Zoueva coaches gold and silver winners

Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:50pm EST
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By Julian Linden

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Marina Zoueva faced the ultimate test of her loyalties at the Winter Olympics on Monday as, in a bitter-sweet twist for ice dancing's supreme coach, she found her allegiances torn three ways.

Born and raised in Russia, the spiritual heart and soul of ice dancing, a part of Zoueva wanted the host nation to win, but she had also been working tirelessly trying to get the United States or Canada to top the podium.

As the long-time coach of the American pairing of Meryl Davis and Charlie White and the Canadian duo of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, it is a scenario that Zoueva has long had to live with.

Four years ago, at the Vancouver Olympics, she coached the gold and silver medallists - with Virtue and Moir winning on home ice and Davis and White coming second.

On Monday, Zoueva did it again, but this time the placings were reversed with the Americans triumphing ahead of the Canadians.

To top it all off, the Russian pair of Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov finished third, giving her a part in all three medallists.

"It was important for me to do a special program for my mother land country," Zoueva said.

"I chose a Russian story for each program. I wanted to touch the heart of the people."   Continued...