Olympic and world championsTessa Virtue of London, Ont., and Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont., were the ice dance victors at the Rostelecom Cup on Saturday.
Virtue and Moir also dominated with a season-best 173.99 points. It is the third time in four seasons that the Canadians have won the maximum two Grand Prix in a season.
“It was great, a really solid performance for us,” said Virtue. “From beginning until the end there was a little bit more intensity in every movement. Our goal this year was not to repeat any element we’ve done in the past; every lift, footwork and spin is new. That’s risky in ice dancing and at this point in the year we have to stay focused on the big goal and continue building to the worlds.”
The real story of the day was American Gracie Gold, who started the day as the lowest-ranked skater in the Rostelecom Cup, and ended it in first place after a graceful and assured short program on Friday.
She has less than a two-point lead over the next two contenders for medals, Kiira Korpi of Finland and American Agnes Zawadzki.
“Nobody,” says Moir, from Ilderton, Ont., with a snarky grin. “How many people do you think?”
At least a half dozen should stop, smile and say something, I think. They are walking to the Eaton Centre shopping mall. It is sunny and it is lunchtime.
“It should be zero to three,” says Virtue, from London, Ont., trying to figure out the terms. “No, zero to two people.”
It is unclear what the terms are, and it is unfair to Virtue and Moir. After winning the gold medal in ice dancing at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, their faces were everywhere. It felt like they belonged to Canadians. (Photos: Peter J. Thompson/National Post, Reuters)
Second-place showings from Patrick Chan and ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir on Thursday have Canada sitting fourth following the opening day of the ISU World Team Trophy figure skating event in Tokyo.
Chan, the two-time reigning men’s world champion from Toronto, skated a season-best short program despite his fall on a triple Axel. He finished with 89.81 points, well back of world silver medallist Daisuke Takahashi of Japan, who set a world-record 94.00 in the short. Jeremy Abbott of the U.S. is third with 86.98.
The Canadians were second after the short dance on Saturday, but put up the best score in Sunday’s free dance to take the title in the final major competition before the ISU world championships.
“We were pleased with our skate today and our week overall,” Virtue said in a news release. “We learned to approach our skating better, which is something we haven’t done since the Olympics. It’s skating in unison, getting into that zone and blocking all the distractions.” (Photo: Rick Wilking/Reuters)
In fine form Injuries sidetracked ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir during the 2010-11 figure skating season. Adding to the duo’s disappointment was that fact they had to sit out the Canadian championships. But 2012 will be different. Photo: Aaron Lynett/National Post
FIGURE SKATING: Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. skates during their ice dance practice session at the ISU Grand Prix at the Pavillon de la Jeunesse in Quebec City. The competition will start on December 9. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir haven’t missed a beat. The Canadian Olympic gold medallists and defending world champion ice dancers, competing in their first event since last March, are in top spot after Thursday’s short program at the ISU Four Continents figure skating event.
“It’s a great start,” said Virtue. “We weren’t sure what to expect. The moment we stepped on the ice for practice, we had that spark and drive. We’re hungry for it, for sure. It doesn’t take that much to get right back into the competitive feel.”
Their chemistry on the ice helped Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir become the first Canadians to win an Olympic gold medal in ice dancing in 2010. However, the public was disappointed to learn that they are not dating: “I understand,” Virtue says, “because when I see movies I’m feeling, ‘Oh but they should be together!’”