|Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir perform during the ice dance short program at the International Skating Union's Grand Prix final in Quebec City, Que., Dec. 9, 2011. (DIDIER DEBUSSCHERE/QMI Agency)
QUEBEC CITY - Scott Moir figures he knows why Patrick Chan slammed into the end boards during his short program.
“Patrick felt bad for us,” quipped the Olympic ice dance champion, whose shocking tumble on his back was upstaged by Chan's booming hit at the International Skating Union's Grand Prix final of figure skating Friday night in Quebec City. “He did a beautiful quad (combo), then wanted everyone to forget what happened to me.”
Moir and Chan, the new crash-and-bash of Canadian figure skating, showed no ill effects of their on-ice incident the next day.
On Saturday afternoon, the 24-year-old Ilderton, Ont., native and partner Tessa Virtue took to the ice to work on their Funny Face free dance. They held a meeting after the short-dance fall, which put them five-plus points behind United States rivals Meryl Davis and Charlie White heading into Sunday's finale.
“It's nothing new, we always get together afterwards to re-hash our skates,” Moir said. “Especially after a skate like we had, you want to go back and find things you can improve.
“We didn't expect to be five points down heading into Sunday, but you just have to refocus and go out there and skate the way you can and see what happens.”
Usually, they don't get too cranked up about a full day off in between the short and long dance.
“But I think this time, we appreciate the extra day,” Virtue, the 22-year-old London, Ont., native said. “It gives you time to regroup.”
It also gives Virtue, a psychology student at the University of Windsor, some extra time to study.
“I have an exam on Tuesday,” she said.
It will take an incredible comeback to overcome their deficit and beat the Americans, but Virtue and Moir have a lot of faith in Funny Face.
They refuse to rank its appeal ahead of their Mahler-themed Vancouver Olympic free skate, but it has that kind of potential.
“It's a different program,” Moir said. “We never like to compare them from year-to-year. Mahler did a lot for us, it was special to us, and you can't ever forget that.”
It's their signature program, for sure. To win the Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014, they will need another one.
They will likely never announce their future plans too far in advance because of Virtue's past struggles with injury.
“This is a program that fits where we're at right now and that's what we were looking for,” Virtue added. “The credit goes to Marina (their coach Marina Zoueva) for having the vision to create it for us and it's just feels great to be able to skate it healthy.
“We've been able to train harder than we ever have.”
Just like in Vancouver, there's another Virtue dress mystery brewing.
She revealed a black number in practice earlier this week. On Saturday, she was the Lady in Red again.
“We were just trying it (the black one) out,” she said.
Zoueva, who demanded Virtue wear the memorable white dress at the Olympics, wouldn't reveal what was in the works this time.
“The crowd will just have to wait and see,” she said.