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Virtue-Moir partnership 20 years in a making

Hosted by maestro broadcasters Scott Russell and Andi Petrillo, Road to a Olympic Games chronicles athletes’ journeys on and off a margin of play. Here’s what to demeanour for on this weekend’s uncover on CBC Television and CBCSports.ca.


HELSINKI, Finland — If a aged adage, “It takes two,” is true, afterwards when it comes to Canadian sport, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir take a cake.

They are arguably a longest flourishing partnership in a annals of jaunty attempt in this country. 

This week during a universe figure skating championships they are celebrating their 20th anniversary competing together.

“Our initial time out she was 7 and we was nine,” Moir pronounced with a grin as he prepared for practice. “We’ve common a lot over a years. We’ve left by expansion spurts during fundamentally a same time and a homes where we grew adult were really tighten to any other.”

Virtue and Moir are shutting out what could be a jubilant quip season. They are chasing a third universe pretension and afterwards subsequent year, if all goes according to plan, will contest for another Olympic bullion award to accompany a one they prisoner in Vancouver in 2010.

They’ve looked shining any time they’ve skated here. The use sessions are good attended and they are apparently adored. It’s protected to contend they are dual of a biggest headliners of this limit on ice.

Twenty years is a prolonged time any approach we demeanour during it. In foe a partnership of this longevity is roughly unheard of.

Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion, a synchronized divers who won dual Olympic medals, initial seemed together during a universe championships in Montreal in 2005 and their run lasted 11 years before Filion late after a Rio de Janeiro Games.

The mythological equestrian tandem of Ian Millar and his mount, Big Ben, competed for a dozen years, winning some-more than 40 Grand Prix titles and back-to-back World Cup finals. 

Although they won Olympic bullion and some-more than $4 million in esteem income on a show-jumping circuit, Eric Lamaze and his stallion, Hickstead, were interconnected for usually 5 years.

Rowers Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle won 3 bullion medals as partial of a same crew, pair or double during a Olympics. Not even their seven-year fibre of extensive performances comes tighten to a bond that exists between Virtue and Moir.

McBean-Heddle: ‘We don’t compare’

“I don’t even consider we can compare,” McBean pronounced when asked about a stress of a Virtue and Moir tandem. “Partnerships like these are like organised marriages. Coaches mostly arrange them, though afterwards it’s adult to a athletes to make it work. They have to be peaceful in any other’s space and to give space when needed.”

You can see it in all Virtue and Moir do. 

On or off a ice, they seem peaceful with any other. They pierce as one when they need to, though have their possess singular personalities.

She can be still and gentle. He is some-more disposed to a wisecrack. But this never gets in a approach of an tacit comfort section formed on indebtedness and, above all, understanding.

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Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have been skating together for 20 years. (Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

“From a really start we strong on a substructure of a relationship,” Virtue pronounced with emphasis. “We never reduced this to censure or name job or coaching any other. We caring so most about a foe that we deposit all we have into it.”

It’s operative now usually as it always has and they are about to put a finishing touches on what has been a successful lapse to a rival fray. The prior dual seasons had been spent doing skating shows following a span of china medals they won in a ice dance and group eventuality during a Sochi Olympics.

They’ve won all they’ve entered so far, including an fugitive Grand Prix final feat that had been a usually thing blank from their skating curriculum vitae.

“And what’s conspicuous is their skating is improved than it’s ever been,” pronounced Tracy Wilson, Olympic ice dance medalist, broadcaster and now manager as she watched them master a ice during a cave-like use trickery in Helsinki.

“They are utterly simply equally committed to this journey. And a pushing force for them is a strength and continued success of a partnership.”

Two vital changes

Virtue and Moir done dual vital changes during a opening of this season, relocating their training bottom to Montreal and opting for a new coaching staff. 

They’ve over their long-time use trickery in Michigan where they worked alongside their rivals and clubmates Meryl Davis and Charlie White of a United States, who edged them for Olympic bullion in Sochi. Virtue and Moir done a switch in sequence to work with former universe championship medalists in a ice dance, Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, as good as choreographer David Wilson and another coach, Roman Hagenauer.

In what is a gift of a skating business, Virtue and Moir are now in a same stay as a reigning universe ice dance champions, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France, who occupy a same coaching staff.

They are on a ice daily with their newfound rivals but it creates small disproportion since a still elaborating personal tie between a dual pairs is means to tarry all challenges. Even a relations girl of a French skaters who are respectively roughly 8 and 7 years younger than a Canadians.

“Theirs is a special relationship,” pronounced Lauzon, who argues Virtue and Moir have found some kind of enchanting common ground. “They’re in a center between being a integrate and work colleagues.

“They are like soulmates. They never impugn or manager any other, that is a toughest thing to do when we contest together for that long.”

Just before they finished practice, Virtue cut herself somewhat while behaving a squeeze of her movement blade, that is a partial of a routine. 

The song stopped and while she was being attended to by a medic, Moir patiently circled a ice until she was prepared to resume. They afterwards finished a event exquisitely to a pleasure of a spectators in a stands.

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The Virtue-Moir partnership has constructed dual universe championships and an Olympic bullion medal. (Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

They never missed a kick and while Tessa jokingly bemoaned a blood-stained sleeve of her code new skating dress as they left a rink, Scott refused to make an emanate of a mishap, vouchsafing it pass as if it was usually a unchanging occurrence that they’ve got totally underneath control.

“One of my beginning conversations that we can remember carrying with them was about respecting any other and never regulating a other as a celebrity foil for a punch line,” McBean said. “They are really good during bargain what any other needs.”  

In articulate about their lifelong sporting association, that has been serve extended, Virtue and Moir are discerning to indicate out they are both all in with courtesy to this lapse to chosen competition.

“It’s a beauty of entrance back.  We still have lots of lessons to learn and a possibility to get better,” Moir said. “There is nowhere I’d rather be during this indicate in my life than skating with her.”

And we can tell she echoes his thoughts.

Perhaps it’s since Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir came to a end a prolonged time ago that it takes a dual of them to be series one in a universe of figure skating.

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