This is just the way they are.
Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison hope the heartbreak of their past fuels a passion on the ice that could see them on the podium at this year’s Winter Olympic Games.
Canada’s top pairs team will look to draw from a foundation of emotion while skating to the 1973 motion picture soundtrack of The Way We Were.
“Jess and I were previously in a relationship when we were younger,” said Davison, in a conference call with reporters. “Like in the movie, two people fall in love and it doesn’t end up working out.”
The pair had no trouble telling that story to the judges in London, ON, last month, skating their way to a national title.
They are coming off a season that included two Grand Prix medals in the ISU circuit and look forward to seizing the moment on the world’s biggest stage.
“Everyone is tuned into the Olympic Games, whether it’s summer or winter, and it’s great to be a part of it,” Davison said in anticipation of their Feb. 15 free skate in Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum.
“And for the little moment out of such a big event [to have] all eyes on you, it’s such a great experience and it’s a lifelong dream.”
Dube and Davison will be hard pressed to live out this fairy tale in an event that’s been dominated the past four years by the Germans and Chinese.
German skaters Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy are the reigning world champions two-years straight and captured bronze at the worlds in 2007. Considered to be the world’s No. 1 ranked, the gold is all but theirs to lose.
The Chinese offer two compelling teams where a gold-silver result is well within reach.
Torino silver medallists Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao have skated as well as anyone on the globe the past four years, taking home silver at the worlds in 2008 and 2009.
The world’s No. 2-ranked pair is peaking at the right time.
Three-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallists Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo of China are coming out of retirement for the Games, a trend in figure skating this year.
The pair skated to rave reviews in two Grand Prix competitions, both victories, and were spectacular at the Tokyo finals in December, setting world-record scores in the process.
“The Olympic gold medal is the ultimate dream of our career,” Zhao told Chinese web portal Sina.com. “We came back for it.”
Also representing Canada will be Anabelle Langlois of Grand-Mere, Quebec, and Cody Hay of Dawson Creek, British Colombia.
The 2008 Canadian champions returned to competition last year after missing the season when Langlois required surgery for a spiral fracture on her lower right fibula.
For Dube and Davison, the road to the Games has been long and bumpy. During an exhibition event in 2007, Davison’s skate clipped the face of Dube and forced the 22 year-old from Drummondville, Quebec, to get 80 stitches.
It’s all part of a story Davison is happy to draw from as they prepare for the ultimate show.
“We’ve lived most of [our life] on the emotional side of things,” said the Walnut Creek native. “It’s really been Jess and my story and that’s why it’s an easy story to tell.”