Davison, Dube show poise of veterans Figure skating

This is the Olympics and someone should remind Canadian figure skating pair Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison.

On second thought, don't point it out. The national team rookies kept cool and pulled off a personal best last night in the short program.

Skating to the sultry music of Hasta que te conoci, the pair scored 55.48, up from their previous best of 53.89.

They sit 11th overall and have no visions of a medal, but just aim to keep having fun.

Davison said being at their first Olympics was overwhelming when they first arrived in Turin and it took some adjustments to stay focused.

"Once we were comfortable, it's all the same on the ice, wherever you are. All of the experience gained in two years in junior (competition) really helped us," the Cambridge native said.

Reigning world champions Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin of Russia lead the competition with a short- program score of 68.64. Their coach, 1984 Olympic pairs champion Oleg Vasiliev, said the duo's performance was the best he has seen from them.

In second are Dan and Hao Zhang of China, while Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov of Russia are third.

The other Canadian pair, two-time Canadian champions Valerie Marcoux and Craig Buntin, are 10th.

While their teammates didn't seem to feel the pressure of being at the Olympics, Marcoux and Buntin couldn't shake the jitters.

"We just didn't get into our program like we have in the past," Buntin said. "We knew we could have done better."

The pairs got the figure skating competition off to a rockin' start. Among the fans was U.S. First Lady Laura Bush.

The American duo of Rena Inoue and John Baldwin made Olympic history as the first pair to complete a throw triple Axel.

Baldwin made Inoue look like a spinning top a child might toss. It seemed as if he might throw her through the roof of the Palavela, which is enclosed with glass.

He couldn't contain his elation, pumping his fist when Inoue landed cleanly.

The crowd let out a huge roar.

"I broke character. I was so excited," he said.

The U.S. pair received a personal-best score of 61.27 and sits in sixth place.

"We know what we had to do for the (short program)," Baldwin said. "We wanted to shove it in their (the judges') faces."

In a cocky move, Baldwin, 28, asked the crowd for more applause at the end of their program.

"My coach was motioning me to get off," he said.

The fans didn't seem to mind, responding to Baldwin's prompts.

The competition finishes tomorrow with the free skate.