Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 17th 2014 Contents A62
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, February 17, 2014
SOCHI --- Charlie White threw
his arms in the air in celebration
to try to describe how he d felt yes-
After four years, the moment had
finally arrived for White and Meryl
Davis, seeking to win the United
States first Olympic gold medal in
"I definitely woke up today ready,"
Davis said. "And yes, it s great to
wake up with a smile on your face."
They were grinning even more
broadly after their short dance, when
they set an international personal
best with 78.89 points to lead train-
ing partners Tessa Virtue and Scott
Moir of Canada by 2.56.
Davis and White won silver at the
2010 Games when Virtue and Moir
became the first Olympic ice dance
champions from North America.
The free dance is today, and Davis
and White, both from Michigan, are
one performance away from gold.
"I told Charlie in the middle of
the programme I felt like I was in
a dream," Davis said. "It is such a
Virtue and Moir rebounded from
a shaky performance in the team
event, but the Americans, skating
last, have overtaken their rivals over
the last four years, and it was no
A Russian team was in third,
though it wasn t world bronze
medalists Ekaterina Bobrova and
Dmitri Soloviev. Elena Ilinykh and
Nikita Katsalapov were 3.29 points
behind Virtue and Moir.
France s Nathalie Pechalat and
Fabian Bourzat were fourth, just 0.26
out of the bronze position, with
Bobrova and Soloviev fifth.
Davis and White will again skate
Their twizzles are at another
speed from the rest of the field, and
yet they spin across the ice in perfect
unison. Skating to My Fair Lady,
they gaze at each other and into the
crowd with an exuberant bliss.
"They fly," said their coach, Mari-
na Zoueva, who also works with
Virtue and Moir. "And you can see
at the same time where they are
strong. And they are so light at the
same time and so flowing."
With White s tuxedo and tails and
Davis gauzy pink dress, they were
decked out for a coronation.
"They really did the best this pro-
gramme can be done, with joy,"
Zoueva said. "Total joy."
When it was over, they held their
embrace for a few extra seconds.
"We kept in the moment and nei-
ther of us was pushing it," White
said. "We were out there enjoying
each other s company. This was spe-
cial for us."
The other American teams, Madi-
son Chock and Evan Bates and sib-
lings Maia and Alex Shibutani, were
eighth and ninth.
Virtue had a bobble on a twizzle
during the team short dance, but
yesterday, she and Moir looked much
more like the couple that charmed
the home crowd in Vancouver four
years ago. Their footwork again crisp,
they seemed to bounce over the ice
as they performed to jazz standards
from Louis Armstrong and Ella
In his black bowtie and sus-
penders, Moir, ever the showman,
smiled coyly from start to finish,
eyebrow arched. Virtue s face
beamed brighter than the sparkles
on her flapper-style dress.
With the two still posed cheek to
cheek just like the lyrics to the final
song in their medley, Moir shouted
out "Yes!" and pumped a fist. He
whirled across the ice in celebration,
then lifted Virtue into the air, burying
his face in her shoulder.
"That was more like it," Moir said
The week between their pro-
grammes seemed to drag on forever
--- Moir called the waiting miser-
"I just wanted my chance to be
on the stage and do that," he said.
So when the music ended, he let
out all that tension, though Virtue
teased him: "You left me."
"I didn t get the memo on that,"
she joked later of his extra little
"I get a little emotional after we
skate like that," he explained.
Both couples have been together
since they were little kids, and each
talked about wanting to revel in the
moment of these Olympics. That
was accomplished yesterday.
"We ve been together 17 years and
that plays a huge part in just how
comfortable you are on the ice in
big moments," White said. "We have
been through so much together in
competitions and in life. It s just
having that consistency in our train-
ing and our approach, and when it
comes to big competitions, being a
little bit nervous. You want to be
able to count on that."
KRASNAYA --- Olympic two-man
bobsled has become one man s
Out of the fog, Alexander Zubkov
emerged as the clear leader.
Russia s Zubkov set a track record
on his first run, and then opened
some distance on the rest of a dec-
orated field yesterday with a second
crisp, clean trip down his home
track to open a commanding lead
at the halfway point over Switzer-
land s Beat Hefti and Steven Hol-
comb of the United States.
Zubkov is two runs away from
winning Russia s first gold medal
in two-man since 1988, and unless
he makes a major mistake today, it
might be time to start chilling the
vodka for a celebratory toast.
"I am very satisfied," said Zubkov,
who won bronze four years ago at
the Vancouver Games. "And we will
compete at the appropriate level
If he does, the gold s all his.
Zubkov completed his two down-
hill descents on the fog-cloaked
Sanki Sliding Center track in 1
minute, 52.82 seconds. He leads
Hefti by 0.32 seconds and 0.36 sec-
onds over Holcomb of Park City,
Utah. In a sport where hundredths
of a second typically separate first,
second and third, Zubkov is running
He led Holcomb, the defending
Olympic champ in four-man, by
just 0.09 seconds after his first run,
but after Alexey Voevoda gave him
a strong push, Zubkov stayed away
from any trouble his second time
down the winding, 17-curve moun-
tain circuit and gave himself a little
cushion going into today s two heats.
Russia's Zubkov leads after 2 runs of 2-man bob
Davis and White lead
Olympic ice dancing
Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States compete in the ice
dance short dance figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating
Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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