Meryl Davis and Charlie White, a pair of University of Michigan students, set a world-record free dance score of 116.63 on their way to winning the United States’ first-ever ice dancing gold medal Monday (Feb. 17) at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
Added to their score of 78.89 in the short dance, Davis and White totaled 195.52 which gave them a convincing win over their chief rivals, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, who won the silver medal with a free dance with score of 114.66 and a combined score of 190.99.
Davis and White returned the favor since finishing a close second to Virtue and Moir in the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.
All the American team of Davis and White had to do Monday was skate a clean program and the gold was theirs.
Both the gold and silver medalists not only train in the same training facility in Canton (MI), they share the same coach—57-year old Russian immigrant Marina Zoneva.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who train in Novi (MI), delighted the crowd with a free skate personal-best 99.18—earning them an eighth place finish .
The brother and sister pair of Alex and Maia Shibutani, who attended Huron High School and later became U-M students, recorded a free dance score of 90.70, landing them in ninth.
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.
Five of the six members of the U.S. Olympic Skating Dance Team have either trained, schooled, or lived on Michigan’s campus. ♦
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Joel Greer