Figure skating-Sums fail to add up for Davis and White

Reuters

Fri, 30 Mar 02:48:00 2012

Charlie White could not understand how or why he and Meryl Davis did not win the ice dance gold medal at the world championships.

Sitting just a few feet away, his friend and training partner Scott Moir was equally dumbfounded -- at being crowned champion with Tessa Virtue.

On Thursday, every man, woman and child sitting inside Nice's Acropolis Arena thought the Americans had won. That is everyone except the experts who made up the judging panel.

White and Davis looked unbeatable as they flew around the ice at a frantic pace for four minutes, seamlessly weaving in dazzling lifts into their dramatic performance to Strauss's Die Fledermaus ('The Bat').

If they needed any confirmation on just how well they did, the prolonged standing ovation from the hollering crowd provided the answer.

In comparison, Virtue and Moir failed to produce the "fairytale performance" they had hoped for and described their interpretation of the Audrey Hepburn/Fred Astaire classic 'Funny Face' as a programme littered with "bobbles" and "stumbles".

Luckily for the Canadians, and unluckily for Davis and White, the judges did not notice.

"There are some programmes where all of a sudden you're at the end and everything is happening so effortlessly. It wasn't one of those," Olympic champion Virtue told reporters after beating her rivals by almost five points.

"We had a few bobbles here and there. I'm not sure if people noticed ... but it just didn't come as naturally as it has come in the past."

Moir was even more honest: "When our marks came up, I was a little bit relieved ... as we had to fight through the performance.

"At the one-minute mark I had a little stumble but luckily my character at that point is shocked and surprised so I just kind of played it off as part of the choreography," he grinned.

White, understandably, could not see the funny side.

"We skated our hearts out. We felt like we skated clean and really left it all out on the ice. We don't know where the discrepancy was in the judges' eyes," said the 2011 winner, who had also been puzzled following the short dance on Wednesday when they were marked down in three sections.

"We were aiming for first so we are disappointed we did not get that. But we are proud of the way we skated. Despite the discrepancy in points we go home really pleased and find out what the judges want us to improve on."

His partner added: "They were two of our strongest performances of the season, which is all that's really in our control."

The accumulative points system that replaced the old 6.0 format following the 2002 Salt Lake City judging scandal was supposed to make the scoring more transparent. On Thursday, the sums simply did not add up.

 

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