Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are a “once-in-a-generation talent that you don’t often see” and their gold medals at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics make for a proper swan song for their retirement.
These words of praise are the words of Tessa and Scott’s coach, Philippe Lauzon, talking about the ice dancing royalty in an interview with Huffington Post.
Tessa and Scott took the stage at the figure skating event at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics (alongside Yuzuru Hanyu’s explosive comeback, of course), making a gold-medal comeback at the Olympics after they announced during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics that they were retiring.
There were many factors that came into play in their comeback at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics stage. For one, even though Scott and Tessa both admitted that they skated their programs at Sochi 2014, ready that that would be their last, they ended up disappointed after they failed to deliver a perfect performance. According to the Star, Moir and Tessa were disappointed with the deductions they got for their Ella Fitzgerald-Louis Armstrong routine then.
“We’ve been training and practising kind of lights-out. Tessa and I, we’re really perfectionists and it kind of felt today like we just weren’t skating the way we’ve been training. That’s probably the emotion you saw in our faces.”
And so they came back to the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics stage with a vengeance to settle with the ice. Skating to a mix of “Sympathy For The Devil” by The Rolling Stones, “Hotel California” by The Eagles, and “Oye Como Va” by Santana for their Short Program, and then to Moulin Rouge medley for their Free Skate, Tessa and Scott bagged two gold medals during the whole Olympic event: one for the team event and another for the individual event. Their overall record during their individual event broke the world record for overall score in ice dance, and their fourth and fifth Olympic golds made them the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history.
It was, indeed, a fitting climax to a world-record partnership. Skating together for more than 20 years, Tessa and Scott could finally bow from the figure skating world with a bang.
Tessa and Scott did not explicitly mention the world “retirement” throughout the event, unlike figure skater Patrick Chan who announced that Pyeongchang 2018 will be his last Olympics and he will retire completely from competitive figure skating after the 2018 season. However, many factors point to this possibility for the ice dancing couple.
On top of their astounding figure skating record, Tessa and Scott will be 32- and 34-years-old by the time of the 2022 Olympics. In the figure skating world, skaters would usually retire before hitting 30 due to the extreme physical toll that the sport does to their body.
Tessa and Scott are ready to move on, as well. During a press conference held after they won their Olympic gold, Moir said that he and Tessa won’t be competing against their French rivals again.
Moir: I don’t think we need to continue competing against Gabby and Guillaume again… it’s time for us to move on. We have some great ice dancers in Canada… we’ll wait to officially r-word until we are sure; we don’t want to be like Brett Favre #PyeongChang2018
— Jackie Wong (@rockerskating) February 20, 2018
In an interview with CBC Sports, Moir also emphasized that their last two Olympics golds were a “nice end to our Olympic career. I can’t help but think about the 20 years we’ve spent working for this moment.”
And the fact that both have become so emotional and nostalgic about their partnership and history in the past days have become too intense to ignore.
Speechless.— Tessa Virtue (@tessavirtue) February 20, 2018
This is the moment we have dreamed about. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for all of the support.
This one is for you, Canada!
????????❤️????????#VirtueMoir #XX #PyeongChang2018 pic.twitter.com/EAt0EYm8bO
It is also safe to say that the peak of their Olympic high came during their gala exhibition performance on Sunday, where many figure skaters turned to the ice once again to formally close the figure skating event at the Pyeongchang 2018. For the gala, Scott and Tessa skated to the song “Long Time Running” by The Tragically Hip band, whose lead vocalist Gord Downie recently died of brain cancer.
The death of the Canadian singer-songwriter overwhelmed the whole country of Canada last year, that even prime minister Justin Trudeau issued a touching statement on Downie’s death. Since then, Scott and Tessa have vowed to skate a tribute to the band.
And then came their Pyeongchang 2018 gala performance. Tessa and Scott’s solo in the finale was made even extra special as they were surrounded by a circle of skaters at the end of their performance, the spotlight blindingly focused on them.
Count Tessa and Scott's solo in the finale as my official time of death, thank you goodnight pic.twitter.com/8k0KeJz6XQ— Kate Halliwell (@Kate__Halliwell) February 25, 2018
Wow I love a casual moment between platonic friends pic.twitter.com/NCNsXPAGt2— Kate Halliwell (@Kate__Halliwell) February 25, 2018
It was an extremely touching and emotional moment for Tessa and Scott, and for all of the fans and skaters at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics. Was the performance a message from the pair or was it just another beautiful skate from the duo? Anyhow, there was something both beautiful and sad in the way Scott and Tessa, Canada’s figure skating history makers, skated a tribute to another Canadian artist, who was forced to retire too soon.