LONDON, ONT.–They skated their masterpiece Carmen program beautifully in front of an adoring full-house. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir ended their world championships in their hometown on a high note – just not with the medal they really wanted.
“We’d be lying if we said we came here to get silver,” Virtue said. The gold, along with their world championship title, went to the American rivals and training partners they’ve been unable to beat all season.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White won both the short program Wednesday and the free dance Saturday, regaining the world championship title they last held in 2011. Russians Ekaterina Bobrova and Dimitri Soloviev won the bronze. The worlds is the end for Virtue and Moir’s provocative Carmen routine that some fans and, possibly judges too, never really warmed to. “I think there’s a lot of figure skating people that weren’t really on our level maybe, and didn’t agree with it at all,” Moir said. “We really pushed ourselves this year with some really tricky elements.”
Their program next season, the one they’ll use to try and defend their Olympic gold in Sochi with, will better showcase their connection on ice, he said. “We just have to do ‘us’ a little more,” he said. “I think we showed that very well in Carmen just in a different way.” Though bold Carmen will be gone, he warned they won’t be returning to the youthful innocence shown in the program that won them the 2010 Olympic gold in Vancouver. “We’re not going to go back to the classic Virtue-Moir that everyone wants either because we’re older and more mature. I think we’ll have something special for you next year,” he said. What keeps them in this sport, said Virtue, is that they can continue to improve and move forward. “We still have a lot of room to grow and that’s really exciting for the Olympic year,” she said.
During Saturday’s free dance, their bodies were in perfect synchronization during the twizzles, the element that gave them such trouble in the short program on Wednesday, and their complicated and spectacular lifts had the audience on the edge of their seats.
“That was probably one of the highlights of my career,” Moir said. “It’s not very often we see an arena packed to the brim, we’re not skaters from the ’90s, we haven’t seen this very often in our careers.”
The day was also a triumph for another Canadian ice dance pair, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje. They were fifth, a step down from their fourth last year, but an amazing feat nonetheless given that Weaver broke her fibula in a training accident just three months ago and has only been back to full skating for a few weeks.
“I wish we could just freeze this moment in time,” Weaver said. “All our hard work, me being in the physio, Andrew skating by himself for two months, (it all) came together. “That’s just incredible.”
Canada’s third pair of ice dancers, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, finished 18th. This is the first time this 21-year-old duo, who train in Scarborough, has represented Canada together at the world championships.