In a sport dominated by Europeans, and Russians in particular, it was a huge surprise when the Canadian pair of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the gold on February 22nd 2010 in Vancouver. Their win was the first ever by a North American pair, and they also made history as the youngest ever ice dance pairs gold medalists. From everything the papers and news sites are saying, the crowd was on their feet and cheering so loudly it was nearly impossible to hear the scores as they were read out after Virtue and Moir’s nearly perfect and incredibly beautiful performance. Their free skate was set to Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.
And unless there is an upset in the women’s figure skating, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics may be the first Olympics in 50 years where no Russian figure skaters will go home with gold medals. The gold in men’s went to an American, pairs figure skating went to a Chinese pair and the ice dance gold went to Virtue and Moir. SO unless Russia has a secret weapon in the women’s singles, then they may finally be toppled from gold dominance. However, they still seem to be the dominant force in coaching, as a majority of the coaches in Japan, China and many other countries are Russian, including Japan’s own Asada Mao!
So now we just have the finale to look forward to- the showdown between Kim Yu-Na of Korea, Asada Mao and Miki Ando of Japan and Joannie Rochette of Canada! Fingers crossed (regardless of who you are a fan of, the competition is going to be fantastic!)
Edward, Smith’s School of English Otsu
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