Canadians Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue say they don’t think their coach, Marina Zoueva, had their best interests at heart.
Zoueva trains the team of Moir-Virtue and also the gold-medal-winning American team of Charlie White and Meryl Davis. The two pairs not only share a coach, but they also train in the same building and are considered rivals as the two best teams in the sport.
After finishing with the silver medal on Monday, Virtue and Moir said during a press conference on Tuesday that they felt Zoueva gave preferential treatment to her American duo.
"It's an interesting process, for sure," Moir said. "Obviously, she coaches both teams, and it was kind of delicate, but we weren't going to let anything get in the way of our goals. We went to Marina on countless occasions and told her we weren't happy. We wouldn't be happy with the silver medal."
"I take my hat off to Tessa," Moir continued. "She does a good job of being blunt in certain circumstances when necessary."
Four years ago, Zoueva helped lead Moir and Virtue to Olympic gold in Vancouver; Davis and White took silver. But things have changed significantly. Davis and White have beaten the Canadians in each of the past four head-to-head meetings, including the Olympic team competition.
According to the Canadian pair, the tension came to a hilt when Zoueva decided to attend the U.S. Nationals in Boston instead of accompanying Moir and Virtue to the Canadian Nationals in Vancouver. The events were on the same weekend.
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The Canadian duo also approached Zoueva about switching their music to something that was comparable to the classical style of Davis and White, and were denied. Davis and White’s routine highlights speed, footwork and unison.
"We sometimes felt like [Zoueva] wasn't in our corner," Moir said. "We had some off-things happen this year. We expected Marina to be on our team and work with us like in Vancouver [Olympics]."
Moir and Virtue, who now have three Olympic medals, said they didn’t know what's next. They didn’t hint as to whether they would seek a new coach or just hang up their skates altogether.
Zoueva on the hand, had little response to her team’s comments.
“I'm fine. It's OK," she said. "I made them first, and now they are second. It's OK, really.”
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- Tessa Virtue
- Marina Zoueva
- Meryl Davis
- Charlie White