May 6, 2011
Virtue, Moir in Calgary
SCOTT FISHER, Calgary Sun
Sometimes a friendship is tested by what you’re willing to give up.
If so, this bond will likely never be broken.
Canadian ice dance pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have always had a close relationship with their closest rivals — Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
And there appears to be no rift — even after those darn Yanks stole the world championship gold medal last week.
“It’s going well, now that we let them have one,” Moir said with a laugh when asked if the pairs are still friends.
“No, we’re always going to be good friends.
“We’re happy for them, but it’s a little bittersweet because I’d rather be at the top of the podium.”
Virtue and Moir, the Olympic gold medalists and 2010 world champs, suffered through a frustrating season after the former underwent surgery in October to alleviate pain in her shins and calves.
They were forced to withdraw from Skate Canada and the national championships.
The pair’s season debut at the Four Continents in Taiwan in February was cut short after the short dance when Virtue’s left quad tightened up.
“It was a stressful year with Tessa’s surgery,” Moir said. “No one wants your first competition of the season to be the world championships.
“It probably wasn’t our most polished performance.”
All things considered, that silver medal doesn’t look too shabby.
“At the start of the year, if someone said we’d only complete one competition and finish second, you’d have to deem that as a disappointment,” Moir said.
“But this sport is tough. You have to persevere and be persistent.
“With Tessa coming off her second surgery in four years, I’m proud of our accomplishment. I’m proud of the silver. I think we have to be.”
Virtue agreed, adding Davis and White deserved the world title.
“They had a fantastic season, they had a great skate and we’re happy for them,” Virtue said.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have the mileage or the training we needed with our program.”
The Canadians were excited to finally share their free skate with fans at the world championships.
And Calgary figure skating fans will get a chance to see a slightly modified version of it at Sunday’s Stars on Ice at the Dome.
Virtue said she’s looking forward to finishing up the exhibition tour after missing the beginning while away at worlds.
“The week before worlds, we learned some of the choreography,” she said of the show that also includes Jeffrey Buttle, Evan Lysacek, Joannie Rochette, Sasha Cohen, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier and crowd favourite Kurt Browning.
“It was a good way to take our minds off the worlds.
“It’s so exciting. It’s a chance for us to skate without the pressure of competition and judging.”
Virtue said she and Moir will decide what they’ll do next year and beyond after the Stars on Ice tour concludes.
“I feel great,” she said. “I’m at 100%. Since my surgery in October, it’s been such an amazing recovery.
“It’s so different than after the surgery in 2008. I don’t have pain anymore and I’m just glad we finally figured it out.”
Moir sounds like he’s ready to defend the pair’s Olympic gold medal at Sochi, Russia in 2014.
“Sometimes I think there’s no way I can keep doing this until Sochi,” Moir said. “And then there’s other times when I can’t imagine doing anything but.
“I always said I’d skate until I don’t have that competitive edge.
“I’d like to see the next Games. There’s nothing like being in the Olympics. So why wouldn’t I want to go again?”