Ice Dance Podium ©Getty Images
Canada’s Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir added another Olympic gold medal to their impressive resume, coming out on top in a spectacular Olympic Ice Dance event at Gangneung Ice Arena on Tuesday. Two-time World Champions Gabriella Papadakis / Guillaume Cizeron of France earned the silver medal in their Olympic debut and Maia Shibutani / Alex Shibutani (USA) claimed the bronze.
Virtue/Moir set a new record total score of 206.07 points. With a total of five Olympic medals – three gold medals from Vancouver 2010 and PyeongChang 2018 in the individual and team events plus two silver medals in the individual and team event from Sochi 2014 – the Canadian dancers are now the most decorated figure skaters in the history of the sport. Papadakis/Cizeron won the Free Dance with a new record score of 123.35 points.
Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir (CAN) ©Getty Images
Skating last, Virtue/Moir put out a passionate performance to ’Moulin Rouge’, collecting a level four for all elements – the lifts, footwork, twizzles and spin to score a personal best of 122.20 points. "I am thrilled with this competition. That performance was really special and truly memorable. The gold medal is the cherry on the cake. We are taking in every single moment," Virtue said.
"(It is) extremely different this time,” Moir noted referring to their first Olympic title. “Obviously, 2010 we were in our own country. Those are moments we will never forget. But eight years later we're completely different people, we're completely different athletes. We still love what we do. It's personal this time. It was for each other, we skated with each other in mind the whole way and we skated with our hearts. It's extremely fulfilling,” he added.
Gabriella Papadakis / Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) ©Getty Images
Papadakis/Cizeron gave an inspiring and flawless performance to Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’. The four-time European Champions got a level four for all elements like the Canadians and won the Free Dance with 123.35 points, but with an overall score of 205.28 they were not able to overtake Virtue/Moir. "There are a lot of emotions right now. We really did the best we could out there. It did not give us first place, but we are extremely pleased with the performance, the emotions and these moments on the ice," Cizeron commented.
Dancing to ‘Paradise’ by Coldplay, the brother and sister team of Maia and Alex Shibutani earned a level four for six elements, but the rotational lift was graded level three. The ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medalists scored 114.86 points for their Free Dance and moved up from fourth place with a total score of 192.59 points. "The competition isn't over until it's over. We believed in ourselves. We felt that our short dance was amazing. So there was no reason to be concerned about the score," Alex Shibutani said. ”It feels like gold. It's unbelievable. I am so proud of the way we fought through this week and the season. We are really proud of each other and the result was amazing,” he continued.
Maia Shibutani / Alex Shibutani (USA) ©Getty Images
U.S. Champions Madison Hubbell / Zachary Donohue dropped from third to fourth as he stumbled on the choreographic twizzle sequence at the end of their Blues program (187.69 points). "It just wasn't our best skate today. We felt really focused during the performance, just a little slip here and there and we lost some really valuable points. In such a tough competition, there's really no room for error," Hubbell admitted.
Multiple European medalists Ekaterina Borbova/Dmitri Soloviev (OAR) pulled up one spot to fifth place with a performance to ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Beethoven’s Five Secrets’ with 186.92 points.
2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA) skated well, too, but received a deduction for an extended lift and slipped from fifth to sixth (184.91 points). Kaitlyn Weaver / Andrew Poje (CAN) finished seventh on 181.98 points.
The figure skating competition at the Olympic Winter Games continues Wednesday with the Ladies Short Program.