American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the ice dance short Sunday night and could win the country’s first gold medal in the event.
Skating a lighter-than-air foxtrot and quickstep to music from “My Fair Lady,” choreographed with help from Dancing with the Stars’ stalwart Derek Hough, Davis and White exuded utter joy and command as they glided around the ice — he in tuxedo tails, she in cotton-candy pink. They were rewarded with a season-best 78.89 points.
The score was 2.5 ahead of reigning Olympic champions and their constant rivals Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. America won the silver in Vancouver four years ago. Since then, Davis and Wilson have worked harder to take the top spot away from Canada. They became the first US ice dancers to win the world title in 2011 and they won it again in 2013. It was the Canadian couple who won the titles in 2010 and 2012. However, Davis and White won the short dance in the ice skating team event while Virtue and Moor won the silver.
The teams do share the same Russian coach and train at the same Michigan rink.
The medal program takes place on Monday. Russia pair Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov earned third in the short program. Madison Chock and Evan Bates and siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani will also represent America.