The Story is Everything, Folks, Especially for Olympic Gold

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In case you haven’t been paying attention to the Sochi Olympics, the U.S. won their first Olympic Gold in Ice Dancing yesterday, thanks to the fantastic Meryl Davis and Charlie White. As there is a pretty good chance that this will be the ONLY medal in an individual skating event for the U.S. in Sochi, and we hold the bronze in team skating primarily because of their achievements, I thought I’d take a moment to celebrate them. Yay Meryl! Yay Charlie!

Moment aside, the Candians, typically known as the friendliest people around, have some people who don’t think Charlie and Meryl should have won. Thankfully, this seems a small minority. But still, people. These two deserved it. They have clearly worked their butts off since Vancouver. Furthermore, I just like watching them better than the Canadians. (I liked them better last Olympics too.)

Meryl and Charlie are more interesting to watch, not simply because of the crazy lifts they do, or the fancy twizzles, but because every piece of theirs is distinct. They become new people, and tell a different story every time. Can you find two dance styles more separated than the quirky and energetic Bollywood and dramatic and passionate Phantom of the Opera (their Vancouver program)? Or the bubbly, sweet My Fair Lady and the mysterious, majestic, and sexy Scheherazade? They have a performance range that their training partners up north lack. Furthermore, they do their homework, working with Derek Hough of Dancing With the Stars on their Foxtrot and Quickstep, and a Persian dancer (whom I would love to meet) on their portrayal of Scheherazade. There is such detail in their dance that reflects the story and background of their pieces.

I’ve never felt that with Virtue and Moir. For back to back Olympics, they’ve done pieces that felt the same, and told similar stories. They rarely play with their style the same way that the Americans do, and when they do, they can’t quite pull it off. (See their Carmen program from one of the last two Worlds, I can’t remember which one.)

I have no knowledge of the technical aspects of Ice Dancing. I have learned that twizzles are important, and that you’re supposed to dance them in sync. Outside of that piece, I can only evaluate the performance aspect of their shows. Meryl and Charlie are, hands down, the better performers. They tell me stories, and I love to sit down and watch and listen.

Here’s to you, Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Congratulations, and thank you for your excellence, and your stories.

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