Posted by Grace Labels: Stars on Ice
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?
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!"
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.
Posted by Grace Labels: freep