Davis, White Claim Silver Medal in Olympic Ice Dancing

Feb. 22, 2010

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Four University of Michigan students concluded their 2010 Olympic performances Monday night (Feb. 22) at the Pacific Coliseum, including Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who earned the silver medal for Team USA. Fellow Americans Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates finished in 11th place.

After receiving 107.19 points, the highest free dance score recorded this season, Davis and White took over the No. 1 spot in the standings, only to see the Canadian pair -- and their training partners in Canton, Mich. -- of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir eclipse that mark with a gold medal-clinching 110.42 points. Americans Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto recorded 99.74 points for their free skate, temporarily putting them in third place, but the Russian pair of Oksana Domnina and Maksim Shabalin edged them out for the bronze by 4.57 points.

Performing first in the final group, Davis and White skated to a Phantom of the Opera medley (NBC Olympics video). They eclipsed their personal best score this year by nearly four points, receiving the career-high 107.19 from the judges to put them in first place (215.74 points) with just three pairs remaining. Prior to tonight, Davis and White had not finished lower than first in competition this year, including a repeat as the U.S. national champions in January.

"We put in a really good performance for us, we're really proud of ourselves," Davis said following their last skate. "So where we end up is kind of out of our hands, but we feel good."

On Friday (Feb. 19), Davis and White concluded the first phase of competition, the compulsories, in third place behind Domnina-Shabalin and Virtue-Moir. They moved up one spot to second place thanks to a career-high 67.08 points in the original dance (NBC Olympics video) on Sunday night, ahead of the Russians and 2006 silver medalists Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto of the United States.

"If there's one thing that can top a Michigan football game it would be an Olympic medal," White said during a feature NBC aired on him and Davis prior to their performance.

Samuelson and Bates beat their career best in the free skate by eight points with 88.94, performing to Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli (NBC Olympics video). Known for their strong lines and impressive footwork, the pair moved up from 14th place following the compulsories to 11th with 53.99 points in the original dance on Sunday (NBC Olympics video). The U-M sophomores were not expected to make the 2010 Olympics and should be considered strong contenders for the United States' 2014 Sochi Games team after their showing in Vancouver.

2010 Olympic Ice Skating Final Results
  1. Virtue-Moir, Canada 221.57
  2. Davis-White, USA 215.74
  3. Domnina-Shabalin, Russia 207.64
11. Samuelson-Bates, USA 174.30
U-M Winter Olympics Page