June 21, 2011
Virtue, Moir undecided about 2013
By RYAN PYETTE, QMI Agency
LONDON, ONT. - There's a brand new logo in place for London's 2013 world figure skating championships.
But no one really knows when the faces of the event -- London's Tessa Virtue and Ilderton's Scott Moir -- will commit to competing on the grandest sports stage in this city's history.
The Olympic ice dance champs are coming off an injury-plagued season and not expected to announce their intention to compete again until Skate Canada doles out the 2011-12 Grand Prix assignments this summer.
"We haven't had that conversation yet," Virtue said this week from the duo's training base in Canton, Mich. "We skated in a few shows and we have a couple left to do. We're going to skate at Yu-Na Kim's show in Seoul (South Korea) in August and we always love doing Yu-Na's show."
Virtue spent time vacationing in Spain this spring. She has declared herself healthy after a second surgery to correct compartment syndrome in her legs and a left quad injury forced her out of the Four Continents championships at Taiwan in February.
But with the revolutionary dancing style they plan to pursue the rest of their careers, Virtue will likely always be in "day-to-day" and "year-to-year" mode.
"I'll still be going (to the Fowler-Kennedy sports medicine clinic) but it's more for maintenance," the 22-year-old said. "It's something I'm going to have to watch and monitor going forward.
"We could decide to turn pro, that's always an option, but I don't think money is going to be a big part of the equation. We've always been competitors in every sense of the word."
They have no desire to change their coaches Marina Zoueva and Igor Shpilband.
"We feel like we have the best coaches in the world," she said, "so why change? We'll continue to work together."
Virtue and Moir finished second to United States training mates Meryl Davis and Charlie White at the worlds in late April. The three-time Canadian champs never intended to miss the event - even before it was postponed and moved to Moscow because of the earthquake and tsunami devastation in Japan.
"We were on track," Virtue said. "We were most concerned about the people in Japan. Our hearts went out to them. It's a terrible situation and Moscow and the Russian federation deserve a lot of credit. They had something like three weeks to pull it together and they did a fantastic job as hosts in difficult circumstances."
Despite the injuries and missed competitions, Virtue doesn't believe there's unfinished business with the bold, new programs she and Moir unveiled in their post-Olympic triumph.
Virtue knows, more than anyone, what it would mean to win a world gold medal in her hometown in two years.
She and Moir took part in their first senior nationals in London in 2005 and finished fourth. They won their third straight Canadian title here last year on the wings of The Goose lift and it was the springboard event to the Olympics.
"The John Labatt Centre has always felt like home to us," Virtue said, "and it's going to be amazing to have the worlds there for the first time. London is well-known around the skating world for having knowledgeable fans and when you hear the roar of the crowd at the JLC, there's no better feeling.
"I'm excited about it."
But will they be a central part of it?
In a way, everything's connected. If they compete this season and succeed, it will be incentive to continue.
And if they soldier on through London 2013 without major setbacks, then an Olympic title defence will loom right around the corner.
World Figure Skating Championships
When: March 10-17, 2013, at the John Labatt Centre.
Notes: This will be the 10th time Canada has held the event since Montreal in 1932 ... London also hosted the 2007 world synchronized skating championship ... All-event ticket packages go on sale in January, 2012.