From Vancouver to Pyeongchang, Virtue and Moir made figure skating history
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Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir become the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history Tuesday, winning their fifth career medal at the Pyeongchang Games.
No other skaters have collected that much hardware on Olympic ice.
As they lower the curtain on their remarkable career, here is a look at their medal performances:
ICE DANCE GOLD
The fresh-faced couple made history on home ice — and skated their way into the hearts of Canadians with their undeniable chemistry — by winning the country's first-ever gold in ice dancing.
Their stirring free dance performance to Gustav Mahler's "Symphony No. 5," which included a breathtaking lift known as The Goose, catapulted them to the top of the podium in their Olympic debut.
Virtue was just 20 and Moir only 22.
"It was just about skating together and skating in our hearts and enjoying the moment for us and skating for the two of us," Virtue said at the time. "We're so proud to be Canadian and to do it for the nation."
The couple performing the Goose — a gravity-defying lift where Virtue balanced on one knee on Moir's crouching back, her arms outstretched like a bird, before spilling into his arms — is still one of the most enduring images from the Vancouver Games.
Virtue and Moir had a rare off day during the free dance portion of the inaugural team event.
Skating to "The Seasons" by Russian composer Alexander Glazunov, the two had an early bobble on a lift when Virtue's blade hit a rut in the ice. They finished second to American rivals and training mates Meryl Davis and Charlie White, behind by nearly seven points.
It was a wake-up call for the pair, who knew they would have to be better in the upcoming ice dance event.
"We got smoked today, not even close," said Moir. "We just can't be that way . . . it's not fun to be seven points behind in the free program. We don't plan on being there in a week."
ICE DANCE SILVER
Coming in as Olympic champions, Virtue and Moir were no longer flying under the radar.
The dancers were crisp and elegant in their free skate to “The Seasons,” Virtue dressed in a gauzy pale pink dress, her hair piled up in a loose bun, and Moir looking smart and understated in black slacks and navy blue shirt.
It was a virtually flawless program but after a low score in the short dance earlier in the competition — a result that enraged Canadian fans back home — it wasn't enough to top Davis and White, who went home with the gold.
The Canadians thought it would be their final Olympic performance, having decided to retire from competition.
"We were able to look at each other and reflect on 17 years," Moir said that night. "And what a journey we’ve had. We're lucky kids."
But the pull to skate for one more gold was too hard to resist and they came out of retirement to compete in Pyeongchang four years later.
The gold already secured before they took the ice for the free dance thanks to teammate Patrick Chan's gutsy performance, Virtue and Moir didn't let up.
Their passionate performance to music from music from "Moulin Rouge'' earned them 118.10 points and countless goosebumps in the crowd, an exclamation point on Canada's stellar showing in the event.
Virtue said they learned before arriving at Gangneung Ice Arena that Chan had "nailed it,'' and strategized on the bus ride over about how to skate when there was nothing left on the line.
"We also needed to deliver a message and prove that we're ready and trained,'' Virtue said. "We were committed to this, we wanted to be an integral part of the team, we wanted to contribute as best we could. We approached it as if it all came down to us.''
ICE DANCE GOLD
Despite a world-record score in the short program, Virtue and Moir had less than two points on French rivals Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron going into the free dance.
The pressure was racheted up when Papadakis and Cizeron laid down a word-record skate.
But Virtue and Moir were flawless, their "Moulin Rouge" piece prompting roars from the crowd at Gangneung Ice Arena and 122.40 points from the judges, good for a world-best combined score of 206.07 and another gold medal.
Known for pushing the envelope in the conservative sport of ice dancing, Virtue and Moir tweaked the program leading into the Games to softening a provocative lift that raised some eyebrows.
The risque — and athletically impressive — lift saw Virtue stick a toe pick in the ice to propel herself up backwards so that she landed straddling Moir’s shoulders, her hands clasping the back of his head.
Expected to retire after the Games, Virtue and Moir will leave the sport as the most decorated skaters in Olympic history.
"We skated with each other in mind the whole way and we skated with our hearts," said Moir. "It's extremely fulfilling."