Longtime Pair Take Home First American Ice Dancing Gold

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the gold medal Monday night in ice dancing. They earned a silver medal in the last Winter Games in Vancouver, and they entered competition favored to win in Sochi.


Well, the real crowd-pleasers today are the next two American athletes we're going to talk about, and they are gold winners. Meryl Davis and Charlie White made history as the first U.S. ice dancing team ever to win gold. NPR's Tamara Keith was there and joins us now. And, Tamara, this has become one of the big American stories of these games. Tell us about Davis and White, and how they danced their way to the medal stand.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: They killed it out there. These dancers have been dancing together as a team since they were 10 years old, for 17 years. Not only do they have the precision footwork, but they also have sort of mastered that melding that is so important in ice dancing where they - even though they're not a real-life couple, they make you believe that they are there together, and they are the only two people on Earth dancing out there on that ice.

CORNISH: And, of course, there is a rivalry. This time, it's with the Canadians, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. They won gold four years ago at the Olympics in Vancouver. What happened there?

KEITH: So they won silver this time, which is a reversal from the previous Olympics where Davis and White won silver. The crazy thing about this rivalry is that they actually trained together with the same coach outside of Detroit, Michigan. And between these two teams, they have completely dominated international ice dancing competition for years. But in the last year or so, Davis and White have taken over. They've really figured out what it is that the judges want, and that's a bit of a mystery and a bit of a controversy within the sport. It's just not entirely clear what the judges want or how these things are decided.

CORNISH: And, Tamara, before I let you go, got to get a little fashion report. Best outfits and worst outfits?

KEITH: Oh. Oh, oh. So I think that the best outfits were the team that won bronze from Russia. They had these black outfits. Hers was like a tutu-type of thing and he had this sort of tentacles of sequins coming across his chest. I don't know what the team was that had these outfits, but there was something where the guy sort of looked like either a hobo or a clown and I'm not sure which it was.

CORNISH: All right. That's NPR's Tamara Keith in Sochi where she watched Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White take the gold in ice dancing. Tamara, thank you.

KEITH: You're welcome.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from