WXYZ interview


Meryl Davis and Charlie White return to skating... by maksylmyheart

Glamour Magazine interview

Meryl Davis Talks With Us About Reuniting With Maks, Relationship Advice From Charlie, and 2018 Olympic Hopes

Win a gold medal at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games? That's reason enough to take time off to rest. But jump back into things and win the Dancing With the Stars Mirrorball trophy? Go on an extended vacation for goodness' sakes! But that's not Olympian Meryl Davis' style. Always one to challenge herself and try new things, Meryl has just partnered with Vera Bradley as its first-ever celebrity brand ambassador, and she returns to the ice tomorrow (with Olympic partner Charlie White and DWTS partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy!) as part of Visionworks Shall We Dance on IceColgate's Skating Series on ABC. I caught up with the effervescent Meryl in between TV appearances (and Oscar events!) to chat handbags, figure skating, and her special friendship with Maks.

Meryl Davis: I wanted this [interview] to be in person!
Glamour: Me too! I was thinking that this Sunday is the Elton John Oscar party, and that’s where we first met a year ago! So happy anniversary to us!
Meryl: Aww! I’m leaving this afternoon, otherwise I wish I could be there. Happy anniversary!
Glamour: Is there a movie you’re rooting for at the Oscars this year?
Meryl: I just watched The Theory of Everything, and I absolutely was blown away. When you get lost in the story, that’s what you want, so I'll definitely be rooting for that.
Glamour: Congrats on your new partnership with Vera Bradley! How many handbags have you received so far?
Meryl: So many, it’s amazing! It is overwhelming and amazing at the same time. I’ve always been a handbag person, so to have access to their collection, I’m just in heaven.
Glamour: What would your handbag say if it could talk?
Meryl: Mine would say “Let’s explore!” I just love going and being comfortable and being on the go and having whatever I need to explore.
Glamour: What’s the most random thing we’d find in your bag?
Meryl: Sometimes even when I don’t take my skates with me, I’ll have stuff that goes with it. I’ll have a towel to dry off my blades!
Glamour: Shall We Dance on Ice airs this weekend on ABC. Who’s decision was it to partner up with some of the Dancing With the Stars pros?
Meryl: They did a show like this four years ago on a much smaller scale, but we didn’t have much to do with it back then. We just jumped at the chance [this time]. It’s so much fun to do what Charlie and I do on the ice, and then jump off the ice and dance with Maks, and then get back on the ice. It was like Christmas! It was very exciting for me.
Glamour: Has Maks gotten on the ice with you?
Meryl: Um, I’ve tried a number of times. He tells me he can skate, but I’m still working on it!
Glamour: When you guys dance together now, how much prep work do you need to do? You’re such a pro that I feel it come second nature at this point.
Meryl: We didn’t have as much time as I was hoping we would because we’re so busy, but he’s good at making me feel comfortable even though we didn’t have as much time as I would have liked. The dances onDWTS are different in that you have cameras that follow you, but the dances for the stage are for the audience, so we needed to tweak those a little bit. But certainly I like to be over prepared and train day in and day out.
Glamour: I get a lot of emails from readers on a daily basis, but the bulk of those emails are about you and Maks.
Meryl: Really?!
Glamour: It’s really cute. Fans can’t get enough of you two. Since it has been a year since you and Maks first met, how has your relationship evolved, specifically after you guys won the Mirrorball trophy?
Meryl: We obviously became incredibly close during the show and sort of coming away from that experience where we were no longer spending every day together, it was interesting to sort of to continue to grow our friendship in a different capacity. I absolutely love him, and he’s an incredible person. We have this friendship that I have no doubt in my mind is a life-long friendship. Getting a chance to know him away from training forDancing With the Stars, I think we’ve gotten a chance to know each other in a different way, which of course just makes you closer.
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Glamour: What does it mean to you that once he won the Mirrorball with you, the experience could never be topped, and he stepped away from the show?
Meryl: [Laughs] It for sure feels special. Charlie and I have been skating together for 18 years, and I can’t imagine skating with anyone else. He’s my lifelong skating partner no matter what. It’s interesting because the Dancing With the Stars season seems to rotate so quickly, and we had such a wonderful bond that to see [Maks] move on to another partner or another season would be difficult. So for him to close that chapter with me makes it extra special.
Glamour: I told the producers last year that I wanted to see you guys do an encore dance, and I think that is especially significant given that this is the 10th anniversary season. Would you still come back and do an encore dance?
Meryl: They haven’t reached out yet, but I would love to. I’m such a fan of the show. I did a radio interview this morning, and they said the show is a fraternity and once you’re a part of it, you’re always a part of it. That’s so true. I had such an amazing experience, and I’m not just a fan of the show, but the people on the show. I would love to go back.
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Glamour: So Charlie’s fiance, Tanith Belbin, has her bachelorette party this weekend, and I know you’ll be going. When the time comes for your wedding, how much would you trust Charlie to plan your bachelorette weekend?
Meryl: Well, I think in trusting Charlie, Tanith would do a lot of the planning, so yes, I would trust them as a duo because they both have great taste!
Glamour: What has their relationship taught you about love? Any advice you can share?
Meryl: They just always have fun together, and that’s so refreshing. They love getting a chance to enjoy spending time together no matter where they are, and that’s really what it’s about, whether you’re 28 or 70. I think loving spending time with that person is the most important thing, so I definitely appreciate that and look up to them in their relationship.
Glamour: At what point do you and Charlie decide whether or not to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics?
Meryl: We’ll talk about it, but we haven’t talked about it at all [yet]. We’ll start to think about it this summer and next fall and then make a decision. We’re doing so many things that we’re loving doing right now, and I think we made a conscious decision after last year’s Olympics to just enjoy for a while. I think with that mentality, whether we decide to return to competition or not, will come from a really healthy and happy place.
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Glamour: You were in the public eye going into the Olympics, but after the Olympics was an entirely different story. What have you learned about yourself this last year?
Meryl: I have learned that I’m a much stronger person than I ever realized. I was a very insecure person growing up, and every year I feel a little bit stronger and more confident in who I am and I really do love it. Whether it’s the Olympics and looking back and saying, ‘That was not easy,’ I’m proud of myself. And then the experience with Dancing With the Stars, I guess I’m loving new experiences and growing and embracing my own strength.
Glamour: Would you ever consider having another home in Los Angeles?
Meryl: Yes! That is very much on the radar.
Glamour: Even [Olympic figure skater] Gracie [Gold] and I were saying that we have to have a frozen yogurt date out here, but we needed you to join us!
Meryl: Yeah! I’m in! You just wait...that’s very much on my radar right now, so you just wait, Jessica!
Shall We Dance on Ice airs on ABC on Saturday, February 21, at 4 P.M. ET. Check your local listings for exact times in your area. An encore showing airs on Saturday, March 7.
Photos: Meryl Davis/Instagram; Maksim Chmerkovskiy/Instagram

Thurman Munson awards

Meryl on KTLA

Meryl as first celebrity ambassador for Vera Bradley


As the national brand ambassador, Meryl will share her passion for Vera Bradley with fans. “I’m excited to partner with a brand that is near and dear to my heart,” she said. “As a Michigan native, I grew up carrying Vera Bradley, and I love seeing how the company has grown in the fashion world while staying true to its heritage.”
In the spirit of getting to know each other, we were lucky enough to take a 20-question timeout with Meryl in the midst of her busy travel schedule
LIGHT PACKER OR PREPARED FOR ANYTHING?
I like to be prepared for anything! I’ve become more efficient,
but rarely pack “lightly”.
TROPICAL OR URBAN GETAWAY?
I love excitement and exploring in big cities, but also love tucking away
quietly on a distant beach. I usually try to squeeze in a bit of both!
SALTY OR SWEET?
Sweet for sure! I have quite a sweet tooth.
WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG RIGHT NOW?
Headphones, passport, laptop, phone, cozy socks, hand cream, phone charger, gloves and my Vera Bradley notebook (I’m at the airport as per usual)!
Take 20 with Meryl
WHAT CHARITY IS NEAR AND DEAR TO YOUR HEART?
HOW DO YOU UNWIND?
I love cozying up on the couch to watch a movie or cooking for friends.
WHAT’S ON YOUR READING LIST?
Mostly fiction. I love fantasy (i.e. Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones).
FAVORITE TV SHOWS?
Downton Abbey, Reign, Modern Family and Nashville
MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL?
I think it depends on the day, but I’m usually more of a morning person.
10 ARE YOU A PLANNER OR SPONTANEOUS?
I’m a planner.
11 FAVORITE MUSIC?
Classical, pop and alternative ­– anything you can dance or sing to!
12 THREE THINGS YOU NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT?
Phone, Vera Bradley wallet and a scarf
13 AFTER WINNING THE GOLD MEDAL AND MIRROR BALL TROPHY, WHAT IS YOUR NEXT BIG GOAL?
I’m in the process of starting my own foundation. It’s a big undertaking and it’s all come about quite quickly. Getting that off the ground and allowing myself to figure out what my other “next step” might be are my focus right now (besides enjoying all the skating we’re able to do)!
14 FAVORITE APP?
Instagram for sure. It’s very entertaining while on the road.
15 GUILTY PLEASURE?
Sleeping in, big weekend brunches and chocolate
Take 20 with Meryl
16 A TRICK TO FEEL AT HOME WHEN YOU TRAVEL?
Bringing a travel candle in my favorite scent always makes the room feel cozy.
17 BEST MAKEUP TRICK?
Tinted moisturizer instead of foundation
18 TEA OR COFFEE?
Coffee! I’m a coffee addict.
19 PERSONAL MOTTO OR FAVORITE QUOTE?
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” –Thoreau
20 FAVORITE VERA BRADLEY PATTERN?
I’m loving Rio heading into spring/summer!
Take 20 with Meryl
Shop Meryl’s Favorites online and in stores

TeamUSA blog: Meryl-Reflecting On Olympic-Sized Pressure, One Year After Gold

Meryl Davis: Reflecting On Olympic-Sized Pressure, One Year After Gold

BY MERYL DAVIS, 2014 OLYMPIC ICE DANCE CHAMPION | FEB. 17, 2015, 12:16 P.M. (ET)


"How am I going to be able to cope with the pressure?"
A question a lot of athletes must ask themselves. One millisecond too slow, one small slip, just missing that shot… We train our whole lives and, for most of us, our Olympic dreams are ever so delicate, our competitive moments fragile and, despite the years of hard work, it's all terrifyingly destructible. Charlie and I had been feeling strong and had had much success leading into Sochi. While we had been thrilled to come away from Vancouver with a silver medal, we had begun to realize that the feasibility of gold in Sochi was surprisingly scary. During our summer preparation before the Games, the idea that that possibility would come down to a series of just a few moments on the ice seemed like too much. "Once the moment actually arrived," we thought, "how would we possibly remain calm?!!??!"
Now, exactly one year to the day since our win in Sochi, it's interesting to reflect upon the reality of how we really did cope with the pressure. While we had incredible nerves four years earlier in Vancouver, worrying about skating our best and being very aware of the dramatically increased viewership as compared to what we were used to, we were just so excited to be Olympians!! In Sochi, however, we realized what was at stake — it was our dream on the line and we were so close.
Certainly, going into that high-pressure situation was made much easier having been to the Games before. I remember going into the Vancouver Games thinking that the ceiling would be higher, the top seats in the stands invisible from the ice and the roar of the crowd deafening. In fact, when I went to Niagara Falls for the first time as a child I remember crying to my dad because I "thought it would be bigger." Dissimilarly, the fact that the Pacific Coliseum was really just a normal arena was a great relief. The back of the stadium was visible and, despite the crowd, Charlie and I could hear our music just fine. Very purposefully taking that memory with me into the 2014 Games somehow made our task in Sochi feel more manageable.
Another surprising comfort I'd found in Vancouver was the atmosphere of the Olympic Village. Going into our first Olympic Games, I was surprised to find out that some athletes chose not to stay in the village. For me, the feeling and culture of the village was unexpectedly special; I'd never felt more at home. Walking around the villages in both 2010 and 2014, eating in the cafeterias and meeting other athletes, there's a real sense of belonging. In those moments, I felt like all of the work Charlie and I had done had brought us exactly where we were supposed to be. The idea of sitting alone in a hotel room, preparing to head over to the rink to compete for Olympic gold seems impossibly terrifying. Being in the village though, you're surrounded by people who are all doing the same thing. Being a part of this sort of mini-society for a few weeks, the outside world and the fear of the magnitude of the Games seems to slip away.
Finally, while getting onto the ice for practices or heading to the rink for competition in Sochi, I found myself repeating one of the mantras that stuck with me from the Vancouver Games, "Amazing Awaits." When I'd first heard the slogan heading into Vancouver, it brought tears to my eyes. Just two words, but the perfect embodiment of the possibility of the Olympic Games. Though we approached the 2014 Games fully aware of the fragility of our chance at Olympic gold, what was more important was that I believed amazing really did await us in Sochi. As athletes, each of us is striving to find our own "amazing." Going into Sochi, Charlie and I had never felt so strong, so connected to the ice and to one another. Our programs and our training had all come together and we were ready to be at our best. As such, I found the slogan so empowering, "Amazing Awaits." I felt like we'd done everything we could do, and if we were brave enough, our own version of "amazing" was there waiting for us on Olympic ice in Sochi.
In all honesty, winning really was just the icing. When athletes say in interviews that they want to perform well and that the result is less important, I don't get the sense that people always believe what they're hearing… Especially a year out, the medal is awesome and I feel such pride when Charlie and I are introduced as Olympic champions, but it's our journey to gold that means so much more and fills me with inexplicable pride. Thank you so much to those who were a part of our journey to Sochi and to everyone for the continued love and support; we're so grateful.
  

Bleacher Report: 1 year later

Post-Sochi, US Athletes Find Contentment, Pain, Celebrity and Challenge

Post-Sochi, US Athletes Find Contentment, Pain, Celebrity and Challenge
AP Images 
Nerves settled in for Olympic ice dancer Charlie White. He had been on big stages before, chased butterflies in his stomach before. But nothing like this—nothing so pressure-packed, so far outside of his comfort zone.
A full studio audience plus millions of people at home watched as he sat at the round table, next to his ice-dancing partner Meryl Davis. As the moment approached, he worried about blowing it.
What if he started laughing and couldn’t stop?
What if he started babbling, as he does when he’s nervous?
Then Stephen Colbert introduced the gold medal-winning pair, flitted over from his “news desk” and shook their hands, and the interview was on. White laughed often and sometimes seemed to teeter on the edge of losing it, but he held it together, even when Colbert accused White’s hair of doping.
Soon, the most nerve-wracking moment of White’s gold-medal victory lap was over, and he had survived.
“It was one of those things that felt like a pipe dream,” White says. “You have so much respect for the people he has on the show. They’re usually very influential and very important people. To be able to be on the show was really surreal. Even to this day, I can’t believe that I got a chance to meet him.”
In the year since the Sochi games, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat only scratch the surface of post-Olympic life for American competitors. They have met the rich and the famous, signed endorsement deals, dealt with fame, retreated to anonymity, found contentment, struggled with self-doubt and questioned their futures in the sports they love.
Davis and White are still basking in the glory of their moment.
Julie Chu, a U.S. women’s hockey player whose team blew a two-goal lead in the third period of the gold-medal game, had to get over losing in hers.
Joss Christensen, an unlikely gold medalist in slopestyle, is searching for that next big moment to validate the first.
And ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson, a former world champion battling to regain her best-in-the-world status, wonders if her moment of glory will ever come again.

Embracing the Now

USA TODAY Sports
The last chapter of Davis and White’s old lives began as they stepped onto the ice at Sochi. After dominating international ice-dancing competitions in 2012 and 2013, they were favorites for the gold. They knew if they nailed their performance that they would win the first gold in U.S. history.
It is not a peaceful memory. It makes The Colbert Report look like a walk in the park.        
“It was all of my nerves from my whole life put into a couple minutes. Reliving it, just thinking about it, it makes you nervous just remembering how nervous you were,” White says.
From the moment their world-record score went up on the board, their lives haven’t been the same. A year later, they are still delighting in their accomplishment, even as the aftereffects remain overwhelming.
Davis and White won silver four years prior, and that made them temporarily famous to the extent they thought about winning gold. They thought it would be like winning silver, only a little more gratifying.
But the difference between silver and gold turned out to be the difference between a model Porsche and the actual thing. Magazine covers, cereal boxes, Dancing with the StarsThe Colbert Report—they were everywhere in the weeks after the Games.
“We were so totally unprepared to deal with the idea of being Olympic champions,” White says. “To this day, we continue to try to figure out where it fits. As an athlete especially, your mental take on it was you just prepared the best you can. You don’t consider what it will be like if you win. You don’t consider how it will change your life. So when it finally happens, you’re totally unprepared.”
The first sign of their new lives came a few days after they left Sochi and arrived in New York City for interviews. They were accustomed to being recognized on the street by ice-dancing fans, but this was different. This was businessmen on the streets of Manhattan congratulating them.
“One of the things we’re most grateful for is the warmth of the reception we received,” Davis says. “People really opened their arms to us.”
That has died down. White jokes they are recognized now more for their appearances on Dancing with the Stars than for being Olympians. Davis won and swears she has uttered not a word about the fact White lost in the semis.
In June, White got engaged to Tanith Belbin, a 2006 silver medalist in ice dancing. Davis is taking an independent-study class this semester at the University of Michigan, where Davis and White both have studied over the years. They haven’t skated competitively this year and don’t know yet whether they will try to defend their title in 2018. They are touring with Stars on Ice.
Their lives haven’t returned to normal because they weren’t normal before.
“The biggest change is going from being hungry, working every minute of every day, where it was like, you’re going to sleep thinking about whether you’ve done enough during the day, if you’re going to get enough sleep, if you ate right, to a feeling of satisfaction, of completion, of earning something, working hard for it and being able to enjoy it,” White says.
“I think that’s something we’ve really been able to enjoy. As we move forward, we’ll find new things to attach ourselves to, to move toward. But for so long, we were so focused singularly on achieving this one goal. To achieve it and move forward from it is really transformative.”
Says Davis: “Post-Sochi, I think for the first time ever, we were excited to just be in that place and just enjoy it, without looking too far ahead. We’re really allowing ourselves that moment, still, to just embrace the now and embrace what’s coming our way, as opposed to sitting down and figuring out the years ahead.” 


TeamUSA: Olympic Champs And Humanitarians: Meryl Davis And Charlie White Never Stop Giving Back











(L-R) Charlie White, Meryl Davis, Dellin Betances, Diana Munson and Steve Weatherford pose for a photo prior to the 35th Annual Thurman Munson Awards in New York on Feb. 3, 2015.
NEW YORK -- Meryl Davis and Charlie White have lived in Michigan their entire lives, but last week, they were Yankees. At least for one night.
The 2014 Olympic gold medalists were surrounded by current and past athletes from the New York Yankees and New York Giants at the 35th Annual Thurman Munson Awards — which honor the late Yankees captain — on Feb. 3 in New York City, where they were celebrated for their success on the field of play and philanthropic efforts off the field.
“We’re from Detroit, but tonight I think that we’re all Yankees, and that’s a really special feeling for me,” White said in their acceptance speech in front of nearly 400 attendees. “At heart I’m really competitive, so I’m going to enjoy the idea of being a Yankee for the night.”
Meryl Davis and Charlie White pose for a photo prior to the 35th Annual Thurman Munson Awards in New York on Feb. 3, 2015.
Davis and White were the only Olympians on the list of 2015 honorees, which included Yankees centerfielder Bernie Williams, Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances, New York Mets centerfielder Mookie Wilson and Giants punter Steve Weatherford.
While the honorees’ accomplishments ranged from Olympic medals to Super Bowl rings, World Series pendants to all-star appearances, there was a distinct commonality among the group: big hearts and a desire to give back.
“We all have one unifying factor and that is to live fuller and richer lives — lives with substance and days we can look back on with feelings of accomplishment and pride,” White said. “Becoming Olympic champions was an amazing feeling, but it was just the first step in our lives and we are truly capable of so much, all of us, and it is our obligation as humans to help each other.”
One of the skaters’ most direct ways of helping others is through their roles as athlete mentors for Classroom Champions, which was founded by Olympic bobsled champion Steve Mesler and his sister to connect students in high-needs schools with top-performing athletes in order to motivate them to recognize their potential and dream big.
Now in their third year with Classroom Champions, Davis and White create monthly videos for the four classes they mentor in Michigan, New York and Ohio. They use their experience from the ice and their personal lives to help students take steps to set goals, become better friends, play fair, persevere and become leaders, among other lessons. They also Skype with their classrooms on occasion and have met two classes in person.
“It’s an amazing program,” Davis said. “To see the connection that the kids make and that they really feel like they know us makes our message from month to month that much more powerful. I think they feel like they’ve created a relationship with us, and so it’s really our honor to see that reflected in their faces.”
Giving back is not a new concept to the three-time Olympic medalists. Davis and White have supported countless charities throughout their 17-year ice-dancing career, including Make-A-Wish, Ronald McDonald House Charities, American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Humane Society, Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation and The Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative.
Whether they are skating in a charity show, mentoring students or speaking to the next generation of U.S. figure skaters, Davis and White always taken pride in representing figure skating, Team USA and the Olympic Movement wherever they go, which has led them to become the world-class ambassadors they are today.
And it is a role the do not take lightly.
“As Olympians, we all take on the task of representing our country at the Games and representing our country abroad,” Davis said. “It’s an important concept that we continue to represent the best of our country once we come home.
“Our country looks to Olympians during the Games to be their representatives and it’s a really cool feeling to have that and appreciate that, so I think coming home we take that same role very seriously.”
White says it is a notion that developed from the way their parents raised them as well as the many Olympians they had as role models in their lives while growing up at the Detroit Skating Club.
“We continue to try to make the most of the influence we have and it makes life fun,” White said. “Getting to come to these events and meet the special people who work so hard to put them together and also make a difference is invigorating and exciting for us.”
Attending the Thurman Munson Awards wasn’t their only source of excitement during their brief New York City visit. The night before, Davis and White joined their agent for dinner at Ralph Lauren’s first New York City restaurant, The Polo Bar, where they ran into none other than Ralph Lauren and his son David. The Laurens took the time to speak to Davis and White and tell them how much they enjoyed their Olympic performances.
It reminded Davis and White of their first encounter with Ralph Lauren, which they recall as one of their most memorable experiences after the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
“We were sponsored by Ralph Lauren at the time and Mr. Lauren invited us into his office and gave us a tour of the headquarters,” Davis said. “He really spent a lot of time with us and we really appreciate his genuine interest in speaking with us. He could be speaking to anyone he wanted to and him taking the time to speak with us is really special.”
Meeting Ralph Lauren is only one of the many unique experiences the two have had since Sochi. Between a whirlwind media tour, competing on “Dancing with the Stars” for three months while touring the country with Stars on Ice, vacationing in Hawaii, getting engaged for White, being honored at a University of Michigan football game, appearing in a Thanksgiving Day parade, performing in more skating and dancing shows, touring Japan for Stars on Ice, commentating at figure skating competitions, attending Sundance Film Festival with Visa and much, much more, it’s hard to believe that it has only been a year since they became the first Americans to win Olympic ice dance gold.
Yet for Davis, it somehow feels like much less.
“Training all those years leading into the Olympics, it’s such a regimented schedule and time passes steadily, but because our lives are so irregular now and every day is so different, I think the passage of time has felt a lot faster,” Davis said. “Honestly it feels like maybe three or four months has passed and it’s hard to believe that it’s been a year.”
And what a year it’s been.

Team USA blog: Charlie White: My First Experience As A Commentator

Charlie White: My First Experience As A Commentator
By CHARLIE WHITE, 2014 OLYMPIC ICE DANCE CHAMPION | FEB. 09, 2015, 3:51 P.M. (ET)


The U.S. Figure Skating Championships have come and gone! Meryl and I had the pleasure of not only attending the event, but also contributing ever so slightly with a bit of commentary work. I can also comfortably say that even though we didn’t compete, this was absolutely one of my favorite national championships!
First and most importantly, the skating was “redonk” (short for “redonkulous” and what I assume the kids say these days when what they really mean is “rad”). There’s always the concern that everyone will have a bit of a hangover the year after the Olympic Games, but 2015 is here and that fear suddenly seams unreasonable. If anything, the competitors seemed energized and more excited than ever coming into this fresh four-year cycle. The jumps seemed cleaner, the footwork better, the dancing more passionate! I really felt rewarded as a longtime fan of figure skating getting to see so much excellence.
Of course the ice dance event holds a special place in my heart, and having the honor of doing the commentary on Ice Network was a dream. The high level of skating made my job easy, and being able to give some insight into what made each team special and unique was so much fun. Going into the event I wasn’t sure how critical I was going to be of the skating, but by the end I realized I’m a huge softie! I think because I recognize just how difficult of a sport it is, I feel more comfortable emphasizing the positive aspects of every program as opposed to finding things to nitpick. On top of that, I always enjoy it more as a spectator when the commentators more or less stay out of the way.
Another special experience Meryl and I shared at the championships came when we had the opportunity to have an hour-long chat with the young up-and-coming skaters. Often times when we speak at events we’re really just looking to inspire and show the universal appeal and application of the lessons we’ve learned along our journey. In this instance, however, speaking to a room full of kids that totally speak our skating language, we were able to touch on some very specific skating-related challenges and lessons we learned that were critical to our success. It may not have been the most exciting hour of their lives, but dang it we made sure to stuff them so full of advice they’d have to remember some of it! We certainly have a lot of bright and talented young skaters coming up in the U.S. and we feel very responsible for helping them.
Unfortunately we were unable to stay for the whole championships, but don’t feel too bad — we only had to miss the end because we got to go to the Sundance Film Festival (!!!). Our sponsor Visa brought us out for a chance to have a little meet and greet and then enjoy some movies (thanks Visa). Dare I say we were everywhere we wanted to be!

For my next blog I’m hoping to field some questions, so if you could tweet your best questions to me at @CharlieAWhiteor @USOlympic, I’d love to give some in-depth answers on anything you might be curious about!