SOCHI, Russia – Meryl Davis and Charlie White delivered the United States its first gold medal ever in ice dance, besting their rivals and training partners, Canada's Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, here on Monday.
White and Davis, both originally from Royal Oak, Mich., posted a combined score of 195.52, well enough to hold off Virtue and Moir who finished at 190.99.
The Americans' free dance was brilliant, garnering a world-record score of 116.63, just one day after a world-record short program of 78.89 gave them a solid 2.56-point lead heading into the free dance.
Davis and White held off a strong effort by Virtue and Moir, who posted a season-best 114.66 in the free dance and left the Games – they've said they will retire after these Olympics – to roaring crowds and big smiles.
The result is a reversal of the Vancouver Games when Virtue and Moir won gold and Davis and White took home silver. The two teams have trained in the same complex in suburban Detroit for nine years despite representing different countries. They even share a coach, Russian-born Marina Zoueva.
The team of Elena Bobrova and Nikita Katsalapov from Russia took home the bronze, after a dynamic final performance that left the local crowd at the Iceberg Skating Palace in jubilation.
Davis and White surpassed Virtue and Moir in the last couple years, winning four head-to-head competitions, including the 2011 and 2013 world championships, coming into the Sochi Games.
Some thought the margin between the two teams should have been closer following the short dance, which would have tightened the race for gold. In the end, it didn't matter as Davis and White claimed gold in definitive fashion.
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- Meryl Davis
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- Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir