When they announced their return to competitive skating just over a year ago, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir had a lot to lose.
But it's clear now, after winning their third world title, that the Canadian ice dance icons still bring out the best in each other.
Some may have doubted the wisdom of their decision to return to skating, but Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir proved beyond a doubt that they're still capable of reaching new heights together.
(Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press)When Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir announced in late 2016 that they were making a comeback, many wondered why.
Why re-enter the world of competitive figure skating when they had already won everything they could win?
For Scott, it's "fun." For Tessa, it's "fulfilling."Their results bear that out. Virtue and Moir's comeback season started in earnest last fall at the Skate Canada International event in Mississauga, Ont., where ice dance commentator and Olympic bronze medallist Tracy Wilson was immediately impressed."I knew [then] that their reasons for coming back to competition were pure because they went after their vulnerabilities and they fixed them," Wilson says."They came back to the sport to learn and be better, and they are better."Next up was the NHK Trophy event in Sapporo, Japan, and the first time that Virtue and Moir would meet the two-time world champions from France, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.This meeting of old and new ice dance titans was wildly anticipated and neither team wanted anything except to put their best foot forward.Ultimately, Tessa and Scott owned the short, free and overall scores to take the title.Marseille, France, the home of this season's Grand Prix Final, would be a litmus test to gauge the progress that Virtue and Moir were making.They had never won the prestigious event, despite five previous attempts resulting in four silver medals.This time was different, and Tessa and Scott's win was decisive on the home turf of their new French rivals.The final jewel in their crown was finally in place.Virtue and Moir's ice dance domination continued to pick up speed with their seventh Canadian national title in January 2017 and their third Four Continents win on the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic ice surface in February.Make no mistake, none of these results were "gimmes." Virtue and Moir had to consistently outperform the other skaters.They take nothing for granted, knowing other teams are aiming for them. But, after a quick recovery, they continued almost as if the bobble had never happened.As White says, "It has brought out the best in the other teams in part because Tessa and Scott have returned."The final test came at last week's world championships in Helsinki. Papadakis and Cizeron skated with the same kind of abandon.