Chic Luxuries Interview with Olympic Champions, Meryl Davis & Charlie White
We're back from two weeks of traveling the world! I was delighted to be asked by P&G to interview America's golden couple, World and Olympic Gold Medal Champions, Meryl Davis and Charlie White. They are as poised and graceful off the ice as they are on and everything we could hope for in Olympic Champions. Meryl and Charlie danced off the ice for a few moments to tell me a bit about their Olympic journey and share what P&G'sThank You Mom campaign has meant to them.
Barbara: Meryl, you've been skating since you were 5-years old, what does your training entail?
Meryl: Well training has definitely changed quite a bit over the years but at this point coming into the Olympics, we are usually on the ice four hours a day, five days a week. Three days a week we typically work out in the gym doing running, weight lifting and core for an hour and a half. We usually throw in a little ballet or something to mix it up during the week.
Barbara: That's a lot of trips to the rink. ☺ What is your favorite memory of spending time traveling back and forth to the rink with your Mom?
Charlie: I remember going to the rink we would always be going from school and just getting to talk about my day with my mom is one of my favorite things. We would talk about setting expectations at the rink and she would always help me plan what to do with my schedule with my homework, hockey and figure skating because we were so busy. We had a lot of really good talks.
Barbara: You've given up a lot to get here. P&G's "Thank You Mom" Campaign reminds us of the sacrifices Moms make everyday for their children. What is the biggest sacrifice your Mom has made to support your Olympic dream?
Meryl: My mom inspires me the most because no matter what it is that I am facing, whether it is positive or negative, my mom is always the first person I talk to and the first person I turn to for advice. So whether or not I am looking for inspiration or just stumble upon it, it’s often times from my mom.
Barbara: As a young girl never having ice skated, one of my dreams was to skate under the tree at Rockefeller Center. How old were you when your dream of representing the US in the Olympics first took hold?
Charlie: I think when we were seventeen. It was around the time we were graduating from high school and realizing what an opportunity we had in figure skating. Some of our closest friends and competitors, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, were going to the Olympics is 2006 and this really gave us an opportunity first hand to see what the whole experience was like and to feel like we can get there, too, if we work really hard.
Barbara: Your Moms have shared how nervous they were at the 2010 Olympics and how calm you both appeared. What advice would you give for maintaining such poise and composure during competitions?
Meryl: Preparation! I think the only thing that keeps us from being completely terrified is just knowing how well prepared we are going into the competition.
Charlie: To stay in the moment. I think it is really important as an elite athlete and figure skating competitor to really stay grounded in the moment - whether it’s practice or competition - because getting caught up in the future or the past is really a terrible distraction and usually ends poorly.
Barbara: Chic Luxuries' readers love fashion so I have to ask, who is your costume designer? How much input, if any, do you and your Mom contribute to the design process?
Meryl: The moms and I typically design our costume with input from our coach, Marina Zoueva. I actually worked with Randy from Randall Designs this year who does the costumes for Dancing with the Stars. Other than that, it’s typically the moms and me. Charlie usually just says ok to whatever!
Barbara: "Thank You"...two little words that mean so much but not everyone takes the time to express. What does hearing P&G say "Thank You" to your Mom mean to you?
Charlie: I think it’s a great understanding of the relationship that forms between a mother and their children. It doesn't always have to be elite athletes, but in this case they recognize the impact that moms have on the dreams of children especially when you are reaching for something as big as the Olympics. Being able to say thank you certainly doesn't feel like enough but it’s the best thing and the best start we can do. Having P&G there to help us in our quest to thank our moms enough is really awesome. We love being part of the Puffs family!
Barbara: What would you want to share with young girls who may be reading this to inspire them to never give up on their dreams?
Meryl: I think the best advice for young girls is to find something you are passionate about. Whatever it is you are looking to do it is that much more challenging if it’s not something that you truly love. If you find something that you are passionate about, regardless of how challenging it is, and you can still enjoy doing it on some level every day, then I think it will have a much more positive impact on your life.
Congratulations, Meryl and Charlie, on bringing home the gold! To Jacqui White and Cheryl Davis, thank you for raising two exceptional role models who are an inspiration to us all.