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Virtue and Moir reclaim Canadian ice dance title

The Canadian Press

1/22/2012 12:02:08 AM

Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are back on top.

The pair reclaimed their Canadian ice dance title on Saturday, winning with a score of 180.02 points.

Virtue, from London, Ont., and Moir, from Ilderton, Ont., missed most of last season -- including the Canadian championships -- while Virtue recovered from surgery on her legs.

"That was definitely one of our goals this week, to get our title back," Moir said. "It was a little bit of a gruelling week for us, there's a lot of new stuff in our programs, the pressure of competition was pretty intense actually for us this week. But we came out today and skated really well, and we're extremely happy with the growth of that program."

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., scored 174.53 to win silver, while Piper Gilles of Toronto and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., won bronze with 163.54.

Virtue and Moir skated to music from the music "Funny Face," Virtue as Audrey Hepburn in a dress, and Moir as Fred Astaire, his hair combed into a neat sidepart.
 
"We watched a lot of Audrey and Fred, especially at the beginning of the season, just getting into character," Virtue said. "We worked with a lot of specialists, ballet coaches, ballroom people,  just trying to get all the nuances and details of the program, and I think those will continue to evolve as the season progresses."

With Virtue back at full health after last season's surgery, the two are gunning to reclaim the world title they lost last season to Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White. They know that with lofty expectations comes more pressure.

"Given the last few seasons we've had, we're back in the position where we have a lot more expectations and we're putting a lot more pressure on ourselves," Virtue said. "It's not just getting through the program or hoping we can make it to the end. We expect a lot of ourselves and at this point in the season, we want almost perfection. We have to welcome that pressure, because we're so happy to be in that place."