NBC Winter Olympics commentary: Another Miracle on Ice

Simple elegance and beautiful skating finally reigned over camp and flash in the Ice Dancing finals the other night.

Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir triumphantly took the first gold medal in Ice Dancing not just for Canada, but for a North American team.  And that wasn’t all, close on their heels, Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the silver. 

It was indeed a miracle on ice for figure skating fans that any team could take away the stranglehold the Russians had on the podium at the Olympics.  The North American style of ice dance finally seemed to be getting some respect.  By that I mean, the more laid back style that doesn’t rely on making a lot of faces that are meant to show “emotion” or on silly theatrics. This style relies on – go figure – just dancing on ice.

Virtue and Moir’s exquisite free dance to Mahler’s 5th Symphony was a stunning achievement.  It is rare when watching figure skating that you are transfixed by the totality of a performance. Usually, you are going along thinking, “Nice lift! Gorgeous footwork!” 

But what made watching the Canadians free dance so different, was being caught up in the emotion of the skaters and the music. The difficulty of their jumps and technique serving the music perfectly.  

Davis and White’s Phantom of the Opera free dance is also a favorite of mine and they skated their hearts out last night.  Either couple deserved to win, it was just up to had the better night and Virtue and Moir had the slight edge.  Although even though I do love Virture and Moir’s flamenco Original Dance, I do have to say Davis and White’s Bollywood Original Dance was better and in spite of not winning the gold, I think this will be their signature dance for the rest of their careers.  

Did anyone notice there were no crazy costumes for the Canadians and Americans?  Their simple, elegant costumes perfectly complemented instead of distracting from their performance.  Russian and European Ice Dancers cannot entirely be blamed for their often wacky costumes and routines, as in the past, the crazier and nuttier they were, the more the judges seemed to reward them.  Sadly, this year even American Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto succumbed to the freaky costume tradition.  I blame their new Russian coaches for the costume downgrade.  Hopefully the simplicity of Tessa Virtue’s white chiffon dress and Scott Moir’s simple black trouser and white shirt combo will be the benchmark from now on.

Somewhere in Canada, Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz are surely smiling.  The Canadian Ice Dancing champions from the 90’s, who never could catch a break with the judges no matter how well they skated, have now they’ve lived to see that all change and see their countrymen win the Olympic medal they never could get. 

It’s a different world in figure skating now, thank heavens.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.