Feb 9, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the USA perform in the team ice dance free dance during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Iceberg Skating Palace. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan ice dancers Davis and White: one bronze down, gold to go

Feb 9, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; Meryl Davis and Charlie White (USA) perform in the team ice dance free dance during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Iceberg Skating Palace. Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

(Editor’s Note: This is an ongoing series of articles, looking at some of the more obscure Michigan sports happening in and around Ann Arbor. Titled “All Things  Michigan,” we’ll delve further into what might happen on the volleyball court, wrestling mat or even the soccer pitch. There are unlimited human interest stories all over the campus, especially if you’ve ever participated in the Mud Bowl.  We welcome all ideas which might help Wolverine fans get to the games.  Simply comment below this article, or jump onto the message board to join the conversation.

A pair of University of Michigan ice dancers might be on their way to forging Olympic  history.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who won the ice dancing silver medal at the Vancouver Games, showed the world why its time for them to win gold in Sochi.

In the inaugural figure skating team event concluded earlier today (Feb. 9), Davis and White’s near-flawless free dance helped

Team USA to a bronze medal in the event that includes two performances each  in men’s, women’s,  pairs and ice dancing.

Rivals notice Davis and White

The ice dancing team that noticed Davis and White the most were the Canadian pair of  Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

The Canadians, who ironically train with Davis and White at Canton’s Arctic Edge could almost see the changing of the guard by the way Davis and White are skating.

In the free dance, Davis and White  scored a all-time record 114.34 points which gave the U.S. 60 team points compared to 75 for the Russian Federation and 65 for Canada.

The traditional non-team ice dancing competition is slated for next Sunday and Monday (Feb. 16-17).

They have majors, too

When the pair of Davis and White aren’t skipping across the globe, Davis. 27  is a cultural anthropology major while White , 26 studies political science.

“It definitely is not a fluke that we’ve been that successful in the last couple of years, and we’ve been working very hard for that success,” said Davis, who along with White won six U.S. championships in addition to the Olympic Silver. “That hard work isn’t going away any time soon, so we’re definitely excited about the position we’ve put ourselves in.”

Not only do Davis-White share the same ice with Virtue-Moir, they share the same coach.  A highly regarded Russian immigrant, 57-year old Marina Zoneva  has been a godsend to most of her skaters.

‘We really feel like Marina is the perfect coach for us in any situation” White told Reuters.  “Even having her coach our rivals, we trust that she knows exactly what we need to be our best.”

Ice dancing headquarters

Five of the six-member ice dancing team reside or train in Southeastern Michigan.

The brother and sister pair of Alex and Maia Shibutani attended Huron High School and both became U-M undergrads.

They’ve skated as a team since 2003, with their best season coming in 2010-11. The Shibutanis finished second in the U.S. Nationals and third in the Worlds.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who now train in Novi, have been partners since Bates skated with Emily Samuelson at the Vancouver games. ♦

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Joel Greer





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