On February 22, 2010, Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir became the first North Americans to win the Olympic ice dance competition. They have been partners since 1997, sacrificed much for their training, and achieved a well-earned Olympic gold medal in Vancouver. Tessa and Scott always exude confidence and grace, both on-ice and off-ice. I think it’s safe to say that Canada never once doubted that they would win the Olympics because they are such a strong team.
Recently, I purchased their new biography, Tessa and Scott: Our Journey from Childhood Dream to Gold. It’s written by Tessa, Scott, and Steve Milton (sportswriter), with a foreword by Tracy Wilson (former Canadian ice dancer, 1988 Olympic bronze medalist). If you’re a die hard fan of Tessa and Scott, you have to get this book because it is packed with cute photos from when they were young, and full of tidbits about the pair that you wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere.
But hey, I’m not here to advertise for the book. I only mention it because it has revealed to me that Tessa and Scott’s journey to their Olympic Gold was not as smooth as I had imagined. Of course I have appreciated the fact that training for the Olympics must not have been easy, but I didn’t know that there were many times of doubt about whether or not they would be ready for the Olympics.
In fall of 2008, Tessa received surgery for her chronic exertional compartment syndrome, which had been causing massive pain in her shins. After recovery from the surgery, the ice dance pair had to alter their training routines because Tessa could not skate for long before her shins became too painful to endure. All throughout the rest of the 2008-2009 season, and the 2009-2010 season, Tessa continually received physiotherapy for her legs to help with the rehabilitation. Even during the last few training sessions in Vancouver before their first performance, Tessa was plagued by the pain in her legs. But did the public see any of this? No.
During the time leading up to the Olympics, Tessa and Scott put up a strong and positive front; they didn’t let us see any of the pain, doubt, and frustration they had, because they didn’t want to cause bias amongst ice dance judges. And they were successful, as it is reflected in my oblivion.
I have always known that Scott and Tessa are professionals, but now my respect for them has multiplied a million-fold. I admire Tessa for being so strong throughout her injury and recovery, Scott for being so supportive, and the both of them for sticking with each other through thick and thin to ultimately achieve their childhood dream. And also for being beautiful skaters. 😀
Tessa and Scott’s story is a perfect example that nothing ever comes easy. They are my inspiration to work and study harder, as I tank my way through university to become what I want to become.
Now I just have to meet them. 🙂
Source:Tessa and Scott: Our Journey from Childhood Dream to Gold by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, with Steve Milton; foreword by Tracy Wilson. House of Anansi Press; 2010.
Image: Getty Images via Daylife