are has pushed us, and I'd like to think in return we've pushed them back.

"It's a lot of fun, and a great story line for next year."

And don't think this won't motivate Virtue and Moir, the reigning Olympic champions.

With 189.56 points, Davis and White (Ann Arbor) beat Virtue and Moir, their training partners at Canton's Arctic Edge, by 4-1/2 points. That score also topped the world record they'd set at last season's Grand Prix Final by a point.
"This rivalry between the two of us seems to have heated up now," Moir said. "It should be fun going into the Olympics."
It is the second world title in three seasons for Davis and White, whose victory in 2011 was the first by an American dance team.

"We try to celebrate these moments because we know there aren't an infinite amount of them," White said.

European champions Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia won the bronze medal.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates were seventh in their worlds debut while Maia and Alex Shibutani were eighth. Bates and the Shibutanis are from Ann Arbor.

The United States will be able to send three dance teams to Sochi, the third straight Olympics the Americans have qualified the maximum spots.

Davis-White and Virtue-Moir have been trading titles since the Vancouver Olympics, where the Americans were runners-up.

When they finished, White knelt on the ice for several minutes, spent. But he had recovered by the time their marks were posted, jumping up to wave to the cheering fans.

"This has to be close to the top," White said. "Obviously, the first time we won worlds, being the first-ever American world championship, that has a special place. But our growth this season and how far we've come to win this gold medal, that's what makes this one really special."

Virtue and Moir grew up just outside of London, and the entire city seems to be on a first-name basis with them. The arena was filled with hundreds of their family and friends — easily identifiable by their canary-yellow T-shirts — and Canada's governor general was on hand to watch them.

No pressure there or anything.

"To have those people in the venue with us, it was special," Moir said. "Obviously there was a little bit of added pressure today. ... We wanted to go out and have a moment, like Charlie talked about. We all chase that.

"These are performances to build off of. We're looking forward to a big year next year and coming out on top."

To be continued.


From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130316/SPORTS07/303160384#ixzz2Nkr3DLZG

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