Canada’s best chance of Olympic gold in skating lays in the hands of the phenomenonal duo Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
After recently soaring to their third-straight national title, this duo is confident that they are ready to contend with the world’s best and have their eyes set on capturing gold on their home soil.
“I like hearing when people say that you’re gold medal favourites,” Moir tells CBC Sports. “Like ‘Yeah, we are going to be there, we are going to win the gold.’”
Competing on the international senior stage for only four seasons has done this duo no harm and they have risen to become the definite favourites headed to Vancouver.
Although missing the 2008 Grand Prix season after Virtue needed surgery to relieve severe pain in her shins, caused by overtraining, they overcame that disappointment and earned a bronze medal at the world championships last March.
“Nobody has bigger expectations than we do,” Mair said. “We think that we’re going to be on top of the Podium. That’s what we drive for and that’s what we push every day to get.”
The toughest competitors for the twosome will be the Americans, who are sending their strongest ice dance contingent in Olympic history to Vancouver and expect to put both of its teams on the podium.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S., who are on great momentum to the world stage after capturing the 2010 national championship, lead the American dance powerhouse.
“It will catch people by surprise because I think it’s kind of caught the skating world as a whole by surprise the last couple of years,” White told the Globe and Mail, explaining the emergence of an American presence in Ice Dance.
Americans Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, silver medalists at Torino and four-time U.S. Champions, are also forerunners in Vancouver. Despite having the experience over rivals Davis and White, many feel their American counterparts have surpassed them and therefore will outshine them at the Olympics.
The Russian team of Oksana Dominina and Maxim Shabalin, who are currently ranked first in the world, are expected to be the dominant force within international competitors.
While laying low through the Grand Prix Season due to a speculated injury in Shabalin, the reigning world champions have silenced their critics with their 2010 European championship, thus proving they are ready to compete amongst the best at the Olympics.
Canadians Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier, also have a fair shot to perform well at the Olympics.
This young team has only been on the senior international level for over a year and has produced some amazing results despite their inexperience. After becoming the 2009 and 2010 Canadian silver medalists behind duo Virtue and Moir, this team has proven that sometimes skill can outweigh experience.
At the end of the day, Virtue and Moir are the highly favoured duo to win the gold in Vancouver. Everyone is excited to see if they will perform their infamous move called ‘The Goose’ that has caused a lot of controversy amongst the ISU judges.
Regardless if they add that move into their routine or not, they are guaranteed to put on a magical performance.