The Olympic rings at Coal Harbour turned gold again last night as Canadian ice dancing stars Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the first gold medal ever awarded to a North American team.
The pair, who have been skating together since they were in elementary school, are also the youngest ice dance team to ever stand at the top of an Olympic podium.
Virtue and Moir were favoured to medal and were vying for top spot with the top-ranked American skaters, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who came in second.
The four athletes are close friends, train out of the same rink in Michigan and share the same coaches, Marina Zoueva and Igor Shpilband.
Davis and White skated first and nabbed a score of 215.74.
But Virtue and Moir followed up with a near-perfect performance to Mahler’s Symphony No. l 5, and received a combined ice score of 221.57, just six points off the world record of 227.81 and good enough for a gold.
As opposed to most events, the medals were awarded on the spot and a clearly ecstatic Moir belted out the national anthem as it played at Pacific Coliseum to a cheering hometown crowd.
“I hope you didn’t have any microphones (on me),” Moir joked with CTV after the medal ceremony.
“It’s surreal,” added Virtue. “We’ve dreamed of this for so long and imagined it in our heads. It’s so much better to actually live it.”
The pair said they couldn’t have achieved gold without the support of Davis and White.
“We have such a special connection (with them),” Moire said. “We’re so proud of them.”
Russians Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin got the bronze medal while defending silver medalists, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, came in fourth.
Canada’s other ice dance team, Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier, finished 14th.