Davis and White ready to excel

Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:59am EST
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By Pritha Sarkar

(Reuters) - Just watching Meryl Davis and Charlie White whiz around the rink weaving in and out of their spellbinding lifts and intricate choreography can leave awe-struck spectators feeling rather breathless.

Such is the American couple's breakneck speed on ice, they could have easily swapped their dainty ice dancing boots for the longer 46 cm blades and chanced their luck for a medal in short track skating, which like figure skating will be staged at the Iceberg Palace during next month's Sochi Olympics.

If fans thought the couple who put ice dancing on the map in the United States could not get any faster by the time they arrive in Russia, White dispelled the notion.

"In the Vancouver Olympics we were sort of known for having a lot of speed, power and athleticism," White, who along with Davis became the first American ice dancers to win a world title, told Reuters.

"Even to this day, we've improved tremendously in that area. We really sought to become a complete team, one who could marry what we had done four years ago with the characters we are portraying in these programs and the feel for dance itself.

"We feel like we've left no stone unturned. We've continued to grow as skaters ... and tried to gain more speed and have more charisma and everything. In every aspect we've tried to be the best we possibly can be."

That dedication has led them down a path in which they have won two world championships, five consecutive grand prix finals and a record six successive U.S. National titles.

Remarkably they have won their last 11 competitions, are unbeaten for 22 months and are favorites to become the first Americans to win the ice dance gold medal at a Winter Games.   Continued...

Ice dancing pair Meryl Davis (L) and Charlie White are introduced as part of the United States' team for the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics, during a news conference at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston, Massachusetts January 12, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder