Community & Current Events

Team Canada ice dancers: Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

By: Day Helesic

Photo courtesy of the W Network Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photo courtesy of the W Network

Community & Current Events

Team Canada ice dancers: Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

By: Day Helesic

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Canada's ice-dancing sweethearts, are riding a wave of success. The Vancouver 2010 Olympic champions have cleaned up this season, winning skating competitions in Finland, Canada and France before making their way to Sochi.

Their skating schedule
Seventeen years ago, they were just two kids from the same Ontario skate club. Today, Tessa and Scott are elite athletes, famous for jaw-dropping lifts and for their chemistry on the ice. The duo has an unbelievable mastery of technique. "We're both perfectionists," says Tessa. "We strive for perfection, but it doesn't exist in our sport. There's no such thing as the perfect skate."

Tessa and Scott's Olympic training regimen is rigorous. "Every minute is accounted for," says Tessa. A typical day starts at 5 a.m. After a warm-up, they're on the ice by 6:30 a.m. for practice. Then it's home to eat and rest, only to return to the rink that afternoon for another practice. After that comes dinner, the gym or a ballet class and, finally, physiotherapy, massage therapy or the chiropractor.

A romantic past?
The result of all this intense training? Two stunning programs: a short, jazzy, lighthearted ice dance, and a sophisticated and graceful long program symbolic of their relationship. Yes, it's true—Tessa and Scott have a romantic history. They dated briefly at the beginning of their skating career, but broke up when they actually had to talk to each other. (They were seven and nine.)

Now 24 and 26, the romance might be over, but conversing is never a problem, not even mid-skate. "We talk a lot through moments on the ice," says Tessa. "People don't often see our mouths moving, but we're always communicating."

A new career path
As if all that weren't enough, Tessa and Scott are the stars of a high-profile P&G "Thank You Mom" campaign as well as a reality TV show. Premiering in early 2014, W Network's Tessa & Scott is a six-part reality series documenting the duo's journey to the Olympics. "We wanted to portray ourselves honestly," says Scott. "Like it or not, you'll see the real Tessa and Scott."

The word is out that this could be the pair's last season of competing. "We've been lucky, we've had a great career, and we've worked hard for that career," says Scott. "We're coming to an interesting point in our lives where we'll probably be moving on."

If Sochi is indeed Tessa and Scott's swan song, here's hoping they go out with the gold.

Did you know…?
-Tessa has a few superstitious habits, like needing to have a safety pin somewhere on her costume, wearing her grandmother's necklace in her right running shoe, and always having to place her skate guards on the boards at a certain angle before every competition.
-Scott's first love was hockey. As a boy, his goal was to lift the Stanley Cup above his head. Though his focus changed, he remains a serious Leafs fan.

Check out more fun facts and profiles of our Team Canada athletes. 
                                               
This story was originally titled "Canada's Olympic Sweethearts" in the February 2014 issue.
           
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Team Canada ice dancers: Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

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