Virtue, Moir in their golden years

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir celebrate winning gold at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in...

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir celebrate winning gold at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Nice, France, March 29, 2012. (ERIC GAILLARD/Reuters)

RYAN PYETTE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:18 PM ET

There's nothing wrong with being defined by a single sporting moment.

Some of the world's greatest athletes become forever frozen in our minds for their greatest achievement.

But then there are those who possess the enduring talent and competitive drive to chip away the veneer of their signature performance, rising above their public trademark to create a string of glorious memories.

That's where Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are right now.

It's been too easy to close your eyes and visualize the ice dancers clad in white, performing the Goose lift and capturing their Olympic gold medal to Mahler's Fifth Symphony in Vancouver two years ago.

That's their one-dimensional snapshot.

But with their world championship victory in Nice, France Thursday, they have clearly indicated there is more magic in store.

It's their second world title in three years. They are the only Canadians to have won twice.

They are once again the undisputed best ice dance team in the business.

They will enter the 2013 worlds, which will be held on home ice at London, Ont.'s John Labatt Centre, as defending champions.

They are the favourites to repeat as Olympic champs the following year in Sochi, Russia.

All this, after facing a year-and-a-half of shrugging off questions revolving around whether or not they could eclipse their 2010 form – to take their once-in-a-lifetime triumph and duplicate it over and over.

It wasn't an easy climb to the top of the mountain their first world championship run, and it was even more challenging the second time.

They surrendered their world crown last year to American training mates Meryl Davis and Charlie White in a season that left little time for proper training and hardly any room for competition.

Virtue, the 22-year-old Londoner, needed a second surgery to curb her compartment syndrome.

This year, she and Moir, the 24-year-old Ilderton, Ont., native, trained with a burning desire to not just compete but win, knowing another injury setback might be too much to overcome.

They started out well, but in December dropped a mid-season head-to-head battle with Davis and White on home ice at the Grand Prix Final in Quebec City.

Moir stumbled in the short dance, then expressed his displeasure at finishing second by a fraction to their rivals in the free dance.

They uncovered a judging error that had plagued them all season, rebounded to win the Four Continents title on American soil and painstakingly grappled with their Fred Astraire-Audrey Hepburn 'Funny Face' long program all year.

By the time they arrived at Nice, they had re-engineered it into an all-time classic.

This all has to be a harsh psychological blow for the Americans.

Davis and White had a head-start but couldn't defend their title.

They won in mid-season but lost their edge in what is now figure skating's best, most compelling, rivalry.

When both teams are at full strength, it's advantage to Virtue and Moir.

If not for last year's injuries it isn't a stretch to say they could be in line to vie for a fourth straight world title next year at home.

Great Britain's legendary couple Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, the discipline standard, won four in a row from 1981-84.

Virtue and Moir, should they be blessed with continued health, could have four world crowns by Tokyo in 2014 and one more Olympic gold medal.

They already possess the will and drive.

And that golden moment in Vancouver?

It may turn out to be one of many.

ryan.pyette@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/RyanAtLFPress


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