The most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history, it’s no surprise that Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were named CBC Sports Canadian Athletes of the Year. They danced their way into the hearts of people around the world when they won two gold medals at the 2018 Winter Games in PeongChang, South Korea — the most watched event of the entire winter games!
Watch Scott Russell and Heather Hiscox from CBC News discuss this year’s award:
Called a landmark performance in Canadian sport, CBC Sports recapped the moment that led to Tessa and Scott winning this year’s award:
It could have all ended much differently at the Gangneung Ice Arena.
Tessa and Scott entered the free dance with an incredibly slim lead over France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, despite breaking their own record score in the short dance the night before.
That, plus two American pairs within striking distance, left every conceivable outcome in play — from gold to missing the podium outright. Things only became more tense when Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, skating before Virtue and Moir and seemingly unfazed by a costume malfunction that marred their short dance the day before, set a new world record in the free program.
The French team’s performance, set to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, mesmerized the judges, who gave them the highest overall score ever.
In that moment, the chance of a golden send-off for Tessa and Scott seemed to be slipping away. To eclipse their French training partners — how’s that for additional intrigue? — they would need to surpass their previous personal best in the free skate and shatter a freshly minted world record.
No matter what, it would still be a fine farewell for the venerated Canadians, who had won a team-event gold in Pyeongchang to go along with their ice dance title from Vancouver in 2010 and a pair of silvers from Sochi. Tessa and Scott took the ice as fans around the world watched in quiet anticipation. That silence would not last long.
The Moulin Rouge free routine was a perfect fit — a dance exuding the raw passion the duo became famous for.
As the spectacle unfolded on the ice, any feelings of doubt or uncertainty among their fans gave way, replaced with a sense of awe and an appreciation for what was happening.
The intimacy Tessa and Scott brought to that final routine made it seem as if everyone had a front-row seat to their performance — from those watching in their Ontario hometowns of London and Ilderton, respectively, to Canadians nationwide and fans glued to their screens at home or at viewing parties.
When the final note sounded, a roar erupted from the crowd in South Korea as the two embraced on the ice. The final scores came shortly after — Tessa and Scott would cap off their Olympic careers with gold around their necks and a new overall world record
The winners of three Olympic gold medals—and five Olympic medals in total—Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are also three-time World Champions, and were the first pair of athletes to carry the Canadian flag at an Olympic opening ceremony
On stage, the duo shares the lessons of success they learned on their journey to becoming among the best athletes—and artists—on earth.
Interested in learning more about Tessa and Scott and what they can bring to your next event? Email us at [email protected].