Charlie White: Top 5 Moments Of 2014

Charlie White: Top 5 Moments Of 2014

BY CHARLIE WHITE, 2014 OLYMPIC ICE DANCE CHAMPION | DEC. 31, 2014, 5:43 P.M. (ET)

It’s safe to say that 2014 is going to be a difficult year to top. This past year saw Meryl and I accomplish so many of our longest standing goals, both personally and professionally. We can also safely look back at 2014 as the most exhausting time in our lives, but for all the right reasons. We were here; we were there; we were everywhere, doing a little bit of everything. From our training in Detroit, to the Olympics in Sochi; from taking a knee near the waterfalls of Hawaii, to dancing in the ballroom in Los Angeles, we have racked up some major memories, as well as some pretty major frequent flyer miles.
In an attempt to find some originality while covering our top moments, I will present them in list form! (And that, ladies and gentleman, is my final joke of 2014.)
5. Winning the U.S. Figure Skating Championships
Winning the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January and becoming the first-ever American ice dance team to win six consecutive titles in a row. This is a very special record for us to hold, as one of the things we are most proud of is our consistency at the highest level. This top moment allows me the opportunity to thank everyone at U.S. Figure Skating and the United States Olympic Committee for giving us the support we needed to make that consistency possible.
4. Winning the team event bronze medal at the Olympics

Winning the team event bronze medal at the Olympics. This special Olympic moment I will cherish for how it brought the amazingly talented individuals of the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team together as a family to fight for the same goal. The fact that we got to walk away from that event with a tangible reminder of what we accomplished will keep us connected for the rest of our lives.
3. Winning the gold medal at the Olympics
Winning the gold medal at the Olympics. It’s hard for me to find the words that are even appropriate for this achievement. It is simply a lifelong dream come true; the result of dedication, resolve, respect and passion, from both Meryl and myself, and from our families and coaches. We now look forward to the rest of our lives as Olympic gold medalists. We hope to stand tall as role models and ambassadors of our sport, our country and the Olympic Movement.
2. Joining "Dancing with the Stars"
Joining “Dancing with the Stars.” First and foremost, learning how to dance from some of the best ballroom dancers in the world was an absolute treat! The fact that it was tied into one of the most popular TV shows in America just made it that much more of an experience. If there was one way to follow up such a successful run at the Olympics without feeling a crazy emotional drop-off, it was by joining “Dancing with the Stars.” What a wonderful time, and I’m grateful for every exhausting second.
1. Getting engaged to Tanith Belbin!
Getting engaged to Tanith Belbin! At the end of a very successful year I can truly say that my favorite thing about 2014 was not the accolades, medals or amazing opportunities, but rather being able to enjoy every special moment with the person I love the most. Simply put, asking Tanith to marry me was the best and easiest decision I’ve ever made. Her beauty and grace, her sense of humor, her patience, her thoughtfulness, and her positive outlook on life are a source of constant inspiration for myself and everyone else that has the pleasure of knowing her. We head into 2015 together with clear eyes and full hearts.
Here’s to a wonderful 2014, and a great new year. I hope you realize your dreams through hard work and dedication, but more importantly, always remember it is the relationships in your life that will make every single day special.

Stars on Ice opening show

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teamusa blog: Meryl

Meryl Davis: A Stress-Free Holiday Season
BY MERYL DAVIS, 2014 OLYMPIC ICE DANCE CHAMPION | DEC. 24, 2014, 8:26 P.M. (ET)


With my brother Clay
It’s Christmas Eve and traditions endure for the Davis and White families in Michigan. Faces and decorations are the same as last year, Christmas trees are in the same, familiar corners of our parents’ living rooms, and family recipes have been prepared once again. Still, there’s a different feeling surrounding this holiday season. Along with the rest of the Team USA winter Olympians headed to Sochi shortly thereafter, Charlie and I were deep in preparation mode last Christmas: sleep, eat, train, repeat.
Certainly, 2014 has been a year to be grateful for. Post-Sochi, Charlie and I often acknowledge that, for a moment, we can stop looking forward and just appreciate where we are and how far we’ve come. In spite of that acknowledgement, loosening our grip on that “Olympian in training” mentality has come gradually. Just recently, Charlie and I seemed to simultaneously recognize the unfamiliar sensation of being completely stress-free. While it’s been about 10 months since Sochi, that place of discipline and preparation had been our homeostasis for so long.
Like every other, this holiday season has descended upon us quicker than we were prepared for. Our shopping may have been relatively last minute and my gingerbread men still turned out terribly! Nevertheless, what a joy it’s been to wholeheartedly embrace tradition and celebration with our loved ones. So, to all of our fellow winter Olympians, soak it in!! May you have a holiday season to remember!

Seidel: Will Davis-White fairy tale lead back to Olympics?

Seidel: Will Davis-White fairy tale lead back to Olympics?

Let's start with the two big questions that follow around Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the Olympic Gold medalists in ice dance.
First, the one that continues to pop up from the tabloids: Is Davis dating Maksim Chmerkovskiy, her partner from "Dancing With the Stars"?
"He is a really big part of my life and he's one of the most amazing people I've ever met," said Davis, who grew up in West Bloomfield. "We are not dating. We haven't dated."
But then, she quickly added: "I think we'll be a part of each other's lives for a long time."
OK. So that's settled. Now, let's move to the second question: Will Davis and White ever compete again?
"People tend to not believe us when we say we haven't made a decision about the future," said Davis, 27. "But we are so happy just being in this moment. We are not really pushing ourselves to step away from it."
White and Davis transcended sports in 2014, going from the sports pages to thetabloids and back again. It has been an amazing year, a fairytale played out on an international stage.
"It feels like it should have been three separate years," said White, 27, who grew up in Bloomfield Hills. "I think it's going to be tough to top 2014."
Life after the Olympics
After winning the gold medal at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Davis and White seemed to be everywhere. "It's pretty crazy how winning an Olympic medal can affect and shape your life," White said.
They competed against each other on "Dancing With the Stars" at the same time that they performed Stars on Ice.
"While it was the most fun time of our lives," Davis said, "we were utterly exhausted."
They got a chance to rest, for a few weeks, after Davis and Chmerkovskiy won "Dancing With the Stars." After taking a vacation, Davis and White announced that they would not compete this season.
So you figure that they would still be on a hiatus, right?
Nope.
Over the last few months, the whirlwind has picked up again. They were the grand marshals of America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit. They did a skating exhibition at a mall in Dallas, and they have filmed three upcoming TV shows that will be aired in 2015.
"We are on the road constantly," Davis said. "We are grateful for how busy we are."
Davis and White continue to train at the Arctic Edge in Canton, where they prepared for the Olympics, but the pressure is gone. "Charlie and I just sort of skate around the ice laughing the whole time," Davis said. "For the most part, we have stayed true to our roots and stayed on the ice, which has been more fun than we expected. When we are home, we are on the ice together, just about every day in Canton."
They are getting ready to perform in the upcoming Stars on Ice tour, which starts Dec.30 in Lake Placid, N.Y. They are no longer being coached by Marina Zoueva, who guided them to Olympic gold, so they are trying to come up with different programs on their own, choreographing themselves.
"We have to push ourselves to keep being creative and interesting," White said.
But this experience could have a long term benefit. It could lead them back to the Olympics after the two announced in June they would sit out the 2014-15 season.
"I think we could (compete again)," White said. "In the past, with ice dance, if you win an Olympics, it's tough to keep going because you have to find new ways of expressing yourself and challenging your own skating. But what's so interesting in the system we are in right now, it is constantly changing. The challenges are inherent in the system. For us, that is something that would make it easier and the reason why we are still considering (competing). On top of that, we have a love of competition. Even now, when we do our show programs, we are constantly pushing ourselves to get all of the edges, to do the lifts. That's always there. So it wouldn't be a difficult transition."
Either way, more changes are coming in 2015, at least for White. After the Olympics, White became engaged to former Olympian Tanith Belbin, his longtime girlfriend. The wedding is set for the end of April.
Repeat after me, Charlie. When in doubt, just say: "Yes, dear!"
The future
Over the next few days, both Davis and White will be spending the holidays back home with their families. It is so different from a year ago, when the pressure was building, leading up to the Olympics.
"I made cookies with my mom last night," Davis said Tuesday morning. "This holiday season, it's really exciting because we are getting a chance to really spend it with our families. No stress. No pressure. Just being home in Detroit, reflecting on the year."
For Davis and White, 2014 was an unforgettable fairytale. The best part is, there are no signs that it is coming to an end.
Contact Jeff Seidel: jseidel@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @seideljeff.

Moments of Love on Ice

Classroom Champions: Perseverance

Carnival On Ice performances


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Dallas Galleria Tree Lighting



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Meryl and Charlie on Thanksgiving parade and being thankful

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Live in the D

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Meryl and Charlie Live in the D by maksylmyheart


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One-on-one with Meryl Davis

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PLYMOUTH, Mich. -

This year has been a big one for Michigan-native Meryl Davis.
First, she won Olympic gold for ice dancing.
Then she went on an international whirlwind tour of TV appearances, which included a stop at Local 4, and won the Women’s Sports Foundation’s sports woman of the year award.
So what could possibly be next for the superstar? Spending some time at home in Plymouth.
“I really like to ride my bike downtown, hop into the yoga studio down the street. My favorite pizza place is down there,” Davis said in a recent interview with Local 4’s Karen Drew. But she adds she doesn’t get to spend as much time as she would like doing those things. She’s taking online college classes and traveling with her performance partner, Charlie White.
“Well, Charlie and I are doing shows pretty much nonstop from now until the spring, which is great. It’s exciting. It’s a very different way to approach skating. You know, it’s more performance based, more dance based, and we’re getting a chance to really explore different types of music and different types of movement that we didn’t do in competition,” Davis said.

Earlier this year, Davis won a dance competition reality show and rumors flew about a possible romance with her dancing partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
“I mean, I definitely like to keep a lot of privacy in that department of my life,” Davis said.
While the 27-year-old may be tight-lipped on her personal life, she’s more eager to tell how she’s taking this time to consider other interests.
“I think that a really important thing for young people to remember is you really don’t have to pick one thing and let it define you,” Davis said. “I’ve always been really interested in some sort of journalism or communications. I always had this idea that I wanted to work for National Geographic magazine.”
She and White are this year’s grand marshals of America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit.
“I think just growing up in this area, it’s a really special thing for us to be able to do this year,” Davis said.
The duo will also be co-hosting Live in the D on Local 4 Tuesday.

Holiday Moments on Ice



The Chat interview

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Classroom Champions: Community

TeamUSA blog: Charlie

BY CHARLIE WHITE, 2014 OLYMPIC ICE DANCE CHAMPION | NOV. 07, 2014, 4:37 P.M. (ET)

2014 Olympic ice dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White will be blogging about their journey off the competitive ice at TeamUSA.org as they take the 2014-15 season to explore other opportunities. "How To Do...Everything!" is White's first entry.
As Meryl and I prepared for a year with no competitive skating, the question “What are you going to do with yourselves?!” was asked by many, including ourselves. Well now that we’re in it I can answer this query with a simple answer - everything. And wow has everything been fun! We’ve had so many opportunities and met so many amazing people; living every day in the moment and (mostly) stress free has been a dream. Being able to look back and appreciate our accomplishments without yearning, and then to look forward into an unknown future without getting anxious is hard, but we’ve really found that space. But enough about that, let’s get on to some interesting details!
First we’ll rewind to the weekend of Skate America which took place in Chicago, Oct. 24-26. We went to the event as guests of AT&T for an autograph signing (thanks to everyone who came!), and got to stay for the excellent skating. However, that only touches upon the craziness captured in those few days. That Thursday I drove from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Chicago a little early to get in a game of drop-in hockey with fellow non-competing skater Rockne Brubaker. As he has no real means for a rebuttal we’ll say I schooled him. The next day, Friday, we watched the skating events followed by an amazing birthday dinner with Tanith, Meryl and her mom, my mom, and my good friend David Golden. On Saturday, I unfortunately could not make any of the skating events, but it was because I flew to Salt Lake City to dance with my “Dancing with the Stars” partner Sharna Burgess for a large corporate event!
Anyway, back to Skate America, we’ll get to the dancing in a second. Heading to the first big international skating competition of the year as spectators was a little weird for both Meryl and myself. There’s no way it’s been that long since the Olympics! We were obviously looking forward to the ice dance portion of the event, but every discipline had some really great skating. Having won the last four events we were hopeful an American team would step up and keep the streak alive! Thankfully we were not disappointed, in fact the U.S. had the top two finishes in the event: Madison Chock and Evan Bates came away with the gold, and Maia and Alex Shibutani with the silver. As the season moves forward we’ll be looking at these two to really carry the banner. What makes these teams special goes beyond their abilities as skaters, they are really wonderful people that you want to cheer for. So rest assured everyone, American ice dance is in good hands!
On to Salt Lake City! Sharna and I had not danced together once since we’d said our goodbyes at the end of our DWTS season. This led to a bit of trepidation on my part as the performance itself was that very day, giving us only a few hours to rehearse the two numbers we had chosen to do from the show. But wait! To our surprise we found out at the last seconds we actually had to do three numbers! Thankfully the scramble to assemble some appropriate outfits to dance in ended up being the most stressful part. Once Sharna and I started dancing together, all of the steps, moves and lifts came back very naturally. We performed “Let Her Go,” “Happy,” and “Stay With Me.” The crowd was quite raucous, which was wonderfully energizing and we had a great time dancing together again. It was good practice because we’ll be dancing together again soon when we do the “Shall We Dance on Ice” show in December (looking at you Bloomington, Illinois)! Sunday morning it was straight back to Chicago for the last day of competition, followed by a long drive back to Ann Arbor.
Lastly, I want to skip straight to the charity show we just performed in, Golden Moment, put on by Krisiti Yamaguchi and her Always Dream Foundation. Held in San Jose, California, this event assembled the most amazing cast Meryl and I have ever been a part of. With Kristi Yamaguchi and Brian Boitano headlining, you’re already pretty much set in terms of accolades, skating ability and general awesomeness. But to then throw in Dorothy Hamill, Katia Gordeeva, Ilia Kulik, Evan Lysacek, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, Yuka Sato, Jeremy Abbott, Gracie Gold, and Ryan Bradley! It’s just like, “What?! That’s insane!” What an honor to be able to join all of them on the ice. Plus it was for a great cause, one meant to inspire children through reading.
The show went beautifully, with amazing skating and inspirational messages conveyed throughout the evening. It was the kind of event that serves as a good reminder for the power, ability and calling we have as Olympians and role models. Meryl and I consider ourselves incredibly lucky to have some of the best role models in Brian and Kristi, and we hope to one day be able to inspire and motivate half as well as they can. So to anyone still reading this, I urge you, go check out www.alwaysdream.org. And if that’s not what you’re into, then find something else and let me or Meryl know what it is! We’re always looking to help generate interest and support for great causes!

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A Golden Moment: Say Something performace





Hour Detroit magazine


The Golden Touch

Olympic medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White are taking a break from competitive skating this year, but are keeping busy with Thanksgiving parade grand marshal honors, college studies, and more



Published: 
 
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARTIN VECCHIO
The Arctic Edge Ice Arena in Canton is a cavernous waiting room for frozen dreams. Most days, dozens of pixieish girls and lithe boys mill around its common areas waiting for their moment to attack an ice surface. They’re skating, training, and most of all, dreaming — of perfect scores, national and international glory, and maybe, just maybe, Olympic gold.
Somewhere amid this teeming swarm of hopefuls are metro Detroiters Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the arena’s reigning dream owners. After dazzling viewers worldwide in February as the first Americans to capture the gold medal in ice dancing at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, the duo’s public image and subsequent string of personal milestones have soared like — well, like world-champion skaters. 
They were invited to compete on ABC’s hit series Dancing With the Stars and Davis won the whole shebang, bringing home the coveted, hokey DWTS trophy and giving her professional dance partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy his first victory in the show’s 18 seasons. “Your local hero got what she deserved,” Chmerkovskiy said in an online video interview. “Meryl was brilliant. That shine on that disco ball is all hers.”
For these victors, the spoils continue. Grand marshals for the NASCAR Pure Michigan 400 in August (where their genteel “Drivers … start your engines” call was booed by rowdy race fans). A halftime tribute at the home football opener for the University of Michigan, where both are undergraduates. They’re slated to be grand marshals for the 88th America’s Thanksgiving Parade this month down Woodward Avenue. A Stars on Ice tour of Japan. And White proposing to his longtime girlfriend, retired ice dancer and Olympic silver medalist Tanith Belbin, during a romantic Hawaiian vacation. 
“A wedding is going to be stressful, of course,” White allows, “but it pales in comparison [to competing in the Olympics].” 
Davis, from West Bloomfield, and White, a Royal Oak native, trained at Arctic Edge, and you’d think they would be easy to spot. They should be glowing, or somehow floating above this gaggle of rosy-cheeked wannabes. Yet the pair blends in so naturally that Davis has to break from the crowd to introduce herself. “Hi, I’m Meryl,” she smiles, dressed in a gray tank top adorned with a Patrick McCarthy quote: “If I had known how soon it would end, I might have enjoyed it more.”
The takeaway: For all their years of grueling work and the resultant torrent of success, Davis and White seem so … normal. 
Given all they’ve accomplished while still in their 20s, one might expect an air of self-satisfaction in their bearing. One would be wrong. Realizing how quickly the cheers could fade, they’re giving themselves a year off from competing to consider what the next chapter of their lives might bring. 
A break would appear in order, since the two have been performing together since 1997, the longest ice skating partnership in the U.S. 
“It’s certainly a different dynamic and people compare it often to a marriage,” says Davis, who was 9 when she met 8-year-old White at the Detroit Skating Club. “We work hard to not only be successful but to enjoy our partnership, our 17 years of training together. We got really lucky to find the right partner for us right down the street.”
Training typically consisted of four to five hours a day on the ice five days a week, plus conditioning exercises and ballet lessons. White, who says he got into ice dancing because “I figure skated like a hockey player,” believes one key to their success is the way the pair approached their preparation.
“I think we enjoyed practicing to a degree that a lot people don’t,” he says. “And seeing the improvement in ourselves was something we always took a lot of pride in, whereas I think a lot of people see practice as a means to an end. I think that spurred us on every day and allowed us to reach higher.” 
Davis, who grew up skating on Walnut Lake, and White are quick to acknowledge the sacrifices their parents made on their behalf. Davis’ mother, Cheryl, retired early from her teaching career to accompany Meryl on competitions. “She was uncomfortable letting me travel internationally by myself,” Davis explains. Her father, Paul, owns a real estate company. Charlie White Sr. owns an oil delivery company in Detroit; his wife, Jacqui, works with him and often took time away from the office to watch their son perform.
“For us to have that sort of support from home everywhere we went was invaluable,” says White. “A lot of parents can’t find the time or money to travel with their kids. They didn’t care if we were champion skaters or if we wanted to go to the Olympics. They wanted us to do what made us happy. 
“It’s not often you’re fortunate enough to get parents like we have,” he adds.
A return to the Winter Olympics in 2018 “is too far away to even think about,” White says. “If we’re hungry we can keep going. If not, it wouldn’t make any sense.” For now, they’re just looking forward to walking the Quad in Ann Arbor again.
“I think we both pride ourselves, as a result of our parents, as being well-rounded people,” Davis says. “We both feel skating isn’t the only thing out there, so we’re excited to dabble in things that we haven’t had a chance to experience before. 
“Part of the beauty of school is that while we don’t exactly know what we want to do, taking classes and spending time with people of different academic pursuits will allow us to figure out what our next project might be. We’ll be in school longer than your average undergraduates.”

This article appears in the November 2014 issue of Hour Detroit
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Meryl interview pre FD at Skate America

teamusa.org blog: Meryl-Open Doors

2014 Olympic ice dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White will be blogging about their journey off the competitive ice at TeamUSA.org as they take the 2014-15 season to explore other opportunities. "Open Doors" is Davis' first entry.
One of the most unique aspects of the Olympic Games is having the opportunity to spend time with the many athletes representing different sports, all with very different and inspiring stories to tell. On the rare occasions we athletes are able to convene outside the Games, I’m always taken aback by the courage and strength of the people around me. Such was very much the case at the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Annual Salute to Women in Sports just last week.
This was my first time attending an event with the Women’s Sports Foundation but certainly not my last. Being nominated for this year’s Sportswoman of the Year - team sport award, I was lucky enough to have my dashing partner and “teammate” attend with me. Charlie, always a good sport, even braved an otherwise all-female dinner with me the night before the main event. Towards the end of that evening’s dinner, I had the honor of chatting with a small group of women including Michelle Kwan, Angela Ruggiero and Amy Purdy. Though I’d previously prepared a speech for the following evening, my conversation with these three, special women prompted a rewrite. It was important for me, I felt, to address the “next step” we four had spoken of.
As Charlie and I take this season away from competition, I found this topic to have particular personal relevance. While the foundation itself seeks to advance “the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity,” neither the lessons we learn nor the progress we make as individuals are left on the field. Having the opportunity to speak with these women — my own role models — I better understood in what ways this type of involvement opens doors for women and girls.
At present, I find myself often contemplating that “next step” and what doors might be open to me. What do I want to explore? What skills do I want to pursue beyond my academic aspirations? Though the unknown is certainly intimidating, I look to the example set by some of the amazing women who joined me last Wednesday at the annual salute. 
Charlie and I certainly feel fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a variety of events. This weekend, we’ll be joining U.S. Figure Skating and AT&T at 2014 Skate America in Chicago. We look forward to keeping-up with TeamUSA.org readers via our blog posts over the next few months. Stay tuned!