(March 23, 2009) – Imagine what it’s like to be a figure skater on day one of the 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles.   You are getting ready to compete in the first event of the day, the compulsory dance segment of the Ice Dance competition.  The dance to be skated is the Paso Doble and it is a passionate, Spanish-inspired rhythm adapted from the ballroom floor; requiring fast skating and tremendous accuracy and expression.

If you are Canadian Ice Dance Champions Tessa Virtue and partner Scott Moir, you have already overcome a whole lot of adversity to make it to Worlds this year. As a result of suffering from the painful condition of chronic exertional compartment syndrome, Tessa had to undergo surgery in the Fall on both shins. The team only just got back on the ice in December after missing over two months of training. At nationals, their competitive debut this season where they took the title for the second time, their technically challenging free dance was skated in competition as only their third full run through.  Incredible. 

As defending World silver medalists, a lesser team might take the easier route and not compete at Worlds for fear of falling off the radar for next year’s Olympic Games. To not compete and have the legitimate reason of recent surgery would be understandable and for lots of competitors, advisable.  What makes this team unique is the fact that although they are half a season behind in terms of training, they are willing to put themselves and their skating on the line.

As a society, we value one thing above all: Integrity; which is what Tessa and Scott have demonstrated by coming to Worlds to compete. Regardless of the result or the risk they have decided to fulfill the commitment they made to themselves at the beginning of the season, demonstrating strength of character and a passion for the sport that is impressive to say the least.

Standing by what you believe in and doing your job to the best of your ability is what this sport is all about and Tessa and Scott are just two of this year’s reasons we can hold our heads high as Canadians.

Speaking of “the best”, make sure you check out artistry for details of the 15% discount on purchases made from their website during Worlds. Remember to check right here at www.skatecanada.ca for another installment of Artistry on Ice tomorrow.

For feedback and comments I can be reached at pjkwong@skatecanada.ca or UbiquitousPj on Twitter.


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