(Virtue and Moir look adoringly on each other as they ice dance toward gold. They're a couple in real life, right? Tell me their love is real!)
Against my better judgment, I sorta totally fell in love with Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir as they took home gold for Canada in the Olympic Ice Dancing competition last night. I admit, with two US teams in medal contention, I was hoping the Canadians would make a mistake and land in third. That didn't happen, and as Virtue and Moir were on the ice I hoped for it less and less, until I was actively rooting for them. They really were the best out there and the win was much deserved. They are also probably the most physically adorable pair of skaters I ever did see, You'd have to be a total Malfoy not to want these kids to succeed.
Let's take a moment to break down the different rounds of competition. Ice Dancing has three rounds; Compulsory Dance, Original Dance and Free Dance. Somehow your original dance is still controlled by The Man, but you can really let loose in the Free Dance! Virtue and Moir were in second after the Compulsory Round, trailing the World Champion Russian skaters Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin (boo!). Then Virtue/Moir took the lead after the Original dance when Domnina/Shabalin did this bizarro "aboriginal-inspired" dance that left them in third behind Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White (yay!). It was really between the top two teams to win gold, and the Canadians scored a whopping 110.42 points in the Free Dance, and their final score of 221.57 secured the win.
(They spun me right round, baby. Right round. Like a record, baby. Right round round round.)
Coming into last night, the Russians or Soviets had won all but two Olympic gold medals in Ice Dancing since its Olympic debut in 1976 and no team from North America had ever won gold before. This year, however, the big question was whether North American teams would sweep the podium! They almost did - Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, the silver medalists from the Torin Games skating for The US, finished just behind the Russians in fourth. This turn of events means the Russians are one event away from leaving Vancouver without a single gold medal in figure skating! Only the women’s competition remains, and there really isn't a Russian skater in this year's fleid that's thought to be in the race for a medal (no American is either, but the American media is still kinda hoping for a miracle bronze). The last time Russia went without any figure skating gold was 50 years ago. I think that's kinda awesome. It's nice to see other countries having a real competitive chance to win, otherwise it gets boring.
Last night truly belonged to the Canadian pair. They were so beautiful and fluid. There was no doubt in my mind they were the best. As you can imagine, the Canadian crowd absolutely lost their minds when they finished skating the free program. They somehow managed to get even louder when their scores were announced. The medal ceremony was also really sweet with the boisterous rendition of "O Canada!" sung whole-heartedly by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir atop the podium along with every Canadian in the stadium. What made it kind of hilarious too were Moir's facial expressions during the anthem. Clearly the euphoria of winning was washing over him after years of hard word had brought them to this awesome moment of achievement. Still... I don't think I've ever thought while watching a medal ceremony, "I bet that's what he look like while having sex." Yet, having seen him in the medal ceremony, I suspect those are the kind of faces he makes. He was really into winning the gold. Whatever, it was more goofy charming than uncomfortable. I don't blame him for feeling good. Congrats again to Virtue and Moir on their stunning achievement!
(Whoops! Get a room, you two! Seriously, tell me their love is for real. I need to know.)
Although changes can't be made in time for the women's competition, I call on the IOC to ban certain songs from being used in competition at future Olympic competitions. No more Firebird! I know we're gonna hear it for the fourth time with the ladies. I know it. And this is only in the routines they show on air! You know other skaters are using it too! Also no more Swan Lake, no more Phantom of the Opera and no more Requiem for A Dream, original version or suped up LOTR remix version.) Dance and skate to some less obvious tunes. PLEASE.
(When it comes to lifts in 2010, Scottish sisters are doin' it for themselves.)
Honorable Mention: I can't end this post without acknowledging Sinead and John Kerr, a brother-sister pair from Scotland, repping Great Britain. These two are kind of amazingly weird. If Moir's sex faces during the Canadian anthem didn't make me uncomfortable, these siblings sexy-ice-dancing to the tune of Crawling by Linkin Park certainly did. I'm not against brother sister dance partnerships. I've seen it work fine on So You Think You Can Dance. Hell, I danced the "Merry Christmas Polka" with my sister during my elementary school chorus concert in 4th grade and it was a beautiful experience for all to witness. I'm just saying these two sometimes bring it to a weird place and song selection did not help them last night. Although it should be noted that during their Free Dance, they surprised everyone by pulling off a "reverse lift." Sinead held John by his legs as he was upside down. It's a role reversal that's rare in ice dancing. Picture evidence provided above. Those kids are crazy!