Canada's Virtue/Moir win second Olympic gold in ice dance

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-20 14:07:04|Editor: Lu Hui
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Tessa Virtue (L) and Scott Moir of Canada compete during the ice dance free dance of figure skating at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, in Gangneung Ice Arena, South Korea, on Feb. 20, 2018. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the gold medal of ice dance event with 206.07 points in total. (Xinhua/Wang Song)

PYEONGCHANG, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The ending of musical Moulin Rouge is sad, but it is not the case of Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who has danced to the music and beaten strong contenders from France and the United States to claim their second Olympic ice dancing title Tuesday.

The championship marked the Canadian duo, who won gold at Vancouver 2010, the second pair to win two Olympic golds in this event, after Russians Pasha Grishuk and Evgeniy Platov's achievement in 1994 and 1998.

With the fifth Olympic medal in hand, they also broke the record of four medals by the Swede Gillis and Russian Evgeniy Plushenko in figure skating.

After winning the gold in team event, Virtue and Moir continued their strong run in original dance, setting personal best records of 122.40 points in free dance and 206.07 overall to stand on the top of the podium.

Their strong ambition for the championship could be vividly shown in each powerful and steady lift, flowing step sequence and precise synchronized twizzles, making the crowd all on feet at the stands at a packed Gangneung Ice Arena.

"I am thrilled with this competition. That performance was really special and truly memorable. The gold medal is the cherry on the cake," said an excited Virtue.

Commenting on the difference between the two victories in Vancouver and PyeongChang, Moir said, "Extremely different this time. Obviously, 2010 we were in our own country. Those are moments we will never forget. But eight years later we're completely different people, we're completely different athletes."

"We still love what we do. It's personal this time. It was for each other, we skated with each other in mind the whole way and we skated with our hearts. It's extremely fulfilling," said the 30-year-old Moir.

France's Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, making debut at the Winter Olympic Games, danced to Piano Sonata, Moonlight Sonata to score 123.35 points and 205.28 in total to pocket the silver medal.

American Maia and Alex Shibutani settled for the bronze on 192.59 points after earning 114.86 in free dance, becoming the second pair of siblings to win an Olympic medal in ice dance, after French Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay-Dean claimed silver in 1992.

The Canadian duo teamed up in 1997 when Virtue was seven and Moir aged nine. Training individually under Moir's aunt, who suggested they would make good dance partners and paired them together, they came out the first Canadian world junior champions in 2006 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Soon, they become a star pair in both home and abroad, reaching their career high at Vancouver with a gold medal.

After Sochi, where they brought home a silver medal, Virtue and Moir announced their retirement, but came back to rink in 2016 and won the second place in 2017-2018 grand prix final. They planned to retire again after PyeongChang.

"If it is the end we are extremely pleased with that. We'll probably make an announcement in the coming days, but for us we just want to enjoy this right now," said Moir.

China's Wang Shiyue and Liu Xinyu failed to reach the free dance after they finished 22nd in short dance.

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KEY WORDS: ice dance